2017 Best Private High Schools in America

The 2017 Best Private High Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents. Ranking factors include SAT/ACT scores, the quality of colleges that students consider, student-teacher ratio, private school ratings, and more. Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Education, Niche users, and the schools directly.
See how this ranking was calculated
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Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Phillips Academy

    • Andover, MA
    • 41 reviews
    Niche User:Andover truly is a special place! The opportunities for learning within the self are endless. I have adopted a true growth mindset at this community, learned from my peers, which represent youth from every quarter. This community is equitable, kind, generous, and truly incredible. My teachers believe in my potential to succeed. #SayYesToAndover #BigBlueNice #WelcomeHome #SmartWithHeart
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  2. 2

    Phillips Exeter Academy

    • Exeter, NH
    • 172 reviews
    Alum:I really loved the academics at this school. The classes that I wanted to take were really amazing, well taught, with plenty of interesting trips and research. The field classes that I took were especially fun to be a part of. I also really enjoyed being part of the sports teams there as a player on a team. The coaches I encountered were fantastic and the sense of family within teams was huge. I struggled a little socially there, but the athletics gave me a chance to connect. Some of the atmosphere of the school can be difficult to manage, it is not for everyone and it takes some adjusting, but it is well worth the effort. I came out well prepared for college academics and challenges.
    More about Phillips Exeter Academy
  3. 3

    The Lawrenceville School

    • Lawrenceville, NJ
    • 95 reviews
    Senior:The Lawrenceville School is considered one of the best high schools in the country for a reason. The academics are among the best. The teachers are all qualified and have extensive experience from the best high schools and colleges. In terms of diversity, Lawrentians are from around the world. At Lawrenceville, students are taught manage the many aspects of their lives, and I feel prepared to transition into college. The facilities are one of a college, including a STEM lab with VR and 3D printing, a building for every subject, and a huge library. The sports are also good here. The mandatory sport for each term brings out a lot of talent in students who would have never tried a sport otherwise. Also, students can participate in clubs, sports, and school sponsored volunteer activities. There is much more that could be said about how good the Lawrenceville School is. But I hope from what you have read, you can see how great a school it is.
    More about The Lawrenceville School
  4. 4

    Harvard-Westlake School

    • Studio City, CA
    • 96 reviews
    Freshman:Harvard-Westlake truly changed my life. Since coming to H-W as a new seventh grader and still, I have had experiences impossible anywhere else. The competitive nature of the community pushes me to go further than I thought I could, and I have become interested in so many topics that I never thought I would be interested in. Due to the large class sizes, I have met and made so many friends with similar interests as I have, and many with different interests that opened me to even more experiences. If you are considering applying, there is definitely something for you here, and you will not regret your decision!
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  5. 5

    St. Paul's School

    • Concord, NH
    • 45 reviews
    Niche User:I'd be completely lying if I said I loved my whole time at SPS. I transferred as a new sophomore and wasn't accustomed to the whole idea of what a prep school actually entailed. I felt very lost in athletics, academics, extracurriculars, socializing, and even myself. But that was because I hadn't utilized all my resources. And anybody currently at the school will know who this is when I say this: I became best friends with Humanities IV teacher and he changed my life. Every bit of success I encounter in this lifetime is because of him and his willingness to always be there for me. So before I get all mopey, I'll say this - it wasn't easy at first (but what really is?) but my experience did a full 180 once I started taking advantage of the resources and people St. Paul's had to offer.
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  6. 6

    Horace Mann School

    • Bronx, NY
    • 94 reviews
    Junior:After being accepted in 10th grade, my transition could not have been more easier than with the attention and friendliness of my teachers and fellow colleagues. As I walk into the school, each morning I hear a warm welcome. This contributes to the five core values of the school, which are life of the mind, mature behavior, mutual respect, a secure and healthful environment, and a balance between individual achievement and a caring community. These values aren't just stapled to the walls of the building, but they are shared among all the people of the community.
    Even in a great school, there are things that should be given more attention. More specifically, as a Russian speaking student, I think that it would be nice to be able to take a language in school that isn't offered in most high schools. It would not only give students the chance to try out another language, but it would also give native speakers the chance to maintain their knowledge of the Russian culture.
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  7. 7

    The College Preparatory School

    • Oakland, CA
    • 57 reviews
    High School Senior:I love my school! One of the best things about the school is the community. The school tries to make freshmen feel as welcome as possible when they first start at school. Freshmen are assigned to a CAP group (Connections and Advisory Program) which consists of a faculty advisor, 8-9 other freshmen, and three senior mentors. During the summer, senior mentors write letters, call, and hang out with their freshmen, which helps the freshmen meet their fellow CAP group freshmen and seniors. Also, freshmen have orientation and Freshmen Retreat together before school starts with everyone else, so they really get to know the school and each other before the year begins. Even after freshmen year, everyone is so kind and inviting. I joined sports and dance and met a lot of upperclassmen and, as I got older, younger students, that have continued to be my friends even after they've graduated. I love the students' welcoming nature (I can pretty much have a conversation with anyone) and the overall nice feeling.
    More about The College Preparatory School
  8. 8

