Best Private High School in Every State

November 5, 2018 by Steven M. Peters

Source: Berezko / Getty Images
The college admissions process has become more competitive than ever before. From 1990 to 2016, the number of 18 to 24-year-olds in the United States – the traditional college-age population – grew from from 26.9 million to 30.9 million, an increase of 15%. Additionally, many entry-level job positions that formerly did not require a secondary degree now do.

A preliminary report from the National Center for Education Statistics estimates the number of students attending American colleges and universities in the fall of 2018 at 19.9 million, just slightly down from fall of 2010’s peak enrollment of 21.0 million. With attendance near peak levels, many colleges and universities have become increasingly more selective, causing acceptance rates at many of the most competitive institutions to plummet.

One of the most important deciding factors affecting acceptance rates to a top college is the type and quality of high school one attends. An impressive 95.8% of 2009 ninth graders who had attended only private high schools had enrolled in postsecondary education – an education program after high school – as of February 2016. In comparison, 70.9% of students who had attended only public high schools were similarly enrolled.

While attending private high school increases a young adult’s chances of attending college, it is the prestige and quality of education that comes with that private high school that largely informs how likely they are to be accepted at a top institution.

24/7 Wall St. has identified the best private high school in each state based on rankings of all private schools from school and neighborhood data clearinghouse Niche.

Click here to see the best private high school in every state.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Courtesy of Indian Springs School

Alabama
> High school: Indian Springs School
> Students: 315
> Average SAT score: 1460
> Annual tuition: $43,300

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Source: Courtesy of Lumen Christi High School

Alaska
> High school: Lumen Christi Catholic High School
> Students: 72
> Average SAT score: 1170
> Annual tuition: $7,500

Source: Courtesy of Phoenix Country Day School

Arizona
> High school: Phoenix Country Day School
> Students: 750
> Average SAT score: 1370
> Annual tuition: $25,000

Source: Courtesy of Pulaski Academy

Arkansas
> High school: Pulaski Academy
> Students: 1,393
> Average SAT score: 1310
> Annual tuition: $5,540 – $14,025

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Source: Courtesy of Harvard-Westlake School

California
> High school: Harvard-Westlake School
> Students: 1,598
> Average SAT score: 1460
> Annual tuition: $35,900

Source: Courtesy of Kent Denver School

Colorado
> High school: Kent Denver School
> Students: 701
> Average SAT score: 1370
> Annual tuition: $27,330

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Source: Choate Rosemary Hall / Facebook

Connecticut
> High school: Choate Rosemary Hall
> Students: 859
> Average SAT score: 1370
> Annual tuition: $43,580

Source: Courtesy of St. Andrew's School

Delaware
> High school: St. Andrew’s School
> Students: 310
> Average SAT score: 1370
> Annual tuition: $55,500

Source: Courtesy of Pine Crest School

Florida
> High school: Pine Crest School
> Students: 2,636
> Average SAT score: 1360
> Annual tuition: $31,030

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Source: Courtesy of The Westminster Schools

Georgia
> High school: The Westminster Schools
> Students: 1,874
> Average SAT score: 1420
> Annual tuition: $29,275

Source: elemenous / Flickr

Hawaii
> High school: Punahou School
> Students: 3,768
> Average SAT score: 1320
> Annual tuition: $23,850

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Source: Riverstone International School / Facebook

Idaho
> High school: Riverstone International School
> Students: 327
> Average SAT score: 1330
> Annual tuition: $18,995

Source: AMPERIO / Wikimedia Commons

Illinois
> High school: University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
> Students: 2,051
> Average SAT score: 1460
> Annual tuition: $33,558

Source: Courtesy of Culver Academies

Indiana
> High school: Culver Academies
> Students: 814
> Average SAT score: 1300
> Annual tuition: $48,500

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Source: Courtesy of Maharishi School

Iowa
> High school: Maharishi School
> Students: 179
> Average SAT score: 1320
> Annual tuition: $19,500

Source: Courtesy of The Independent School

Kansas
> High school: The Independent School
> Students: 536
> Average SAT score: 1300
> Annual tuition: $7,200-$13,700

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Source: Kentucky Country Day School / Facebook

Kentucky
> High school: Kentucky Country Day School
> Students: 848
> Average SAT score: 1380
> Annual tuition: $22,540

Source: Courtesy of Isidore Newman School

Louisiana
> High school: Isidore Newman School
> Students: 917
> Average SAT score: 1350
> Annual tuition: $21,842

Source: Namiba / Wikimedia Commons

Maine
> High school: Waynflete
> Students: 556
> Average SAT score: 1310
> Annual tuition: $31,615

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Source: Courtesy of Holton-Arms School

Maryland
> High school: Holton-Arms School
> Students: 660
> Average SAT score: 1370
> Annual tuition: $40,150

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts
> High school: Phillips Academy
> Students: 1,150
> Average SAT score: 1460
> Annual tuition: $43,300

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Source: OlegAlbinsky / Getty Images

Michigan
> High school: Cranbrook Schools
> Students: 1,659
> Average SAT score: 1390
> Annual tuition: $34,200

Source: The Blake School / Facebook

Minnesota
> High school: The Blake School
> Students: 1,380
> Average SAT score: 1380
> Annual tuition: $29,025

Source: St. Andrew's Episcopal School / Facebook

Mississippi
> High school: St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
> Students: 1,172
> Average SAT score: 1360
> Annual tuition: $18,620

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri
> High school: John Burroughs School
> Students: 610
> Average SAT score: 1400
> Annual tuition: $27,540

