The best private high school in every state
America's best private high schools have a reputation for providing a top-notch education and preparing students for life at an elite university — and these great schools can be found all across the country.
Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools, recently released its 2016 rankings of the best private high schools in the US.
Niche looked at performance on SAT/ACT tests, college matriculation rates, quality of colleges that students consider and attend, school culture and diversity, as well as student and parent reviews. They combined these metrics to reflect "overall excellence," measured on a 100-point scale.
Business Insider searched their ranking to find the best in each state. Sufficient data wasn't available for Alaska, North Dakota, or Wyoming, so they do not appear on this list.
Click through for the 50 best private schools across every state:
Read on for the best private high schools in each state.
ALABAMA: Indian Springs School
Location: Indian Springs
Overall rating: 88.20
Student-teacher ratio: 9:1
"Because we have a student disciplinary panel, we are self-accountable," reported one Niche user. Another commented on the status of Indian Springs School alumni, "We've got astronauts, lawyers, and John Green. I'd say graduates are doing well."
ARIZONA: Phoenix Country Day School
Overall rating: 92.19
Student-teacher ratio: 7:1
"The teaching staff is very well liked by the students and parents," commented a Niche user. "They are very welcoming and available for the students when they need them."
A Phoenix Country Day School parent agreed, "The headmaster greets everyone with a handshake and a smile everyday and the teachers are phenomenal, the best of the best."
ARKANSAS: Pulaski Academy
Location: Little Rock
Overall rating: 84.68
Student-teacher ratio: 10:1
"The teachers, education, school spirit, sports, and friends have made my experience exciting and life changing," shareda Pulaski Academy senior. "I feel more than prepared for college and am excited that the faculty and teachers have guided me to graduation."
CALIFORNIA: Stanford Online High School
Overall rating: 98.75
Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
"Two-thirds of the faculty hold PhDs in their field and all are active researchers and academics," said one Stanford Online High School parent. "These gifted teachers are masters of their classrooms but also provide ample office hours to help students with one-on-one tutoring sessions."
"The schedule is similar to a college schedule and requires students to manage their time and be extremely organized. The curriculum is very challenging and may not be for all," explained another parent.
COLORADO: Kent Denver School
Location: Cherry Hills Village
Overall rating: 88.97
Student-teacher ratio: 9:1
"My teachers at Kent have truly inspired me," said a Kent Denver School senior. "They are passionate about their subject, committed to helping students succeed, and genuinely interested in getting to know students on a personal level. Kids have an incredible amount of respect for their teachers, and look up to them as role models."
CONNECTICUT: Choate Rosemary Hall
Overall rating: 98.23
Student-teacher ratio: 8:1
"The school offers you so much, especially academics and extracurricular activities," commented one Choate Rosemary Hall senior. "We have signature programs for almost all fields of interests — from language to science to math, and we have 100+ clubs."
"It has quickly become a second home for me: a refuge where I can go to think, work, live, and belong. I love the fact that all Choate students are hardworking ... and I love that Choate has such enormous diversity," said another senior.
DELAWARE: St. Andrew's School
Overall rating: 94.57
Student-teacher ratio: 6:1
"Many of the teachers at St. Andrews genuinely care about the students, and put in most of their time to make sure we are successful," said a St. Andrew's junior.
Another junior explained the school is unique because the students share "the goal to be open minded, caring, and intellectual human beings who care about what is going on around them..."
FLORIDA: Ransom Everglades School
Overall rating: 95.71
Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
"Our resources are top of the line, especially our sports facilities," one Niche user touted of Ransom Everglades. "We have an Olympic-sized pool and we are located on the bay which allows for access to the ocean not only for water sports but for ecological exploration as well."
GEORGIA: The Westminster Schools
Overall rating: 96.09
"Westminster truly is a unique school in that it provides the education, real world tools, and communication skills rivaling that of many colleges," said a Niche user. "The athletic program is top notch and boasts hundreds of state championships and incredible coaching staffs. Students consistently get into top colleges each year and are driven to succeed. Every student wants to do well and it is easy to be both popular and smart."
HAWAII: Punahou School
Overall rating: 90.61
"A lot of extracurricular activities to choose from and so much fun learning and growing with all different cultures and nationalities, all one big family," shared a Punahou School alum.
One senior agreed, "This school provides me with a diverse community and ability to learn and be surrounded by differing opinions that are listened to and respected."