    The Harker School

    • San Jose, CA
    • 88 reviews
    Niche User:We have two children at Harker, both in lower school. Our fifth grader has been here since grade 2, our second grader started in Kindergarten, and we are constantly amazed at the level of support teachers provide to students, both academically and emotionally, in terms of character building. When our fifth grader has struggled with academics, teachers reached out to us with concrete advice, invitations to come to extra help in the morning and other suggestions for helping him thrive --and he has done so! Along with kind, calm, sensible *intelligent and thoughtful* teachers who brigh their humanity to the classroom, there is a lower school-wide program that helps students understand their emotions at times of frustration to help them understand how to deal with their concerns effectively. The after school care staff is incredibly polite, attentive and sharp, I've never had any concerns about playground misbehavior as the staff are super vigilant and the equipment is top-notch and well maintained. The kitchen is outstanding and provides healthy snacks (included) before and after school, and students can choose to have a nutritious school lunch prepared on site, or bring their own food from home. Just a great experience all around!
    More about The Harker School
  9. 9

    Lakeside School

    • Seattle, WA
    • 67 reviews
    Alum:Lakeside is not for the fainthearted. I attended the school from the 5th-12th grade. The academics are of course top notch and prepare you well for college courses, but you should study HARD to keep up everything. Fortunately, teachers are more than accommodating and open to meeting with students during their free time. It is all too common to walk into the math office during any hour and see teachers helping students with homework, test/quiz corrections, etc. You must take the initiative to do well at Lakeside, though. You can't be embarrassed to ask questions when you're confused. Sensitivity has no place in the classroom, or at Lakeside in general. The school has a very competitive atmosphere- particularly when applying for colleges. That being said, students are mostly amicable. Sports are big Lakeside, and we generally do well.
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  10. 10

    Stanford Online High School

    • Stanford, CA
    • 72 reviews
    Niche User:My daughter has found her learning community- an exceptional group of students and educators pushing the boundaries of educational technology! The classes are rigorous and the students are competitive, but also kind, engaged, and respectful. While the schedule can be grueling, most students thrive in the OHS environment because they feel like they are learning so much that the hours laboring away are well worth it. Even for highly gifted students, getting straight A's at OHS is difficult. Students, however, seem to care more about the effort they put in to a class, and the passion they have for learning than the grade received. All in all, I would highly recommend Stanford OHS!
    More about Stanford Online High School
  11. 11

    Trinity School

    • New York, NY
    • 34 reviews
    Parent:Trinity has been an amazing experience for my daughter. She came in 9th grade from an all girls school (Brearley) and my daughter had the fortune of choosing between Trinity, Dalton, Horace Mann and Exeter. We were worried about the academic intensity but my daughter was well-prepared by her time at Brearley and thrived in an environment where students are constantly challenged and pushed to do their very best. She loves her classmates, and finds the school much more diverse than Brearley. Overall a great experience so far!
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  12. 12

    Polytechnic School

    • Pasadena, CA
    • 82 reviews
    Junior:There are so many opportunities at the school, that you can honestly do anything you want to pursue your passion. The teachers are always there for you, and are there to help you improve all the time. The academics are strong, and it's honestly so manageable.

    Poly does truly have a really competitive environment. Because the school is so small, you get to know everyone, and you realize the amount of competition that exists within every grade. Sometimes, you really just feel stupid in a class (I know I have). But I love this school so so much, and I have honestly met some of the best people in the whole world. Though it is competitive, everyone is welcoming, and once you feel a part of the Poly community, you feel like you can conquer the world. I am so happy I chose this school and don't regret my decision to come. GO POLY!
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  13. 13

    The Hotchkiss School

    • Lakeville, CT
    • 33 reviews
    Freshman:My experience at Hotchkiss has been categorized by a uniquely welcoming community, deeply engaging Instructors, a highly rigorous workload and an abundance of athletic and extra-curricular opportunities. As the school continues to evolve, I hope Hotchkiss is able to maintain the number of sacred traditions that make it so special.
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  14. 14

    Sidwell Friends School

    • Washington, DC
    • 28 reviews
    Senior:I had a wonderful experience at Sidwell. I was surrounded by peers of all sorts of backgrounds- economical, racial, sexual orientation, and religion! There I was able to understand who I wanted to be and what I wanted to represent. The school was also extremely supportive of everything and anything students did with criticisms on the school and society as a whole. I really do appreciate everything the school has done and given me.
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  15. 15

    Choate Rosemary Hall

    • Wallingford, CT
    • 87 reviews
    Senior:Great private school. More relaxed and friendlier than the other New England private schools, but just as rigorous. Great teachers and really interesting classes. They are continually doing construction to improve the school so it will only get better with time. The food is leagues better than public school, but it gets tiring after awhile. Some of the classes can be boring or unnecessarily difficult and there will be late nights, along with the occasional really early night because you have almost no homework. Overall, one of the best New England schools.
    More about Choate Rosemary Hall
  16. 16

