The American system of school education differs from the system in some countries. There are state-supported public schools, private elementary schools, and private secondary schools. Public schools are free and private schools are fee-paying. Each individual state has its own system of public schools. Elementary education begins at the age of six with the first grade and continues up to the eighth grade. The elementary school is followed by four years of the secondary schools, or high schools as they are called. In some states the last two years of the elementary and the first years of the secondary school are combined into a junior high school. Besides giving general education, some high schools teach subjects useful to those who hope to find jobs in industry and agriculture. Some give preparatory education to those planning to enter colleges and universities.