The 10 Best High Schools in North Carolina

Cary Academy (Cary, NC)

There are numerous high school campuses in North Carolina, both public and private. When choosing which school to attend, it is crucial to conduct extensive study.

There are many excellent possibilities available, but it is crucial to think about which institutions are the best matches for the specific student in question.
Students must take into account elements including class size, location, extracurricular activities, athletic programs, and the student-to-teacher ratio in addition to the academic options available.

To figure out what you want in a high school, you might ask yourself or your student a variety of questions.

Do you prefer private or public education, for instance? Do you want to board or do you want to live with your parents?

Here, we’ve included some information about the ten best High Schools in North Carolina’s most esteemed high schools to help you further navigate the process of identifying your top high school choices.

The schools in the list below were all selected from several high school ranking lists that were published by reputable sources, including US News and World Report, Niche, and others.

The 10 Best High Schools in North Carolina

Cary Academy (Cary, NC)

Out of the 154 institutions listed on Niche’s ranking of the top private high schools in North Carolina, Cary Academy is ranked first.

The institution also wins the top spot out of 144 for providing the finest college preparation of any private high school in the state. Cary’s college prep programs are among the top 50 of all private high schools in the nation.

Attending this excellent school is practically a surefire approach to ensure success during the high school experience because Cary Academy has a perfect, 100% graduation record.

The school has an exceptionally low student-to-teacher ratio, with only eight kids for each member of the teaching staff. For comparison, Cary’s ratio is more than double the national average for high schools, which is roughly 17:1.

Chapel Hill High School (Chapel Hill, NC)

Established in 1916, Chapel Hill High School is a top-notch public high school. It has been ranked as the top public high school in Orange County, North Carolina, as well as the top high school in the region for athletics.

It is close to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a highly regarded higher education facility that is currently ranked #29 in the country by US News and World Report.

In the past, it has been relatively typical for Chapel Hill High School graduates to enroll in the university.

Chapel Hill High School, which enrolls more than 1,500 students in grades nine through twelve, is a sizable high school. Since there are 16 pupils per teacher, classes will be pretty small.

Charlotte Latin School (Charlotte, NC)

Charlotte Latin School (Charlotte, NC)
Jiffy.morton, Inulstrate orbem (2)CC BY-SA 4.0

Charlotte Latin School, a distinguished coeducational, nonsectarian day school teaching students in kindergarten through twelfth grade since 1970, is known for providing a challenging academic curriculum and top-notch college preparation to high school students.

Approximately 1,500 students attend Charlotte Latin School, which means that there are about 100 pupils in each grade.

The Charlotte Latin School’s Upper School curriculum places a heavy emphasis on assisting students in building solid reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. Numerous chances for study abroad, a wide range of clubs and extracurricular activities, and the school’s substantial arts program serve to reinforce concepts addressed in class and in academic courses.

There are 11 performing musical ensemble groups at Charlotte Latin School. The site houses the cutting-edge Horne Performing Arts Center as well as five separate art studios.

The 10 Best High Schools in South Carolina

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (Durham, NC)

The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is a unique, two-year public residential high school that only accepts students entering their junior year and older and has a strong emphasis on STEM areas.

In the US, NCSSM is renowned for offering some of the top secondary school STEM programs.
According to Niche, NCSSM is the greatest public school out of more than 20,000 in the entire US, not just the top public school in the state of North Carolina.

Particularly when it comes to mathematical modeling competitions, NCSSM has a reputation for being incredibly competitive. The School of Science and Mathematics also runs a campus in Morganton, North Carolina, in addition to its primary campus in Durham.

There are around 680 students enrolled at the Durham school, compared to only 300 at the Morganton site.

Salem Academy (Winston-Salem, NC)

Salem Academy is a private day and boarding school for girls in Winston-Salem that shares a site with Salem College. It is situated close to the famed Old Salem.

Salem Academy is the oldest boarding school in North Carolina and the fourth-oldest in the US, having been founded in 1772. There are currently 70 kids enrolled in the little school. 55% of students at the academy choose to board there, while 45% choose to live at home and go to school during the day.

There are typically just nine pupils in each class at Salem Academy. A 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio at the school gives kids the chance to benefit from a close-knit, stimulating learning environment.

In addition to 7 AP classes, Salem Academy offers 22 additional honors courses. Additionally, students at Salem have the chance to obtain 33 to 60 college credit hours.

Raleigh Charter High School (Raleigh, NC)

An autonomous public high school formed in 1999, Raleigh Charter High School moved to its current home in the Glenwood-Brooklyn district of Raleigh in 2011. The school had previously been situated in Historical Pilot Mill.

At Raleigh Charter HS, an astonishing 98% of graduates continue on to college. With an average of 19 pupils in each class, the school has 560 students enrolled in ninth through twelfth grades.

There are 30 community service initiatives at Raleigh Charter High School, giving students a ton of chances to get engaged and assist out.

Raleigh offers more than 70 different student-led groups, in addition to service opportunities, giving students a variety of choices for pursuing their passions, picking up new hobbies, developing new skills, and making friends who share their interests.

Asheville School (Asheville, NC)

The Asheville School is a private boarding school that has been offering students in grades nine through twelve a top-notch secondary education for more than a century.

The campus is situated on a picturesque 300-acre parcel of property bordered by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. Asheville boasts a fantastic mountaineering program that includes hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and more because to the school’s great location.

100% of Asheville students who graduate from high school continue on to college. Students are indeed admitted on a daily basis to some of the greatest universities in the nation, including Columbia, Cornell, and Duke, to mention a few.

The Asheville School offers 62 different courses, including 16 AP classes and 22 honors courses.

The Early College at Guilford (Greensboro, NC)

The Early College at Guilford, a public magnet high school established in 2002, is one of the most highly regarded secondary schools in the country. There are about 200 students enrolled in total.

The Early College at Guilford is placed #35 out of all high schools in the US in the 2022 edition of US News and World Report’s annual list of the finest high schools in America.

There are numerous explanations behind Guilford’s stellar reputation.

For starters, the institution enables students to earn an associate degree by graduating with two full years’ worth of college credits. Students have the chance to jumpstart their degree pursuit with this program, saving thousands of dollars and many hours.

Green Hope High School (Cary, NC)

With more than 2,700 students enrolled, Green Hope High School is a sizable public secondary school that is a member of the Wake County Public School System.

In terms of the best public high schools in the state of North Carolina, Niche places Green Hope fourth out of 597.

Only a small number of schools in the state are eligible to hold the honorific label of North Carolina Honor School of Excellence, which Green Hope HS received after only ten years of operation. For the 2021–22 academic year, the institution’s remarkable graduation rate was 97.4%.

About half of the students take at least one AP course before graduating from the school, which provides a wide range of honors and AP classes.

Durham Academy (Durham, NC)

The prestigious private school Durham Academy educates students from kindergarten through their senior year of high school. The Calvert Method School was the first name of the institution when it was founded in 1933; the current name was added in 1959.

The top private K–12 school in North Carolina and one of the top 50 in the nation is Durham Academy, according to Niche.

The school’s low student-to-teacher ratio of just 6:1 gives pupils the ability to receive lots of one-on-one assistance from teachers and form close bonds with classmates in a small-group setting. At Durham Academy, there are little over 1,200 students enrolled.

The Upper School site at Durham Academy has recently undergone a number of improvements to give its pupils access to the most modern, cutting-edge learning spaces.


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