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.
See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
  • By Metro
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Adlai E. Stevenson High School

    • Lincolnshire, IL
    • 915 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
  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
    Niche User:I really enjoyed my time at IASMH. I'm currently attending Purdue University for Engineering and I would say that my time at the Academy was more enjoyable than college. My friends often reminisce about our time at the Academy and wish we could do it all over again.
    More about Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics & Humanities
  4. 4

    Stuyvesant High School

    • New York, NY
    • 757 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
  5. 5

    Staten Island Technical High School

    • Staten Island, NY
    • 504 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
  6. 6
    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
  7. 7

    Young Magnet High School

    • Chicago, IL
    • 861 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
  8. 8
    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
  9. 9

    Walter Payton College Prep

    • Chicago, IL
    • 266 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
  10. 10
    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
  11. 11

    Great Neck South High School

    • Great Neck, NY
    • 185 reviews
    High School Senior:My experience could have been better if I had been more involved in school activities but I learned to do so senior year and have had an amazing experience since.
    More about Great Neck South High School
  12. 12

    Conestoga Senior High School

    • Berwyn, PA
    • 254 reviews
    Niche User:Conestoga is the #1 school in the state for a reason. A true main line school, the atmosphere is amazing and everyone is ridiculously friendly. If you have any problems there is always a line of people, students and staff, willing to help. The dedication shown on a daily basis can't be topped and neither can the sports teams #PioneerPit. Conestoga is better than almost all of the prestigious private/prep schools in the country.
    More about Conestoga Senior High School
  13. 13

    Hinsdale Central High School

    • Hinsdale, IL
    • 268 reviews
    Niche User:Let's be honest. I loved Hinsdale Central, and I'll always be grateful for the various opportunities it's given me and the tremendous impact it's had on my life. No matter who you are and what path you will take, always remember that you will always be part of the supportive Red Devil nation.
    More about Hinsdale Central High School
  14. 14

    Bergen County Academies

    • Hackensack, NJ
    • 377 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
  15. 15

    Academy for Allied Health Science

    • Scotch Plains, NJ
    • 87 reviews
    High School Freshman:The students and the staff make this school unique and I absolutely adore going to this high school. It is much better than having to go to any other high school. Additionally, all of the students are intelligent and bullying is pretty much nonexistent here.
    More about Academy for Allied Health Science
  16. 16

    New Trier Township High School

    • Winnetka, IL
    • 418 reviews
    Niche User:NT is the best high school on the North Shore. If you have the opportunity to attend, it's definitely worth choosing (over private schools like Loyola, North Shore CD, Sacred Heart, LFA, etc). Not only are the academics outstanding here, but the sports teams are nationally recognized for excelling in their fields, and there are enough extracurriculars to allows everyone of all interests to be involved in some way with the school. The beauty of attending such a large school is the diversity in academics and extracurriculars; there's always something for everyone. Additionally, applying to colleges from New Trier gives you a leg up. Again, it is known nationally the rigor and academic excellence expected here, so colleges are always confident in that a NT graduate will continue to perform to the best of their abilities in college and throughout their lives. New Trier really lays a foundation for success in life.
    More about New Trier Township High School
  17. 17

    Clayton High School

    • Clayton, MO
    • 86 reviews
  18. 18

    Lane Tech College Prep High School

    • Chicago, IL
    • 2,205 reviews
    Niche User:A 4-story building housing +4,000 students where everyone can get a sample of everything that makes the world go around is quite impressive. There is a group of friends for everyone. There is almost any AP course you can fathom. There is any sport you can imagine. There are opportunities you had no idea even existed. Being a Lane Tech student, you are automatically loved/hated by everyone. Much respect is earned as an alumnus, yet so many people will try to knock you down out of spite (usually those whom have been rejected for admission). We literally are the School of Champions and being apart of 3 sports still gives me chills to this day when reminiscing about the battles fought for trophies and plaques to be placed within the hallways to boast our sportsmanship. The bond of a large family is why this school is so important. Not a day goes by where I am not grateful for having such an incredible place to learn, to make friends, to acquire a new skill, to find a new path, to know pain is only temporary, and to know success is eternal. Thinking of Spirit Week and the annual Pep Rally makes me numb with excitement and my mind begins to race. These memories are priceless and is film-worthy. I hope someday if I have children they will be awakened with the feeling of wanting to better our world in someway just as I discovered that very feeling myself. No one does it better as far as earning an education and paving a path for a successful future like Lane Tech. Go, Lane, Go!
    More about Lane Tech College Prep High School
  19. 19

    Henry M. Gunn High School

    • Palo Alto, CA
    • 222 reviews
  20. 20

    Liberal Arts & Science Academy

    • Austin, TX
    • 340 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
  21. 21

    Lexington High School

    • Lexington, MA
    • 251 reviews
  22. 22
    Niche User:This school sheltered its students and only offered the best. It has prepped me for the harsh reality of life but at the same time, nurtured to grow properly.
    More about Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School
  23. 23

    Libertyville High School

    • Libertyville, IL
    • 348 reviews
    High School Senior:There are so many opportunities at this school if you want to get ahead. There is a wide selection of AP and Honors classes, and for the most part the teachers of these classes are great! I especially love the history department. I have not had a bad teacher yet in history, although I have not had a really outstanding math teacher in the last few years. LHS also heavily stresses athletics over other activities. And although our athletics are good, the teams are ultra-competitive and extremely stressful for student athletes. One should not overlook the fantastic fine arts department or interesting clubs.
    More about Libertyville High School
  24. 24

    Cambridge Rindge & Latin School

    • Cambridge, MA
    • 237 reviews
    Niche User:My school is extremely diverse, and the amazing thing about this diversity is that somehow everyone manages to come together as a community despite cultural and ethnic difference.
    More about Cambridge Rindge & Latin School
  25. 25
    High School Senior:My school is the place where I feel the safest. We are very accepting of everyone and there are many extremely brilliant and talented students and staff at my school. We have a Christian Club as well as a Gay Straight Alliance Club, we have an International Day of Tolerance and a Cultural Night, and we take part in awareness campaigns like National Day of Silence and we have clubs like AIM that uses microfinancing to help small businesses succeed. We are very encouraging of students who want to pursue careers in STEM, and we have very strong support for both music and the arts as well as athletics. Our school spirit is over the roof and I couldn't be prouder of where I go to school.
    More about Bergen County Technical High School - Teterboro