2017 Best Public High Schools in America

The 2017 Best Public High Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and high school ratings.
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Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Adlai E. Stevenson High School

    • Lincolnshire, IL
    • 931 reviews
    Senior:Coming from a graduating eighth grade class of 58 students, the culture shock was definitely humbling when arriving at Stevenson with its student body of 4000 students. My peers broadened my horizons everyday not only through their diverse cultures and backgrounds but also in the way they encountered and dealt with problems. While my classes were definitely a step-up from my middle school rigor, Stevenson's teachers were not only dedicated to their subject but passionate for helping their students as well. I am grateful for the environment that I found in Stevenson, which allowed me to pursue the unexplored and the unchartered within the context of the familiar.
    More about Adlai E. Stevenson High School
  2. 2
    Junior:I love IMSA! There is a great balance of academic and social opportunities. The people that you meet and the opportunities/experience you will gain is priceless Personally, I feel like the academic support for minorities could definitely be stronger, nevertheless it's still a great institution.
    More about Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy
  3. 3
    Senior:Indiana Academy does an excellent job of preparing its students for higher education. A rigorous curriculum, highly qualified faculty, and diverse student body all contribute to an outstanding academic experience. Many AP and dual credit courses are available to students, and these courses are arguably more difficult than even their Ball State equivalents–that is, Academy students are studying at a higher level them some college students. Additionally, most of Academy instructors have either a master's or doctorate degree, and they sincerely care about the success of every one of their students. Finally, students come all over Indiana, bringing with them unique backgrounds, identities, and worldviews. I have had a wonderful two years here, and I am proud to graduate from such an esteemed institution.
    More about Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics & Humanities
  4. 4

    Stuyvesant High School

    • New York, NY
    • 778 reviews
    Alum:Yes, Stuyvesant definitely does have a reputation of being competitive and while ther are those students who are cut-throat, throughout my time there, I have also met many kind-hearted and genuine students who are not only ambitious, driven, and hard-working, but are also extremely interested in helping out their fellow classmates. Studnets are not only passionate about academics but about a variety of sports, and other activities as well which can be showcased by our annual SING! performance. Becuase of the school's location, Stuyvesant students become independent and learn more than just academics by attending the school.
    More about Stuyvesant High School
  5. 5

    Staten Island Technical High School

    • Staten Island, NY
    • 516 reviews
    Alum:A very tight knit high school with high national standing, my high school is top ranked in academics, studies and college preparedness. We have a nationally recognized Robotics program. The school's small size is perfect and allows all student to focus and help each other. The school cafeteria conversations range from high school games to national science and possible solutions to space and science mysteries and issues. I love my high school and would recommend everyone to try to make it in!
    More about Staten Island Technical High School
  6. 6
    Sophomore:Northside is an interesting school. It is one of Top Schools in the US, which makes it infamous for it being academically challenging and difficult. Tales of despair and struggling make every 8th grader scared to join this small school. However when I entered it I was smacked with the truth, it is a visually intriguing school. The shape is very strange and the inside is even stranger, with art hanging everywhere and colors splashed on every wall. But the best part is the people; the students, teachers, and staff are amazing people! They are open with whatever you believe in and everyone shares their interests and make stereotypical high schools (High School Musical, Mean Girls, the whole gag) look like lies. It is an awesome school, and I'm glad that I am academically challenged for I get to meet people who changed my life.
    More about Northside College Preparatory High School
  7. 7

    Young Magnet High School

    • Chicago, IL
    • 872 reviews
    Sophomore:I am a sophomore who has been attending Whitney Young for 4 years now and I truly believe it is the best school in the city of Chicago. It offers a wide range of challenging courses for students with all different types of interests. The principal Dr. Joyce Kenner strives to give all students the best high school experience possible and definitely succeeds. The diverse environment is very welcoming and fun. The students are very involved in the school community while managing to focus on academics and sports/extra-curricular activities (with the help of our fellow teachers). Speaking of sports, we have had 12 city championships in the past 2 years, and 9 in 2014! The school could use a few upgrades, but that's really up to the city (and we already get a ton of funding since we're a selective enrollment school). Overall, Whitney Young is a great high school and I encourage all prospective high school students in Chicago to apply.
    More about Young Magnet High School
  8. 8
    Freshman:Very vigorous workload, and it's difficult to achieve straight-As. The teachers are average, as well. Nonetheless, the students are incredibly down-to-earth and amazing! There's something about staying up till 2am with your peers that makes the entire school closely bonded. You'll have a high school experience like no other.
    More about Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
  9. 9

