Here Are The 35 Best Public High Schools In The States
With 18,841 high schools across America, the process of getting into one — and figuring out the best fit — can be just as daunting as applying for college. To make families’ lives easier, we ranked them based on academics, AP enrollment, diversity, and alumni.
Read on to find out where your kid should go to school if you want to create a future leader with a good salary. High school in your region may be the best in the US.
35. Carnegie Vanguard High School
Carnegie Vanguard High School is known as one of the best schools for gifted children in Houston, Texas. School offers a fantastic academic portfolio, and on top of that, they are passionate about building community-oriented children and future leaders. That being said, graduation requirements include 100 hours of community service and even taking the Advanced Placement courses.
This prestigious school also offers a number of different clubs that are focused on academics and community service. To get into this school, teacher recommendation is a must, next to universal assessment scores, gifted identification, and transcript.
34. Gilbert Classical Academy
Gilbert Classical Academy is based in Gilbert, Arizona. This school is mostly known for its rigorous program with a strong focus on the Socratic method of instruction. Complete Gilbert students are obligated to take the AP exam with a minimum pass rate of 98 percent.
Next to classical studies, the famous Gilbert Classical Academy offers impressive fine arts and athletic programs, next to various clubs. To get into this school, students must meet prerequisite course completion.
33. Design and Architecture Senior High School
Design and Architecture Senior High School, located in Miami, Florida, offers its students a vibrant and robust foundation in various arts. Everything is included here, from a solid foundation in fashion, fine art, architecture, visual communications, and entertainment.
On top of that, students have a fantastic opportunity also to explore the world of math, science, and languages. The best part here? Students can actually gain practical knowledge and meet some of the leaders from the fashion industry and so on.
32. Stanton College Preparatory School
Stanton College Preparatory School is known for helping students studying cultural understanding and responsible citizenship. School provides all the core courses at either the Honors or Advanced Placement level, while 99% of students participate in the IB program, with a fantastic completion rate of 100%.
While being in Stanton, students can even gain college credit through partnerships with two local universities: The University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. School offers academic teams, music, and service clubs, next to 50 clubs and organizations, including honor societies.
31. Downingtown STEM Academy
Downingtown STEM Academy is the top-rated school located in Downingtown, PA. This famous Academy offers students an opportunity to earn an IB Diploma, while the curriculum provides Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Pathways.
Academic work is rigorous and requires a specific mindset of effort and growth. The admission requirement is simple. It includes prerequisite courses, a written essay, a teacher recommendation, and an interview. Next to various clubs, the Academy also offers a great athletic program.
30. Thomas Jefferson High School For Science And Technology
Thomas Jefferson High School For Science & Technology is located in Alexandria, Virginia, and it’s best known for focusing on the popular STEM program. This program combines science, technology, engineering, and math. Here students have an opportunity to take some of the most exciting subjects, globally, such as robotics, marine biology, and even architecture.
There is also an athletic program. Thomas Jefferson High School has a total enrollment of 1,789 kids with a student-teacher ratio of 17:1. The AP enrollment is high, up to 73%, while students also earn high test scores. The average SAT score here is 1510, and ACT 34.
29. Illinois Mathematics And Science Academy
The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is a public school based in Aurora, Illinois. The most accurate rumor about this high school? The school is highly competitive that only one-third of the applicants are accepted. The school has been ranked as one of the best in the nation for its STEM program.
On top of that, the school offers room and board for free. The student-teacher ratio is 12:1, while the total number of students is 647. The average SAT score is 1450, while the average ACT score is 33. Also, the graduation rate is 99%.
28. Walter Payton College Prep
The third best school in the nation is located in Chicago, Illinois. The main focus is on science, math, and humanities honors courses. In general, the school accepts students from grades 9-12.
Students even have a chance to participate in a foreign exchange program and go to Belize or France. Extracurricular activities are one of the most interesting globally because they include pilates and horseback riding. Total student number? 977. The student-teacher ratio is 18:1, while the school has a graduation rate of 99%. The average SAT score is 1400, while the average ACT score is 31.
27. Stuyvesant High School
New York City is home to the nation’s best public school. Moreover, Stuyvesant High School is ranked number 4 globally. The school is known for its rigorous academic program, and it offers AP courses and exams. The student-teacher ratio is 12:1, while the total students’ number is 3,368.
Total enrollment in the AP courses is 96 percent. School also has a minority student population and students from low-income backgrounds. The average test scores are 1470 for SAT and 33 on the SAT.
26. Bergen County Academies
New Jersey is home to famous Bergen County Academies. This school is ranked number 2 in New Jersey and number 5 nationwide. Students have an opportunity to take International Baccalaureate courses.
Almost 96% of the students are enrolled in the IB program. The student to teacher ratio is 1:1, while the graduation rate is 99%. The average SAT score is 1460, and the ACT score is 33.
