Education has played a crucial role in social mobility in
Costa Rica. As early as 1869, the right to free and
compulsory primary school education was established in the
constitution. Subsequently, the education system has
expanded greatly; at the turn of the last century, the
salaries of the folk teachers were a heavier item in the
state budget than those of the army officers. It is
especially after the revolution, when the army was
abolished, that great efforts have been made in education.
Since the 1970s, around 1/5 of the expenditure in the state
budget, corresponding to about 5 percent of GDP, has gone to
the education system. In 1864, 90 percent of the country's
population was illiterate. Today, literacy is almost
complete (98 percent of the adult population), and Costa
Rica's educational system is ranked as one of the best in
Latin America. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Costa Rica.
Both primary and secondary school are formally compulsory
for children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 16.
There is also a non-compulsory preschool. In 2013, 90
percent of the compulsory school children in primary school
(net, grades 1–6) were enrolled and 73 percent in secondary
school (net, grades 6–12). The level of education is still
slightly lower in rural areas.
The Universidad de Costa Rica was founded in 1843 in San
Josť and reopened in 1940. Subsequently, a college of
technology and three universities have been added. In
addition, there are about fifty private universities and
post-secondary educational institutes.
Under the state system, all tuition is free of charge.
However, the standard of state education has dropped
significantly, which has led to an explosive development of
private schools, especially at the elementary and upper
secondary level. Higher education, on the other hand, is of
relatively good quality. All private tuition is controlled
by the state.