How Old Are 9th Graders? (Can They Be 13)

How Old Are 9th Graders (Can They Be 13)

Assuming the student wasn’t held back and started kindergarten at 5, most 9th graders (freshmen) are either 14 or 15 years old. Keep in mind that this may vary depending on various factors.

The majority of students typically enter 9th grade at the age of 14 and complete by the age of 15.

That said, most 9th graders in the United States fall within that age range except in rare cases where the student may have started school early or late, held back a grade, or jumped a grade.

Age-Grade Chart

Let’s take a look at the full age range of students at the pre-tertiary level in the United States. Keep in mind these ages are based on the traditional school system where children typically start school at the age of 5

GradeAge RangeStudents Called
1st grade6-71st graders
2nd grade7-82nd graders
3rd grade8-93rd graders
4th grade9-104th graders
5th grade10-115th graders
6th grade11-126th graders
7th grade12-137th graders
8th grade13-148th graders
9th grade14-15Freshmen
10th grade15-16Sophomores
11th grade16-17Juniors
12th grade17-18Seniors

Factors That Affect The Age Of 9th Graders

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that can result in a difference in the ages of students at the pre-tertiary education levels.

Early School Entrance

You may find a few students in the 9th grade that may be younger than the majority of their peers. This can be the result of those students starting kindergarten earlier than their peers or skipping a grade. Students may skip grades due to their academic abilities or other factors.

Grade Retention

Grade retention is argued in various academic circles. While some schools of thought argue that grade retention can be detrimental to students’ social and academic lives, others believe it to be necessary.

Obviously, students who are retained may end up older than their peers.


Students who frequently change schools may face the possibility of being held back, particularly if the new school determines that their credits do not meet the requirements for their current grade level.

Additionally, some students may struggle to adjust to the culture and curriculum of their new school, which can result in poor performance and the need to repeat a grade.

Special Education Services

Special education students may have a different pace of education than their non-special education peers. For instance, a student who receives special education services may take longer to complete the curriculum for their grade.

Additionally, students receiving special education services may have an individualized education plan (IEP) that caters to the student’s strengths.

Language Barriers

Depending on the native language, immigrant students may have a hard time adapting to the country’s education system due to language barriers. This can lead to students repeating a grade to take added lessons in the necessary language of instruction.

Academic Prowess

Academically gifted students may be placed in advanced classes and programs that cover material typically taught at higher grade levels.

Schools may also offer accelerated learning options for these students, which allows them to complete the curriculum at a faster pace than their peers. This can lead to some students moving ahead by skipping grades.

It’s important to note that Grade skipping is not always the best option for every student, and it should be done with careful consideration of the student’s academic, social, and emotional needs.

It’s also important to have a good plan in place before deciding to skip grades.

Can 9th Graders Be 13 Years Old

While the typical age range of 9th graders in the United States is 14 to 15, it’s not uncommon to find 9th graders who are 13-year-olds. The reasons for this may include:

Early School Entrance

It’s not uncommon for some students to start school earlier than their peers. These students end up younger than the majority of their peers.

Grade Acceleration

Some students are academically gifted and may end up skipping a grade or two. These students are usually younger than their peers in the same grade.

Gifted And Talented Programs

Students who are identified as gifted or talented may be offered the opportunity to skip grades. These students are offered the opportunity to participate in specialized programs that could better cater to their needs.

Online Education

In this age of information, online education has become common. Students who completed some form of online education at an accelerated pace could potentially end up younger than their peers.

What Is 9th Grade Called

9th grade is the first year of high school in the United States. A 9th-grade student is referred to as a “Freshman”. Keep in mind that this term is also used to refer to first-year college students.

The US Education Levels

Let’s take a look at the US education levels and the corresponding student ages. The United States has four pre-tertiary levels of education, namely preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Let’s take a look at these levels of education individually.


This is also referred to as early childhood education and ends before kindergarten. It’s usually for students from the ages of 3 to 5 but kids are sometimes as young as 2 years.

It is not mandatory and provided by private preschools or publicly funded programs. Preschools aim to provide a foundation for development and prepare children for their formal education.

Education LevelAge Range
Preschool3 to 5 years old

Elementary School

The elementary level which is also referred to as primary education covers kindergarten to the 5th grade. A single teacher is usually responsible for teaching different subjects to students at this level.

The goal at this level is to provide students with a solid foundation in basic skills such as writing, reading, and mathematics, and introduce them to other subjects like science, social studies, and arts.

The curriculum at this level of education is designed to engage students in learning. The age range at this level is:

Grade LevelAge Range
Kindergarten (K)5 to 6 years old
1st grade6 to 7 years old
2nd grade7 to 8 years old
3rd grade8 to 9 years old
4th grade9 to 10 years old
5th grade10 to 11 years old

Middle School

The middle school level which is also referred to as junior high school covers grades 6 to 8. Instructions are provided by multiple teachers at this level and students learn mathematics, basic science, English, and social studies.

GradeAge RangeStudents Called
6th grade11-126th graders
7th grade12-137th graders
8th grade13-148th graders

High School

The high school level starts from grades 9 to 12. Students at this level of education normally age from 14 to 18 years. Their classes are arranged according to subjects and students have different teachers throughout the day.

Courses taught at these levels include mathematics, science, social studies, and English. Additionally, there are names for students in each of these grades.

GradeAge RangeStudents Called
9th grade14-15Freshmen
10th grade15-16Sophomores
11th grade16-17Juniors
12th grade17-18Seniors

Akshay Vikhe

I am an aspiring Data Scientist with a huge interest in technology. I like to review courses that are genuine and add real value to student’s careers. Read my story

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