25. The Mississippi School Of Mathematics And Science
The Mississippi School of Mathematics and Science is located in Columbus, Mississippi, and its best known for high achieving students. The school accepted only 100 students per year and only those who are entering their junior and senior years. The school is focused on the match, science, and humanities.
At the moment, there are 245 students enrolled in the school. The student to teacher ratio is 1:1, while the graduation rate is 100%. The average SAT score is 1340, while the average ACT score is 30.
24. High Technology High School
This school is all about engineering, and it offers courses in computer programs, architecture, and civil engineering. Students can even earn college credit from their coursework. How is this possible. High Technology High School has a strong partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology.
School is located in Lincroft, New Jersey, and it continually encourages parents to be involved in student activities, and especially fundraising programs. What’s the student-teacher ratio here? Amazing 13:1. The average SAT score is 1510, while the average ACT score is 34.
23. Maggie Walker’s Governor School
Maggie Walker’s Governor School is located in Richmond, Virginia. So far, the school is ranked number 8 in the top 20 schools in the nation. School is known for its harsh academic sources and strong extracurricular activities.
The student-teacher ratio here is 15:1, while almost 17% of the students who apply are accepted. The average SAT score is 1400, while the average ACT score is 32.
22. Basis Scottsdale
BASIS Scottsdale only admits students from the fourth to the twelfth grade. Once they reach the 10th grade, students can take AP courses. They need to qualify, of course, and if they do so, they can sign up for BASIS Capstone classes. These classes are equivalent to 200 and 300 level courses in universities.
Also, the school offers more than 70 extracurricular activities. The student-teacher ratio is 11:1. The average SAT score is 1470, and the average ACT score is 33.
21. Massachusetts Academy Of Math And Sciences
Massachusetts Academy of Math and Sciences accepts students in the last two years of high school in Worcester, Massachusetts. The school is famous for its rigorous academic program and various extracurricular activities. When it comes to academic fame, the school is best known for its science and math education.
Even more, students have the opportunity to complete one full year of college while still in school. The student-teacher ratios is14:1, and at the moment, the school has a total of 97 students. The graduation rate is 90 percent, and the average SAT score is 1480, while the average ACT score is 34.
20. Northside College Preparatory High School
Another Chicago-based school that made it on the list. Famous Northside College Prep is focused on law, computer science, and physics. Next to that, the school offers various language programs and extraordinary extracurricular activities.
The student-teacher ratio here is 18:1, and the average SAT and ACT scores are 1370 and 31, respectively. Students can also enroll in AP classes and even study abroad for a more luxurious learning experience.
19. Union County Magnet High School
Only one-third of the students that apply will be accepted to the Union County Magnet High School, located in New Jersey. The school is deeply oriented toward technology and its appliance for problem-solving and analytical skills.
The student-teacher ratio here is 13:1, while the graduation rate is 95%. The average SAT score is 1380, and the ACT score is 32.
18. Gwinnett School Of Math, Science, And Technology
Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology has a unique approach when it comes to the enrollment process. Their process involves a lottery system, but students still must meet specific requirements to qualify.
The academics at the school are heavily focused on STEM courses, and rigorous programs, making it one of the best institutions in the nation. The student-teacher ratio is 17:1, while the graduation rate is 95%. The average SAT score is 1360, and the average ACT score is 31.
17. Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Adlai E. Stevenson High School, in Lincolnshire, Illinois, is ranked number 6 in Illinois and ranked number 14 nationwide. The school is known for its strict academics and extracurricular activities. On top of that, the school is famous for its top-ranked sports teams. Their teams even play at the college level.
The student-teacher ratio is 14:1, while the total number of students at the school is 4,028. The average SAT score is 1369, and the average ACT score is 30.
16. Staten Island Technical School
Staten Island, New York, is proud of having Staten Island Technical School on its ground. After all, this is one of the best schools in the nation.
Staten Island Technical School is known for its STEM programs, and students are admitted to the school based on how they score on the Specialized High Schools Admission Test. The student-teacher ratio is 23:1, and the total graduation rate is 99%. The average SAT score is 1410, and the average ACT score is 32.
15. School Of Science And Engineering
Dallas-based School of Science and Engineering is known for enabling students to earn college credit through dual enrollment. Moreover, the school offers impeccable biology classes, next to calculus, and statistics.
Parents of students are also active members of the school, mostly through various fundraising programs. The graduation rate is unbelievable 100%, while the average SAT score is 1370. Next, the student-teacher ratio is 17:1.
14. School For The Talented And Gifted
The School for the Gifted and Talented is known for its harsh academics. The school is located in Dallas and offers a unique program for academically excellent students.
Moreover, the school has various partnerships with universities, so students have better college chances at the start. The student ratio is 15:1, while the total number of students is 261. The average SAT score is 1400, and the average ACT score is 32.
13. Davidson Academy
Reno, Nevada is home to one of the most rigorous schools for gifted, Davidson Academy. Students can attend a school or take online classes if they are located across the States. Interestingly, the school groups kids by their ability and knowledge, and not by their age.