President Barack Obama graduated from Punahou School in 1979.
IDAHO: Riverstone International School
Overall rating: 94.39
"There is just so little social pressure or anxiety at the school which has a remarkable impact," said one Niche user. "The school is very relaxed and open minded while still maintaining a high degree of academic rigor and seriousness."
"The teacher-student relationship/environment is very conducive to a strong learning experience at Riverstone," commented a junior.
ILLINOIS: The Latin School of Chicago
Overall rating: 93.85
The Latin School of Chicago has "everything you could ask for, from a well-funded robotics team to a Lacrosse club team," said one freshman.
"The overarching idea is to see the kids succeed. The school will push the kids hard, because 'good enough' is not acceptable," commented a parent. "The faculty knows what your child can do and expect them to reach just outside of that goal."
INDIANA: Culver Academies
Overall rating: 90.42
"I love the school. The people here are all unique and finding people to talk to is very easy. The leadership opportunities and experiences are like no other," said a Culver Academies senior.
Another senior shared, "Culver has an exceptional teaching faculty. I've yet to meet a teacher who does not thoroughly enjoy their job or does not actively care about their students."
IOWA: Rivermont Collegiate
Overall rating: 86.16
"The teachers are very friendly and help their students as much as possible," commented a senior.
And most commenters agreed that the school doesn't have many athletic opportunities. "To do major sports like soccer or tennis, we team up with local public high schools. Most students are more focused on studies rather than sports," said one senior.
KANSAS: Bishop Seabury Academy
Overall rating: 85.53
One Niche user touted Bishop Seabury's extracurriculars: "Even though there isn't a system of 'clubs' per se, the students engage in interest areas. They are likely to participate in area science fairs, high school outreach programs at the University of Kansas, etc. The debate and forensics teams are formidable!"
KENTUCKY: Kentucky Country Day School
Overall rating: 87.83
A Kentucky Country Day School junior said that while the school's environment is competitive, it encourages students to succeed.
"The motto 'citizen, scholar, steward' is integrated into not only the curriculum, but the overall KCD experience," explained a Niche user. "KCD's positive atmosphere inspires students to reach their full academic potential and to be a positive, contributing member of society."
LOUISIANA: Episcopal School of Acadiana
Overall rating: 89.72
"The teachers at this school are there to not only teach what students need to know to prepare for college, but to inspire them into thinking on their own about diverse subjects," commented a junior.
"There is a special human relationship between teachers and student in which they teach academically, but also as mentors and friends. They genuinely are concerned about the welfare of every single student on campus," the student added.
MAINE: Waynflete School
Overall rating: 88.02
"Waynflete is renowned not only for the high quality of the sports programs, but also for the incredible number of sportsmanship awards bestowed upon boys and girls teams," said a senior.
"People are very accepting of others' lifestyles," shared another senior. "There is a sizable LGBTQIA community on campus which includes students and faculty, as well as several Chinese international students each year."
MARYLAND: Holton-Arms School
Overall rating: 92.96
A Niche user said that "Holton-Arms is engaging, supportive, and maintains the Motto 'find a way or make one,' which teaches the kids to be self reliant."
"Such a great community of learners. The all-girls atmosphere is wonderful and the girls are really genuinely welcoming to new girls," commented another.
MASSACHUSETTS: Phillips Academy Andover
Overall rating: 100
"The faculty members push us because they know we have so much potential, and I really appreciate that," shared a Phillips Academy senior.
"I would choose this school again if I could do it all over because my experience has made me more confident, charismatic, and open to so many ideas."
MICHIGAN: Cranbrook SchoolsCourtesy of Cranbooks Schools
Location: Bloomfield Hills
Overall rating: 97.60
"All the teachers are wanting and willing to help all students and truly want all their students to succeed," a senior recently said of the teachers at Cranbrook. Plus, "the teachers at Cranbrook have such diverse backgrounds, styles, and interests," said another senior.
MINNESOTA: The Blake School
Overall rating: 93.26
"The teachers at Blake are amazing. They are always willing to meet with you if you are struggling," commented a senior.
One Niche user touted the school's sports teams: "We constantly win state titles or consolations and team spirit is HUGE. We train incredibly hard and the work pays off. Blake excels greatly at sports for being such a small school."
MISSISSIPPI: St. Andrew's Episcopal School
Overall rating: 86.90
A St. Andrew's senior saidextracurriculars "range from athletics such as basketball and lacrosse to debate to mock trial to Spanish Club to International Club to EJTF (Exploring Jackson Through Food)."
