2017 College Readiness Ranking in America

Explore the public high schools that best prepare their students for college success. Ranking based on graduation rates, AP enrollment, SAT/ACT scores, state test scores, and the quality of colleges that students consider.
See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
  • By Metro
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1
    Niche User:For me, being able to attend Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) has been a dream come true. One of the best reasons to attend TJ is the rigorous curriculum and competitive environment it fosters. The school offers a plethora of college-level courses, especially in math and sciences. In addition to the regular courses, the school offers 15 specialized research labs covering a broad range from astrophysics to neuroscience. These are a distinguishing characteristic of TJ, and allow students to question what they're learning in their regular courses through these lab opportunities. One of the unsung benefits of attending TJ is the amazing staff. Many of the teachers hold post-doctorates in their area of expertise, so the knowledge one can glean simply from talking to them is nearly infinite.

    Last but not least, TJ offers more than 200 extracurricular activities and an eighth-period system allowing students to explore various clubs in school offers. Some of the activities are competition-oriented such as Varsity Math Team and Physics Team, while others are service-oriented such as the National Honor Society and the Big Sibs Program. TJ is really a wonderful place for those who want to grab plenty of unique opportunities in a high school setting.
    More about Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
  2. 2
    Parent:My son has thrived there, and has made it clear that he is very happy that he chose to attend. It is hard work, and hard to be away from home, but that's way better than being bored and disinterested for 4 years of high school.
    More about Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy
  3. 3

    Stuyvesant High School

    • New York, NY
    • 762 reviews
    High School Junior:Stuyvesant has always been known as the "pinnacle" of all high schools in NYC, and with legitimate reason. The students here are all diligent; everyone strives to be the best. However, everyone still manages to be friendly with each other, maintaining an amiable atmosphere. There is a wide variety of classes to take, ranging from Hospital Internship to Organic Chemistry to Wall Street to Multivariate Calculus to Video Production! There also is a wide spectrum of AP's to take (with over 30 offered). The environment surrounding Stuy is one of the safest neighborhoods in NYC. There are plenty of places to eat out for lunch: McDonalds, Whole Foods, and Ferry's (deli).

    However, the workload can be extremely brutal. There are some nights where you would have HW for each class + 3 tests the next day to study for + SAT's/ACT's + AP exams to study for. Escalators (yes, we have them) are occasionally (usually always) broken. Also, school food could be better (but that's what we get for being a public school). Despite the downsides, I wouldn't trade this school for anything else!
    More about Stuyvesant High School
  4. 4

    Bergen County Academies

    • Hackensack, NJ
    • 381 reviews
    High School Junior:Overall, this school is a great experience and a ton of fun to be in. The academics are so high that you basically take college classes and most of the people are friendly and fun to be around.
    More about Bergen County Academies
  5. 5

    Walter Payton College Prep

    • Chicago, IL
    • 268 reviews
    High School Junior:I love this school because of the interactive school environment, helpful and fun teachers, and the diverse and nice friends I have made at this school. Because it is so easy to cooperate with teachers and other students, making friends is easy and many students at my school are very social and active in extracurricular activities. The school environment although may be very challenging, the student body and the teachers are very helpful and motivational towards my studies and my success.
    More about Walter Payton College Prep
  6. 6

    High Technology High School

    • Lincroft, NJ
    • 65 reviews
    High School Senior:If you can handle the high academic expectations, it really is an awesome place. You'll meet a lot of amazing people, get a lot of freedom, and learn a ton. Some people don't like it here because they feel that the majority of the class is not "normal," which is true, but most like it here very much.
    More about High Technology High School
  7. 7
    High School Senior:Northside is an amazing high school that provides a great education with a friendly atmosphere. At times, the workload may seem overwhelming, so make sure to manage your time wisely. Northside also has a variety of activities, sports, and clubs for everyone. Teachers encourage a lot of independent studying and always make sure the students come first.
    More about Northside College Preparatory High School
  8. 8

    Liberal Arts & Science Academy

    • Austin, TX
    • 342 reviews
    High School Junior:This school is great for anyone who is generally excited to learn and wants to go to an out of state college. If you are looking to go to UT, maybe look elsewhere because top 8 percent is extremely competitive.
    More about Liberal Arts & Science Academy
  9. 9

    Bronx High School of Science

    • Bronx, NY
    • 675 reviews
    High School Senior:This school is definitely qualified to be one of the best (if not the top) school in the Country. BHS offer many sports, Ap classes, and more clubs than one can count. We have a amazing student organization, and students can express their opinions to the teachers. Here, students can be part of the best debate team in the country, part of an amazing music and art program, and participate in school plays. Additionally, the Bronx High School of Science has a state of the art library, engineering room, and good computers. Students can partake in Engineering classes, computer science classes, science research programs, and music composition classes. Lastly, I'd like to say that I am disappointed in Bronx Science's placement under other NYC schools. Others, like Stuyvesant, fail to have a welcoming student community, where friends are most likely fake, and people are only there for themselves, even at the expense of others. Disclaimer: I know this due to my many friends at Stuyvesant, who have commented on the horrible teachers there and the vulgar student body. This is in part why I chose to go to BHS, and it has been the best decision of my life.
    More about Bronx High School of Science
  10. 10

    Young Magnet High School

    • Chicago, IL
    • 866 reviews
    High School Senior:Couldn't be better. The problems with the school are problems that are outside of the school administration's control (such as problems with Chicago Public School in general and problems in Chicago)
    More about Young Magnet High School
  11. 11
    High School Senior:Although this school is by far the most rigorous school in Georgia, it is also the most rewarding. I have learned to work hard and manage my time to study for all my classes. In doing so, I have learned to value hard work as well as my free time, and I cherish the time that I spend with friends.

