Academic years in my culture are specified using two-year format e.g. academic year 2014-2015 (which starts in September 2014 and ends in June 2015). The term "academic" bears, in my opinion, much of an academic context. Are there any alternative options to be used when referring to such a year in a primary or secondary education context?

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    "School year" is also OK.
    – GEdgar
    Mar 7, 2015 at 19:57
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    I don't think I understand your complaint about using academic year in primary or secondary education. Mar 7, 2015 at 19:59
  • @IanMacDonald I am not comfortable with it because it contains academy not school. This is most probably because am an ESL guy. Mar 7, 2015 at 20:00
  • Jason: Relatively speaking, academic is a "50 cent word", which why many people would go for @GEdgar's "5 cent" alternative in a primary/secondary school context ('cos they haven't even learned the more "erudite" term yet! :) Mar 7, 2015 at 20:24
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    In present-day US English "academic" is used of anything having to do with studies as opposed to the social, artistic, recreational and athletic activities carried on in schools. It has no necessary relationship to "academy" in any sense of that term. Mar 7, 2015 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


"School year" is also OK.

But "academic year" is fine, even for elementary schools.

Maybe "school year" can be used so that there is no objection even from those who think school has mainly some purpose other than academics.

By the way, I don't think "academic" will suggest "academy" to most people.

  • Probably that misconception more typically occurs for ESL people like me. Mar 7, 2015 at 21:56

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