"The diversity within the activities provides a healthy balance for all individuals whether they are athletic or critical thinkers," they added.
MISSOURI: Thomas Jefferson School
Location: St. Louis
Overall rating: 93.02
"A special part about [Thomas Jefferson] is that any course you want to take, you have the power to ask any teacher who understands that subject to teach it to you, usually free of charge," said a junior. "Students who go here are nothing short of extremely intelligent, and our school has the power to take that intelligence and teach us not only the best material but how to learn."
MONTANA: Summit Preparatory School
Overall rating: 92.70
Student-teacher ratio: 5:1
"Teachers are nice and fun to be around. Classes are tiny so you get to know them very, very well,"said a Summit senior.
"Staff is usually easy to talk to and reasonable, and the longer you are here the more comfortable it will feel," another student shared.
NEBRASKA: Mount Michael Benedictine High School
Overall rating: 82.56
"For better or worse, sports are going to be a part of your time at Mount Michael," commented a senior. "Almost everyone plays one or more sports all four years and sporting events (especially basketball) are regular fixtures on all students' calendars."
"Nearly everyone is an athlete and the coaches are awesome. Not very competitive, but that doesn't stop the amazing school spirit," added another user.
NEVADA: The Meadows School
Location: Las Vegas
Overall rating: 91.76
"At The Meadows School, the small class sizes allow each individual student to flourish," shared one senior.
"These teachers are the best possible in my state. They genuinely care and they are interested in helping me with my homework. They motivate students and try their best to engage students with their classes," said another senior.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Phillips Exeter Academy
Overall rating: 98.94
One Exeter senior listed their favorite aspects of the school: "Making lasting friendships and great connections. A strong sense of community. Harkness method, the best way to learn in the classroom."
"I think the best thing about Exeter is the people," shared a sophomore. "Almost everyone is caring and nice. Especially if you live in a dorm, those people will be some of your closest friends."
Exeter took the top spot on Business Insider's list of the most elite boarding schools last month.
NEW JERSEY: The Lawrenceville School
Overall rating: 98.72
A Niche user touted Lawrenceville's teachers as "unrivaled in their knowledge of their subjects and their desire to ensure that students receive the best education possible."
Plus, "the school has everything that a student needs in terms of extracurriculars, from typical clubs such as mock trial and student government, to the most obscure clubs," a senior explained.
NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque Academy
Overall rating: 92.54
"Albuquerque Academy is unique in that it provides students with numerous opportunities to expand their education beyond the classroom while providing a challenging education with supportive, smart teachers," said a senior.
Another touted the scenic campus: "In a little oasis, Academy sits on a 312-acre piece of land full of beautiful cottonwood trees, brick buildings, 16 tennis courts, and a four-mile cross country track."
NEW YORK: Collegiate School
Location: New York City
Overall rating: 96.60
"Collegiate has a long and rich history of athletic and academic excellence," reported a senior.
"The extracurriculars are generally well represented and well funded and supported by the school," said another.
NORTH CAROLINA: Cary Academy
Overall rating: 98.60
One Niche user praised Cary Academy's college counseling: "Simply the BEST — there are two full-time counselors and they work their tails off — truly exceptional!!"
"I feel as if I am much better prepared for college as compared to many of my peers," said an alum. "I didn't think [Cary Academy] was that much different than other schools academically, but clearly they are doing something right."
OHIO: Laurel School
Location: Shaker Heights
Overall rating: 92.78
Extracurricular opportunities include "exceptional arts [and] great student-led initiatives like entrepreneurship and Vex Robotics," said one Laurel student.
Another student at the all-girls school said the teachers are exceptional. "They engage with the students, choosing to encourage discussions and discourse rather than talking down to them and just lecturing all the time."
OKLAHOMA: Casady School
Location: Oklahoma City
Overall rating: 88.17
"Casady is challenging. It prepares you for college. The classes are challenging, the teachers are helpful," commented a senior.
"All of the teachers at Casady are extremely knowledgeable in their fields and very qualified to teach their subjects," said another. "The majority of the teachers at Casady have a PhD or are in the process of getting theirs."
OREGON: Oregon Episcopal School
Overall rating: 93.64
An Oregon Episcopal senior said, "the academic facilities are great (science labs, library, etc.) and the people are really diverse. Students are really passionate about their school too."