    Walter Payton College Prep

    • Chicago, IL
    • 274 reviews
    Senior:Walter Payton College Prep is a fantastic school with great academic, sports and extracurricular programs. Anyone who gets in would be very lucky to attend. It is a great school to foster community and grow as a person regardless of your background or identity. Being a Grizzly is awesome!
    More about Walter Payton College Prep
  10. 10
    Junior:GSMST is a very diverse and open-minded. The students and teachers here are very accepting of all races, religions, sexualities, and genders. Prejudice is not tolerated at all. GSMST is also a very rigorous school. Graduation requirements include: successfully completing a science fair project, a junior fellowship experience (semester-long internship), and a senior capstone experience (year-long internship), as well as having four elective units including two foreign language, five science units including chemistry, physics, and AP biology, four math units including AP calculus, four social studies units including AP macro- and micro- economics, and four language arts units including AP lang or lit. This is a hard school, but the perfect one for hardworking students, and it really prepares students for college.
    More about Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology
  11. 11

    Great Neck South High School

    • Great Neck, NY
    • 187 reviews
    Alum:Great student to faculty ratio. The teachers and staff really make every attempt to make sure you understand the lessons, they offer after school tutoring, free-period lessons, and really to above and beyond to take care of their students.

    From athletics, extracurriculars, and the wide array of choices for electives; the choice is really on the students hand. GNS offers a wide selection of languages, Latin, Mandarin, Hebrew and ASL ( to name the more unique ones). You are Truro you given every opportunity to succeed and the alumni really show you that they've taken every step towards facilitating the success of their future.
    More about Great Neck South High School
  12. 12

    Conestoga Senior High School

    • Berwyn, PA
    • 262 reviews
    Freshman:Conestoga High is a great school with outstanding education, arts, sports, music and tech. Academic atmosphere is competitive and engages students in multi-disciplinary view of education. Students have variety of options to choose classes ranging in different levels of difficulty. Students feel motivated to work hard and find their field of interest and independence in this high school. The sports and music departments are exceptional, passionate and talented. While the cafeteria offers the best food. Fine Arts classes provide fun atmosphere to work on projects, and create masterpieces. Students tend to become better students after studying there, because the atmosphere molds them into good students. Think it's helpful to have a team to help students with mental pressure or illnesses. Otherwise, it's a bright school with many opportunities for students to delve into any career choice they want to go into. Great place to prepare students for college and future endeavors.
    More about Conestoga Senior High School
  13. 13

    Hinsdale Central High School

    • Hinsdale, IL
    • 273 reviews
    Senior:The school is great. It's in a wonderful location, everyone is extremely friendly and supportive. The quality of academics and athletics are both through the roof! There is every possible type of resource available and the school constantly gets improvements every year, in fact next year all students will get their own chromebooks! This school is everything and more of what a high school should offer, it is truly the best of the best. If you are thinking about sending your child there, all I have to say is: Expect Greatness.
    More about Hinsdale Central High School
  14. 14

    Bergen County Academies

    • Hackensack, NJ
    • 383 reviews
    Sophomore:Everyone you talk to about this school is gonna say it is a struggle. It makes or breaks students. All I can really say is that everyone here is super friendly teachers and students alike. Both the teachers and students are all friendly and nice enough to become great friends for a lifetime. A tip for incoming students is to get connected with teachers fast. The more connected you are to your teachers, the better you will be off.
    More about Bergen County Academies
  15. 15

    Academy for Allied Health Science

    • Scotch Plains, NJ
    • 89 reviews
    Senior:My experience at the Academy for Allied Health Sciences has been rewarding and one that I know has prepared me for the next four years of my life beyond its doors. With top notch academics, rigorous courses and top of the line teachers and administration, it is no wonder why alumni return and express upon current students how prepared they were for the work load and rigor that college students face. In addition to academics, Allied Health and the rest of the schools on its campus are home to many active clubs and activities, specifically including the Student Movement Against Cancer and Multicultural Club, which displays our school's diversity and drive toward helping others, and also encourages a multitude of parent involvement. Back in the classroom, students have access to many resources and are never a step behind in innovations in technology. Besides our average cafeteria food, Allied Health is an extraordinary, safe, diverse and academically challenging place to go to school.
    More about Academy for Allied Health Science
  16. 16

    New Trier Township High School

    • Winnetka, IL
    • 421 reviews
    Alum:One of the top public high schools in the nation. Provides excellent education as well and extracurricular activities. The school is located in an affluent neighborhood in Winnetka. There were about 4,000 students enrolled in the school. Many of the students are welcoming and friendly. Because it is a large school, you tend to develop close group of friends during school. It is difficult to get into the top tier of the class as many students have the resources to receive private tutoring to assist in their studies. Teachers are knowledgeable and competent. There are many opportunities to be involved in extracurricular activities ranging from sports, organizational clubs, school paper, drama/theater, music, volunteer work (ie Misericordia, Habitat for Humanity). Overall, I believe the education you receive at New Trier does correlate with it's status of top ranking public high school in Illinois.
    More about New Trier Township High School
  17. 17

    Clayton High School

    • Clayton, MO
    • 92 reviews
    Senior:Clayton High School has been pretty fun. They offer an amazing variety courses with great teachers, not to mention the hundreds of clubs that meet every morning. They have around five drama productions every school year and I try to get involved as much as I can. I have always been in the pit orchestra for the winter musical and I have participated in CHS Busker's Club, Medical Club, GSA, Psychology Club, and Chinese Culture Club. The students are friendly and welcoming and I know that there are many teachers I can trust and go to for advice. The campus is safe and the administrators treat the students like young adults by providing an open campus. I enjoy that every day because I can go out to lunch on days when I want to eat out. Overall it is a great high school that creates a lot of great memories and prepares kids for college.
    More about Clayton High School
  18. 18

