Best High Schools in America

The American high school experience has been documented and romanticized in the media for decades, from the hit movie Grease in 1978 to more current shows such as Netflix’s Riverdale.

What Are The Best Choices?

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But for a real-life student looking at real-life options, what is the lineup, and where should they be hedging their bets?

How They Found The Best Schools

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Collated in a recent report by Niche, America’s best high schools have been assessed through statistical factors like academics and school resources in addition to survey results from present and past students and parents. 

The Top High Schools in The U.S.

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With over 27,000 secondary education institutes in the United States, the task of choosing just one can be both daunting and impactful.

And though geographical limits do create restrictions, in a perfect world, these are the top high schools a student should be eyeing up. 

9. The Davidson Academy

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Ranked on Niche as the number one public school in America, The Davidson Academy is located in Reno, Nevada, and educates about 229 students each year.

9. The Davidson Academy

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Acclaimed for its gifted programs for students from less-privileged backgrounds, The Davidson Academy has an impressive average SAT score of 1510 out of 1600.  

8. Commonwealth School

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Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Commonwealth School is ranked as the second-best private school in the state.

8. Commonwealth School

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With a 100 percent graduation rate and significant financial aid offered, Commonwealth School describes itself as “dedicated to adventurous intellectual and artistic exploration.”

7. The Nueva School

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Ranked the best high school in America for STEM, the Nueva School is in Hillsborough, California.

With over 800 students, the institute is also ranked the best K-12 private school in the state.

7. The Nueva School

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According to past students, the high school really checks out. “The Nueva School,” one review reads, “offers near-boundless opportunities to its students.”

If the variety of positive reviews is anything to go by, popularity is just another strong suit of this one school.

6. Stanford Online High School

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Surprisingly, an online high school option is considered clear competition to the traditional American high schools.

6. Stanford Online High School

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Stanford Online High School was introduced in 2006 by the well-known Stanford University.

It is ranked as the top online high school in America and is just short of 1000 students.

5. Harvard-Westlake School

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“Joyful pursuit of excellence!” One review states of the Californian private school.

With over 1600 students, Harvard-Westlake School is one of the larger institutes, spanning across 22 acres in northwest Los Angeles.

5. Harvard-Westlake School

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With a focus on diversity and an impressive range of classes offered, Harvard-Westlake claims to prioritize the ‘health and wellbeing’ of its students.  

4. Phillips Academy Andover

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Founded in 1778, Phillips Academy (also known as Andover) is a leading choice for high schools in Massachusetts.

Ranked fourth in the country by Niche’s standards, the school has over 1000 students and over 300 classes offered.

4. Phillips Academy Andover

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Multiple good reviews praise the school for its learning enthusiasm, one going as far as to say, “Being at Andover has truly changed my life for the better.”

3. Choate Rosemary Hall

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Ranked as the best high school in Connecticut, Choate Rosemary Hall is a private boarding school located in Wallingford.

Niche gave the institution an A plus for its diversity efforts, a score only bolstered by the shining reviews.

3. Choate Rosemary Hall

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100 percent of the students and parents surveyed felt that the school genuinely cared about its students, a fact that was re-established in many positive reviews. 

2. Princeton International School of Math and Science

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With 100 percent of their students going on to study at four-year colleges, Princeton International is renowned as the best private high school in New Jersey.

2. Princeton International School of Math and Science

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With only 120 students, the school is competitive, with students vying for positions from China, South Korea, and Russia, to name a few.

The school is known for its academics, particularly the focus on STEM. For a math-minded student, Princeton International would be the one to beat.

1. Phillips Exeter Academy

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Observed as the best high school in America, Phillips Exeter Academy is home to over 1000 students in New Hampshire. “From A-tier academics to amazing sports, Exeter has it all,” one past student writes.

They also note that most of the faculty hold a master’s degree or PHD in their field, leading to meaningful and impactful classroom conversations. 

1. Phillips Exeter Academy

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Though the school is private, it offers financial aid options. And while that may ease the sting of an expensive school, it does not change that 90 percent of students and parents believe the school to be competitive in nature.

For a school in such high demand, is it surprising?

Balance is Imperative 

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Past student Lauryn Taylor writes about her experience of high school. “The best advice I can give,” she says, “is to find balance. You need to balance your coursework, extracurricular involvements, and social life.”

If you’re after a school that has all three offerings, this list may be the one for you.

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This article has been produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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