One Niche user called the teachers "the strongest positive attribute of the school, along with the boarding students, who inject a cosmopolitan viewpoint to their peers."
PENNSYLVANIA: The Baldwin School
Location: Bryn Mawr
Overall rating: 93.95
"This school really helped my daughter to exploit her potential and grow to be a better person," shared one parent.
A recent alumna said Baldwin readied her for the next step: "I was fully prepared to write at a college level and had already learned how to balance a full course load with a ton of activities."
RHODE ISLAND: Wheeler School
Overall rating: 92.23
One Niche user said, "The co-curricular program (Model UN, Speech and Debate, Robotics, etc.) is superb and provides opportunities for many kids to participate."
"Wheeler makes joining clubs easy and fun — it's just part of the culture,"added another.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Christ Church Episcopal School
Overall rating: 84.97
"We have absolutely amazing faculty and staff at Christ Church," touted a senior. "All of my teachers have been available after school and before school if needed. I truly feel prepared for the rigors of college due to the tough (but fair) curriculum my teachers abide by."
SOUTH DAKOTA: O'Gorman High School
Location: Sioux Falls
Overall rating: 78.64
One senior favored O'Gorman's community: "The people that attend this school are very friendly and easy to get along with."
"One of my absolute favorite experiences is the Dakota Bowl that the school puts on every year. It is a fantastic time to enjoy friends and classmates and to get into a game of football," they said.
TENNESSEE: McCallie School
Overall rating: 92.53
One senior said the extracurriculars at McCallie are excellent: "Model UN is nationally ranked; the Mock Trial team tends to do well locally, and the debate team often builds a strong group of students who are involved in political organizations on campus."
"McCallie cares about encouraging students to get involved in the greater Chattanooga area," another student reported. "It urges honor and integrity, promotes a strong work ethic, and fosters an environment where students aren't afraid to fail."
TEXAS: St. Mark's School of Texas
Overall rating: 97.17
A Niche user called St. Mark's the "finest secondary education possible. Preparatory for life, not just for college. As they say in their mission and accomplish in practice, the school cultivates 'the whole boy.'"
An alum praised the academics: "I matriculated to an Ivy League university with high-powered academics, but many of my classes felt easy compared to the classes I took at St. Mark's."
UTAH: Rowland Hall
Location: Salt Lake City
Overall rating: 87.85
"Students at the school deeply care about their academics and usually do not make decisions that risk their chance of getting into college," said a Rowland Hall junior.
"Everything you could possibly need is available in academics," commented a Niche user, "first laptop school in the state, good labs, updated and new school buildings and fields."
VERMONT: Green Mountain Valley High School
Overall rating: 87.85
Only 94 students attend Green Mountain Valley High School, a "world-class ski academy" that offers "alpine training facilities at Sugarbush Resort and multiple Nordic training facilities throughout the area."
A senior described the overall experience as "lots of skiing and working out."
VIRGINIA: The Potomac School
Overall rating: 92.49
One senior said the teachers are an integral part of the Potomac experience. "The teachers at Potomac have taught me not only their respective subjects, but how to be a great friend, community member, and even leader."
A parent added that there's a "consistency in challenging and providing support to students by teaching accountability, substantial lessons, and ownership of work and efforts."
WASHINGTON: Lakeside School
Overall rating: 97.14
"Lakeside invests a great deal in all levels of extracurricular activities," said a Niche user. "The goal is to allow students to find a like-minded group of others who they can participate with just about any activity imaginable. And if the activity doesn't exist they support students creating new clubs or organizations."
WEST VIRGINIA: The Linsly School
Overall rating: 84.03
"Linsly teachers are the school's greatest asset," reported a junior. "All are willing to provide extra help after school and demonstrate investment in the growth and development of their students."
Students also laud the school's artistic environment."Visual arts facilities are awesome. Linsly has a center devoted to the arts which features areas for ceramics and advanced art," said a junior.
WISCONSIN: University School of Milwaukee
Overall rating: 89.71
"Extracurriculars at USM are phenomenal. Something unique to USM is the no-cut athletic policy which allows everyone to participate in athletics ... the camaraderie between athletes is palpable," said a junior.
The school also emphasizes academics. "I love being surrounded by other students that really want to learn and want an intellectually stimulating experience," shared another junior.RELATED: View the most selective boarding schools in America