Ranking USA Private Schools

Our take on ranking American private and boarding schools

All school rankings lists come with inherent biases, and all such lists are flawed. Professional perspectives on the subject always highlight the contentiousness of rankings and caution parents against overdetermining their value in the school choice process. Perhaps Gordon Allan says it best: "There is no such thing as the number one school. But there is such a thing as the number one school for your child."

With those cautions in mind, presents ranked lists of US schools, based on verifiable characteristics rather than any implicit claim that we know what's best for your child(ren).

Here are some things to bear in mind as you look at rankings below or any school ranking lists:

US schools ranked by admission rate

What are the hardest US private schools to get into? USA boarding and private schools with lower acceptance rates would seem to have higher academic standards. Parents may also find this list helpful, to know if a school they are interested in is, in fact, more challenging to get accepted into. Of course, many excellent schools have a 100% acceptance rate and turn out exceptional graduates. Bear in mind other cautions above.

US schools ranked by expense

Below, we rank US private schools by boarding tuition. Parents seeking the best private education see expense as an important benchmark, assuming schools charging the highest tuition offer the best education. This assumption has weaknesses, of course. Many top private schools and boarding schools in the US charge very reasonable tuition rates. Special needs programming is a contributing factor to the expense of some schools, driving up the cost. Some schools' long establishment can be a reason they charge higher tuition.

That said, the price tag for tuition can give some indication of the quality of education and environment. More expensive schools are more likely to have more impressive facilities, attract better instructors (pay higher salaries), and offer better extracurricular programs, etc. Again, bear in mind that the most expensive education is not necessarily the one that’s best for your child(ren).

School Location Grades Boarding rates
1 Chamberlain International School Middleboro, Massachusetts(USA) 6 to 12 $160,000
2 Léman Manhattan Preparatory School New York, New York(USA) PS to 12 $93,000
3 Gow School South Wales, New York(USA) 6 to 12 $64,000
4 Hampshire Country School Rindge, New Hampshire(USA) 3 to 12 $58,500

US schools ranked by year founded

For our Canadian readers, below, we rank US schools by year of foundation. Canadian and international parents researching US boarding schools may value the age of the school. They might also feel that this will have some bearing on a school’s reputation with universities. Keep in mind that this is a superficial factor. Many newer schools offer progressive, innovative approaches to teaching and curriculum.

School Location Grades Founded
1 Gow School South Wales, New York(USA) 6 to 12 1926
2 Hampshire Country School Rindge, New Hampshire(USA) 3 to 12 1948
3 Chamberlain International School Middleboro, Massachusetts(USA) 6 to 12 1976
4 Léman Manhattan Preparatory School New York, New York(USA) PS to 12 2010

Where do you go next?

We believe rankings are a very small part of what should be a long journey for families researching schools. We’re there every step of that research journey. Aside from links above, be sure to look at other tools and features on our site, including:

  • Reviews of schools include Our Kids' reviews as well as reviews by current students, alumni and parents.
  • Our e-books library offers rich information on a spectrum of education-related topics.
  • Our advanced search shows many classroom, curriculum and support options you might be seeking for your child(ren), along with some you may not have considered before.
  • Our school comparison lets you look at options side-by-side, to closely compare and contrast factors important to you.

Find Private Schools:

In the spotlight:

Our Kids The Trusted Source
Our Kids The Trusted Source

Disclaimer: Information presented on this page may be paid advertising provided by the advertisers [schools/camps/programs] and is not warranted or guaranteed by or its associated websites. See Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Our Kids ™ © 2019 All right reserved.

Sign up to receive our exclusive eNews twice a month.
You can withdraw consent by unsubscribing anytime.
verification image, type it in the box
Our Kids From Our Kids, Canada’s trusted source for private schools, camps, and extracurriculars.