Moreover, a personalized learning plan is provided to each student. The student ratio here? Astonishing 8:1, while the total number of enrolled students is 155. The average SAT score is 1500, and the average ACT score is 34.
12. Townsend Harris High School
Another school located in New York. The Townsend Harris High School is located in Queens, and each year more than 10,000 students apply to get their chance to be one of only 270 available seats. This school is so rigorous that students must have a grade of minimum 90 to apply.
During their studies, students have the option of taking 12 credit hours, free of charge, at Queens College. The student to teacher ratio here is 20:1, while the average SAT score is 1380, and the average ACT score is 31.
11. Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
This prestigious four-year magnet school is located in Chicago, Illinois. This is also the very first Chicago area school to be named after the civil rights activist. Wheater, your kid, be accepted or not, depends on grades in elementary and middle school. On top of that, admission to the school is extremely competitive.
Moreover, the school was given the Blue Ribbon Award for consistently ranking top in the nation. The graduation rate is 95%, while the average SAT and ACT scores are 1340 and 30, respectively.
10. Bronx High School Of Science
The Bronx High School of Science is one of the best public schools nowadays. Located in the Bronx, this school has 2,977 students in grades 9-12, with a student ratio of 22 to 1.
Students here are proficient in reading and math. The school is also proud to have officially one of the best teachers in New York. It’s also considered to be the second-best college prep public high school in New York.
9. Liberal Arts & Science Academy
Creativity and science-driven children are found in the Liberal Arts & Science Academy, in Austin, Texas. The school has a population of 1,111 students in grades from 9 to 12, with an exciting student ratio of 17 to 1. The academy is officially named as the number one college prep school in Texas.
Furthermore, it’s named as number two for the best public high school teachers in Texas. On top of that, the academy is the third-best public high school in the states.
8. Raleigh Charter High School
Raleigh Charter High School comes with an exciting history. The school was initially founded by parents of eighth-graders at Magellan Charter School. Now, school is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and has students in grades 9-12, and 562 of them. The majority of students are enrolled in AP classes, while the student to teacher ratio is 14 to 1.
Today, school is ranked as the best school in North Carolina. On top of that, the school has the top-ranked teachers in North Carolina. Even more, school is named the best charter school in the state.
7. Biotechnology High School
Biotechnology High School is located in Freehold, Township, New Jersey, and its best known as a four-year vocational public high school. The school has a rigorous science program, made of eight different science classes spread over four years — the school has one goal – to prepare students for their further education in natural sciences and biotechnology.
Biotech was recognized in 2014 by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program as one of the 11 schools to be honored in the state. This is the highest recognition that one school can achieve.
6. South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics
The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics is a public learning space for students in grades 11 and 12. The school is located in Hartsville, South Carolina, and it has 280 students. The majority of students are concentrated on science and mathematics, while the school offers a full cycle of the humanities.
The school ranks first for being the best public school in South Carolina. Moreover, they also have the best public high school teachers in South Carolina, and they are the best college prep high school in the state.
5. BASIS Tucson North
BASIS Tucson North has a student population of just 1,063 in grades 5-12 with a keen student to teacher ratio of 14 to 1. The average graduation rate is 95%, and all students are enrolled in AP classes.
The school is on a mission to have its students complete six AP classes by their junior year so that they can graduate early.
4. Henry M. Gunn High School
Palo Alto, California, has two public schools, and one of them is Henry M. Gunn High School, established in 1964. The school was named Henry Martin Gunn, who served as the Palo Alto superintendent until 1961.
A student to teacher ratio is 16 to 1, while the student population is in grades 9-12, with a total number of students being 1,869. Henry M. Gunn High School offers 22 AP classes and eight honors classes. School is also the host to Project Lead the Way, an organization that promotes science.
3. Jericho Senior High School
Jericho Senior High School is the only high school in the Jericho Union Free School District in Jericho, New York. The student population is 1,088 in grades 9-12, with an exact student-teacher ratio of 10 to 1. With this fantastic ratio, it comes as no surprise that the average graduation rate is 99%.
Alumni of this school love to point out how amazing teachers work here, and how they inspired them to be amazing people that they are today.
2. OCVTS – Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science (MATES)
The Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science us a prestigious and highly selective public high school that focuses on marine and environmental sciences. The school is located in Manahawkin, New Jersey, and has 280 students, in grades 9-12 with a fantastic student to teacher ratio of 13 to 1.
In 2005, the school was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Moreover, students love being here, and they continuously share how the school offers various ways of learning and development.
1. Tesla STEM High School
Tesla STEM High School is located in Redmond, Washington, and it’s officially the number one high school in Washington. Furthermore, Tesla STEM High School is number 28 in the nation and number 26 for STEM schools.
Around 600 students are enrolled in AP classes in grades 9-12. The school works on a lottery basis, with 150 per grade. It’s said by students to be extremely challenging and so worth to attend.