    GSMST gave me an incredible STEM education, with classes like Engineering Applications and AP Computer Science to propel me in my career path.

    The culture of GSMST is second to none - our class is very tightly-knit and students are always nice to each other, even between different grades. Our wide diversity provides for some incredible events such as International Night, which allows students from different regions around the world to showcase their talents or customs.
    More about Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology
  12. 12

    Henry M. Gunn High School

    • Palo Alto, CA
    • 225 reviews
  13. 13

    Staten Island Technical High School

    • Staten Island, NY
    • 506 reviews
    High School Sophomore:Staten Island Technical Highschool is hands down a great highschool. It offers many useful and interesting classes such as Robotics, TV & Movie Production, Computer Aided Design (3D), and more. Most, if not all, students love it and wouldn't trade Staten Island Tech for any other school.
    More about Staten Island Technical High School
  14. 14

    Adlai E. Stevenson High School

    • Lincolnshire, IL
    • 922 reviews
    High School Senior:The opportunities Stevenson gives its students are tremendous. Anyone can find an enjoyable class with the multitude of classes offered. The state of the art technology gives students like myself a great hands-on experience with equipment some colleges don't even possess.
    More about Adlai E. Stevenson High School
  15. 15

    Palo Alto High School

    • Palo Alto, CA
    • 255 reviews
    High School Junior:Overall, it is a great school with many great opportunities due to the competitive and high achieving environment at the school. If you are the best at Paly, you will be one of the best at any college you will attend. The opportunities vary from sports to journalism to just academics in general. The school is cliquey, but this also means there is always a place where anyone can fit in. And being part of multiple cliques is acceptable. You could be the studying with a group of very intelligent students in BC Calc during school, then a swimmer after school, and then be with the party crowd on the weekends. The only issue is the academic stress and the cheating which results from it.
    More about Palo Alto High School
  16. 16

    Princeton High School

    • Princeton, NJ
    • 248 reviews
    High School Senior:Princeton is the closest you can get to a private school education without spending a cent. I love the school. It's difficult but I feel like it prepared me very well. Once you leave you'll realize how every an average student from Princeton is considered the top 10% anywhere else. It was honestly a privilege to be a part of he school. You would think it would be filled with elitist jerks and we have them, but it's mostly a great place.
    More about Princeton High School
  17. 17

    The Early College at Guilford

    • Greensboro, NC
    • 71 reviews
    Niche User:For any hard-working student, the Early College is really the only option. It combines a rigorous academic program with a great selection of academic extracurriculars in a small (almost like a family) community.
    More about The Early College at Guilford
  18. 18

    BASIS Scottsdale

    • Scottsdale, AZ
    • 50 reviews
    High School Senior:If there is one thing BASIS has, it is nerds. Everyone is a nerd. This is what makes it such a great academic school. Everyone gets along, everyone helps one another, everyone cares for one another. It is almost like a utopian haven. Teachers are fun to be around as they all have their quirks and are knowledgeable in their respective fields. With a great student populace and teachers, how could I want anything else?
    More about BASIS Scottsdale
  19. 19

    Lexington High School

    • Lexington, MA
    • 251 reviews
  20. 20

    Troy High School

    • Fullerton, CA
    • 669 reviews
    High School Senior:This school is very inclusive and is comprised of many socially active people who make high school much easier for those who are just beginning. Despite it being an academically driven school it still provides students with school events to get to know one another and let their true colors show. From my experience it is a very safe and secure environment and never have I seen a fight break out through my four years of attending Troy. If the school is still around in the future I plan to send my children to Troy.
    More about Troy High School
  21. 21

    Boston Latin School

    • Boston, MA
    • 362 reviews
    High School Senior:Every school has its flaws, but I met the greatest man to ever exist just recently. He is the reason why I can smile all the time in that school. He makes me incredibly happy, he's my best friend there.
    More about Boston Latin School
  22. 22
    High School Junior:My school is very unique. Since it is a magnet school! the students apply and really want to be there. It is diverse in ethnicity, ideas, and lifestyles. There is no bullying.
    More about School for the Talented & Gifted
  23. 23
    Niche User:It was really the best high school education I could have been to, and now that I know about some alternatives that aren't as fortunate as my town, I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been to South. It's home.
    More about West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
  24. 24

    Westlake High School

    • Austin, TX
    • 364 reviews
    Niche User:So many opportunities here. Yes the classes are rigorous and even the band is super-competitive and difficult to stand out as a member. But I think the rewards are that you produce students who are ready for college.
    More about Westlake High School
  25. 25

    University High School

    • Irvine, CA
    • 385 reviews
    High School Senior:UNI is honestly the best, most unique high school out there. Let me explain: every three years, we have faculty follies, which is when teachers dress up and make fools of themselves. We also have this AMAZING tradition of Spirit Week, which happens at the beginning of the school year every year. Spirit Week is basically a competition between all four grade levels in terms of spirit! We build things and IT'S SO COOL! Anyway, you don't HAVE to take hard classes if you don't want to. There are definitely courses students can take that are appropriate to their skill level. But the environment of the campus is great. UNI is a school where it is cool to be kind and smart, so you don't have to worry about trying to be super popular or cliquey. Of course, like every high school, there ARE cliques, but most everyone is super nice. The academic environment can get overwhelming, but it's okay! You learn to value your education and the competitiveness of the people around you because that's what's gonna matter in life! :)
    More about University High School