Niche Rankings Highlight the Top Private and Public Schools in the Nation

2021 Best Schools rankings help parents and students all over the U.S. find where they belong

October 9, 2020 – PITTSBURGHNiche—the leading school search platform connecting people to the perfect K-12 school or college—released its 2021 Best Schools rankings today. With updated data for 94,710 public schools, 24,099 private schools and 11,822 school districts nationwide, Niche’s rankings provide an in-depth analysis of the quality of a given school, allowing parents and students to find the best fit for their individual needs with ease.

Unlike traditional rankings, which rely almost exclusively on metrics like test scores and academic performance, Niche’s rankings provide a more personal view of a school. They combine user input—comments from current students, alumni, and parents—with quantitative data points to produce a well-rounded analysis. In addition to academics, the factors considered include teachers, resources and facilities, extracurricular activity opportunities, and student/faculty/curriculum diversity. 

This year, Phillips Academy in Andover, MA is the Best Private School in America. It was previously #3 in 2020 and #1 in 2019. Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, NJ is the Best Public School in America, having risen from #5 in 2020 and #12 in 2019. The 2021 Best Schools rankings are previewed below and can be found in entirety here:

2021 Best Public High Schools

  1. Bergen County Academies (Hackensack, NJ)
  2. Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science (Worcester, MA)
  3. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (Alexandria, VA)
  4. North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (Durham, NC)
  5. Maggie Walker Governor’s School (Richmond, VA)

2021 Best Private High Schools

  1. Phillips Academy (Andover, MA)
  2. Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH)
  3. St. Mark’s School of Texas (Dallas, TX)
  4. The College Preparatory School (Oakland, CA)
  5. The Hotchkiss School (Lakeville, CT)

“2020 has been an unprecedented year on multiple fronts and yet people are making big life decisions, like moving somewhere new or adjusting to a different work situation. A lot of times, those changes are tied into choosing a school for their kids,” said Luke Skurman, Founder and CEO at Niche. “Especially in these uncertain times, we believe transparency is crucial. Parents and students should be able to find out what it’s really like to attend a school before applying and enrolling. We’re honored to continue to serve as an invaluable resource for families while they plan for their futures and find where they belong.”

In its seventh year, Niche’s school rankings include 231 newly ranked private schools, 3,971 newly ranked public schools, and 588 newly ranked school districts. Searchers can use filters to view the Best Schools or Districts in their state. As in previous years, the Best Schools rankings include categories for boarding, charter, and magnet schools as well as schools for STEM and the arts among many others.

To see a full list of the 2021 Best Schools rankings, visit:

To access the media kit, including visual assets, please click here.


Niche is the leader in K-12 and college school search. Its mission is to make researching and enrolling in schools easy, transparent, and free. With in-depth profiles on every school and college in America, 140 million reviews and ratings, and powerful search tools, Niche helps millions of people find the right school for them. Niche also helps thousands of schools recruit more best-fit students by highlighting what makes them great and making it easier to visit and apply.

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