    Lane Tech College Prep High School

    • Chicago, IL
    • 2,334 reviews
    Sophomore:Lane Tech is a high school that holds so much diversity. You'll make awesome friends and connections with teachers that will help bring you up and succeed in life. Being in a selective enrollment high school really pushes you to do your best and counselors are constantly mentioning college, including AP exams, enrichment programs, scholarship/financial aid info, and application deadlines. Aside from the academic portion, Lane Tech is really big on sports! Our school holds the most clubs and sports (boys, girls, coed) in the whole city of Chicago! Being a LT student is challenging, but worth the excitement.
    More about Lane Tech College Prep High School
  19. 19

    Henry M. Gunn High School

    • Palo Alto, CA
    • 229 reviews
    Senior:Most teachers are friendly and pretty lenient about tardies and absences (students still do well in school because they're self-motivated). Some teachers are awful, though.
    The administration is okay, although they've made some unpopular decisions. Last year, they didn't follow the AP testing set-up guidlines, prompting college board to cancel the scores of over 400 students for 11 tests. Many of these students (including me) retook the tests to get AP credit. They've also taken a few months to decided whether or not to report students' weighted GPAs on transcripts (which I think is an easy decision: report them to level the playing field for college applications). I know that some of the admins have good intentions (lower student stress to preserve mental health), but they have a problem with listening to the students' opinions, which I think is a big problem because most of their decisions directly affect us.
    More about Henry M. Gunn High School
  20. 20

    Liberal Arts & Science Academy

    • Austin, TX
    • 344 reviews
    Senior:This school is very rigorous. With this comes both an immaculate education but also a deteriorated mental state. Despite it's stressful environment, I am very grateful to learn what I have learned. The people there are all very unique and wonderful and the teachers are brilliant and truly care about your education. I would like to see some administration changes as far as student accommodations and respect.
    More about Liberal Arts & Science Academy
  21. 21

    Lexington High School

    • Lexington, MA
    • 252 reviews
    High School Senior:At Lexington High School I've come to appreciate a diverse community of intelligent, curious and fun peers. The school has a large variety of courses to choose from which has encouraged me to seek opportunities where I can explore my interests and new activities. The students and teachers of LHS come from many different backgrounds, this has made me endlessly curious about the multi-faceted perspectives of my peers, eager t understand their viewpoints and add to my knowledge base. I have learned to appreciate not overwhelming others with my opinions; instead sharing my thoughts constructively while being enriched by the views and experiences of others! I have come to realize that by empowering and collaborating with others, we also foster our own growth.
    More about Lexington High School
  22. 22
    Sophomore:McNair is one of the most schools in New Jersey with an almost 100% graduation rate. It prepares us for life in the real world and lessens the amnt of time we have to spend in college by forcing us to take at least one AP before we graduate. While the academics are very challenging, the teachers make learning fun! Also, we have enough extracurricular activities to keep us busy after the school day is over. Our school is also one of the most diverse schools.
    More about Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School
  23. 23

    Libertyville High School

    • Libertyville, IL
    • 359 reviews
    Alum:My time at Libertyville High School was by far the best time of my life. The staff is incredibly welcoming, and they want to help you learn. Everybody is so nice, and the extracurricular activities are magnificent. If you need help, there are so many people there and ready to help you. And the number one thing overall is that the school is a community. Everybody comes together for causes, and the entire atmosphere is unlike anything else. I will NEVER forget my times at LHS!
    More about Libertyville High School
  24. 24

    Cambridge Rindge & Latin School

    • Cambridge, MA
    • 239 reviews
    Alum:My experience at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) was overall very positive. I transferred to CRLS my sophomore year and was pleasantly overwhelmed by the number of students, classes, and the sheer size of the actual school buildings. The teachers are patient, kind, understanding, and welcoming. They are passionate about what they teach and sincerely want to see their students succeed. However, if you're new to CRLS or a transfer student (I transferred sophomore year) it can be daunting. Some programs aren't easily accessible if you don't know where to look or whom to ask. I didn't know carpentry, pottery, and an array of other interesting and fun courses were offered until my senior year, so definitely try to seek out opportunities and get to know what CRLS offers once you're there!

    Also, high school can be hard and stressful at times, so try to treat yourself every now and then. You deserve it!
    More about Cambridge Rindge & Latin School
  25. 25
    Junior:I am currently a junior at Bergen Tech. Bergen Tech is a great school that prepares you for college. It is a stressful amount of work because of its college level courses, but it definitely helped me become a better person academically. The bt teachers are very helpful and easy to communicate with as well as the students. The only thing I could complain about it how competitive everyone is and how conscious everyone is about their grades. Other than that bt is a great school!
    More about Bergen County Technical High School - Teterboro