    Winsor School

    • Boston, MA
    • 44 reviews
    Senior:Coming to Winsor was one of the best decisions I have ever made. At first, I was hesitant about private school and especially an all-girl's school. When I visited Winsor, though, all of those worries fell away and I completely saw myself as a student there. After spending a few years here, I have good relationships with my peers and teachers and I am a leader in several clubs. I cannot imagine having a different high school experience - I'm really glad I was able to find a great community of people at Winsor.
    More about Winsor School
  17. 17

    Castilleja School

    • Palo Alto, CA
    • 26 reviews
    Alum:My Castilleja experience prepared me so well for college and life -- the teachers are amazing and care so much about the students! I'm so glad I spent 7 years with such smart, caring, and dedicated women.
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  18. 18

    St. Mark's School of Texas

    • Dallas, TX
    • 30 reviews
    Niche User:St. Mark's is nationally-recognized for academics, with a challenging curriculum designed to prepare students at their very best. Teachers are often experts in their field, and often are recognized curriculum leaders. While the workload is intense, students are almost always more than capable of handling it, and the school ensures that there is adequate support for the students' success.
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  19. 19

    Cranbrook Schools

    • Bloomfield Hills, MI
    • 182 reviews
    Alum:Cranbrook is the best school in the world! After having a terrible time in elementary and middle school in the public school system, I switched to Cranbrook and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Cranbrook helped me to become a strong and confident student. I am now at a top 50 school worldwide and am succeeding at a level that would have never been possible without the amazing faculty and staff at Cranbrook!
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  20. 20

    St. John's School

    • Houston, TX
    • 57 reviews
    Senior:This is a wonderful school. I learned so much as a result of being a student at this school: time management, writing skills, studying habits, work habits, multi-tasking, etc.. This school is very challenging and is most definitely not for everyone. If you are a forward-looking student who wants to excel and push yourself, then this is the type of school you should dream of. You are surrounded by incredibly intelligent teachers, overall faculty, and a very caring student body. This is a fantastic place to grow and learn, and I wouldn't trade the four years I spent at this school for anything.
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  21. 21

    National Cathedral School

    • Washington, DC
    • 33 reviews
    Sophomore:I am thrilled by my school on a daily basis. My peers regularly impress me with their determination, intelligence, and kindness. While my peers can occasionally become over competitive, everyone continues to support and encourage one another. All of the girls are so friendly and enthusiastic about learning. My friends are such interesting people, and I love being able to discuss sophisticated scientific concepts and political ideologies over lunch. NCS offers so many opportunities to its students, from rock climbing, to serving as a class service representative, to dance classes. I am so blessed to be part of such a warm community.
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  22. 22

    Deerfield Academy

    • Deerfield, MA
    • 13 reviews
    Alum:There is too big of a divide between the different races when it comes to social life. Teachers should also be constantly reviewed by the students and made sure that they work to fix their biggest problems so that the teachers become better. While the rumors about certain teachers, such as the talk about how harshly Mr. Henry graded, when it was still around a few years ago or the relatively bad teaching quality of certain teachers, they should have been reviewed by the faculty and worked on so that the students get better education and learn to enjoy the classes that they take.
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  23. 23

    The Branson School

    • Ross, CA
    • 61 reviews
    Parent:Same thing said as in many previous reviews in terms of the academics. Truly demanding - no lie, my daughter was at the top of the best private middle school in Marin, and she has a boatload every week night.

    That being said, this place truly is magical. Where to start? The campus is beautiful, facilities - both academic and athletic are top notch. The peer group is the highest caliber in the country. I mean that. The school draws the top students from both Marin and San Francisco.

    Diversity is surprisingly prevalent here, and there is definitely a huge push by the school. The community is great - there are many opportunities to meet others via events and socials.

    For such a small school, athletics are impressive (and competitive). Most students here are active in some sport, many also play at the club level. School spirit is very strong and refreshing for a school this size.

    Honestly, no real negatives. The commute in/out of Ross can sometimes be a pain?
    More about The Branson School
  24. 24

    Flintridge Preparatory School

    • La Canada Flintridge, CA
    • 78 reviews
    Alum:I am an alumni of Flintridge Prep, and I absolutely loved the experience! The community is wonderful- teachers are passionate about their respective fields and will definitely go out of their way to help their students. The students are all very supportive of one another, and despite the academic intensity of the school being pretty high, you never really feel like you're ever competing with anyone.

    One thing to keep in mind is that Flintridge Prep is mostly about academics. Students do have other non-academic interests such as sports or performing arts, and Prep certainly has extracurricular programs to meet these interests. However, if you are pretty proficient in an extracurricular activity and/or want to pursue it in college, you are better off looking outside of Prep for proper training in your field of interest.
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  25. 25

    The Westminster Schools

    • Atlanta, GA
    • 126 reviews
    Niche User:Our consistent national rankings say it all, and are true. This is a great school academically, teachers are great in their subjects and are usually well-known individuals, hard curriculum, but has variety. Be prepared to work. Also be prepared for that work to pay off once you graduate -- college is extremely easy once you have graduated from Westminster!
    More about The Westminster Schools