Source: Courtesy of Mount Ellis Academy

Montana
> High school: Mount Ellis Academy
> Students: 72
> Average SAT score: N/A
> Annual tuition: $8,150-$15,125

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Source: Courtesy of Mount Michael Benedictine High School

Nebraska
> High school: Mount Michael Benedictine High School
> Students: 239
> Average SAT score: 1370
> Annual tuition: $11,875

Source: Courtesy of The Meadows School

Nevada
> High school: The Meadows School
> Students: 850
> Average SAT score: 1390
> Annual tuition: $25,000

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

New Hampshire
> High school: Phillips Exeter Academy
> Students: 1,085
> Average SAT score: 1430
> Annual tuition: $38,740

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Source: Courtesy of The Lawrenceville School

New Jersey
> High school: The Lawrenceville School
> Students: 822
> Average SAT score: 1430
> Annual tuition: $51,440

Source: Courtesy of Albuquerque Academy

New Mexico
> High school: Albuquerque Academy
> Students: 1,130
> Average SAT score: 1390
> Annual tuition: $22,870

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Source: Courtesy of Trinity School

New York
> High school: Trinity School
> Students: 1,001
> Average SAT score: 1490
> Annual tuition: $47,965

Source: Cary Academy / Facebook

North Carolina
> High school: Cary Academy
> Students: 753
> Average SAT score: 1370
> Annual tuition: $22,400

Source: Courtesy of Oak Grove Lutheran School

North Dakota
> High school: Oak Grove Lutheran School
> Students: 455
> Average SAT score: 1380
> Annual tuition: $8,480

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Source: Courtesy of Western Reserve Academy

Ohio
> High school: Western Reserve Academy
> Students: 405
> Average SAT score: 1360
> Annual tuition: $36,750

Source: Courtesy of Casady School

Oklahoma
> High school: Casady School
> Students: 915
> Average SAT score: 1350
> Annual tuition: $20,150

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Source: Catlin Gabel School / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon
> High school: Catlin Gabel School
> Students: 763
> Average SAT score: 1360
> Annual tuition: $32,700

Source: Courtesy of Germantown Friends School

Pennsylvania
> High school: Germantown Friends School
> Students: 906
> Average SAT score: 1390
> Annual tuition: $35,775

Source: Courtesy of The Wheeler School

Rhode Island
> High school: The Wheeler School
> Students: 768
> Average SAT score: 1350
> Annual tuition: $33,865

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Source: Courtesy of Christ Church Episcopal School

South Carolina
> High school: Christ Church Episcopal School
> Students: 1,107
> Average SAT score: 1290
> Annual tuition: $20,515

Source: Courtesy of Freeman Academy

South Dakota
> High school: Freeman Academy
> Students: 87
> Average SAT score: N/A
> Annual tuition: Varies for Each Family

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Source: Courtesy of University School of Nashville

Tennessee
> High school: University School of Nashville
> Students: 1,067
> Average SAT score: 1340
> Annual tuition: $24,894

Source: Courtesy of St. Mark's School of Texas

Texas
> High school: St. Mark’s School of Texas
> Students: 863
> Average SAT score: 1470
> Annual tuition: $29,496

Source: Ben P L / Wikimedia Commons

Utah
> High school: The Waterford School
> Students: 919
> Average SAT score: 1370
> Annual tuition: $23,510

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Source: Courtesy of Green Mountain Valley School

Vermont
> High school: Green Mountain Valley School
> Students: 106
> Average SAT score: 1360
> Annual tuition: $40,360

Source: Courtesy of The Potomac School

Virginia
> High school: The Potomac School
> Students: 1,060
> Average SAT score: 1380
> Annual tuition: $38,550

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Source: Courtesy of Lakeside School

Washington
> High school: Lakeside School
> Students: 838
> Average SAT score: 1440
> Annual tuition: $32,000

Source: Courtesy of The Linsly School

West Virginia
> High school: The Linsly School
> Students: 424
> Average SAT score: 1230
> Annual tuition: $18,830

Source: Courtesy of The Prairie School

Wisconsin
> High school: The Prairie School
> Students: 634
> Average SAT score: 1330
> Annual tuition: $18,990

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Source: Courtesy of Jackson Hole Community School

Wyoming
> High school: Jackson Hole Community School
> Students: 84
> Average SAT score: 1350
> Annual tuition: $22,600

Detailed findings:

Private school students made up 10.3% of all elementary and secondary school students in the United States as of 2015. These students demonstrated an overall higher level of educational accomplishment than students in the public education system.

Students who attend the country’s best private high schools frequently have the highest average scores on standardized tests. While the average SAT score for all students in 2018 was 1068, according to non-profit The College Board, the average score at schools highlighted on our list was well over 1300 in in the vast majority of cases, according to Niche.

Students at the best private high schools generally enjoy smaller class sizes. The pupil-to-teacher ratio was 16.1 in the average public school and 12.2 in private schools in 2014. All but six of the best private schools have fewer than 10 students per teacher. Vermont’s Green Mountain Valley School has only three students per teacher, while Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Community School and Connecticut’s Choate Rosemary Hall each have four.

Of course, these benefits come at a price and the relatively expensive tuition at these schools puts attendance out of reach for many. Tuition varies between the various private schools. The most expensive school – St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware – has a yearly tuition of $55,500. New Jersey’s The Lawrenceville School costs $51,440. One year’s tuition at Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo, North Dakota, is less than $9,000, however.

Methodology:

To determine the best private high school in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed rankings for all private schools from school and neighborhood data clearinghouse Niche. Data on the number of students, average SAT score, and annual tuition also came from Niche. When tuition data was not available from Niche, outside sources were used.