The 10 Best High Schools in Illinois

The 10 Best High Schools in Illinois
University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Chicago, IL)

While there are many criteria that college admissions offices take into account when deciding whether or not to grant an offer of admission to a candidate, the academic achievements and challenging courses that the student has taken are frequently given the greatest weight.

Due to the fact that college admissions offices demand a high degree of academic rigor and performance, many students and their families look for the best high school to enroll in.

Students who attend high schools that offer AP or IB classes have the potential to graduate with college credits while also acquiring the knowledge and habits necessary to thrive in their undergraduate studies.

These demanding academic programs also equip students with the skills necessary to excel on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT.

To help kids and their families select the best school for them, we have put together the following list of the top 10 high schools in Illinois. These institutions were picked because they consistently rank among the top high schools in prestigious publications.

Students and their families will look for the greatest educational choices available to them, whether they are drawn to the diverse student bodies, low-class sizes, and affiliations given by many private schools or the affordable tuition and values of public schools.

The 10 Best High Schools in Illinois

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Chicago, IL)

The University of Chicago Laboratory School, the top-ranked private high school in Illinois on’s list of private high schools, offers an 8 to 1 student to teacher ratio to its more than 2,000 pupils.

The schools, which are closely associated with the University of Chicago, provide a variety of programs through a number of collaborations that encourage students to learn through experience.

The Marine Biology Laboratory Partnership and the Internship for Civic Engagement are two of these initiatives and collaborations. The school’s Corvus Gallery features the creative works of Lab students as well as special exhibits, works from alumni, and contributions from the larger community.

Arne Duncan, a former U.S. secretary of education, is just one of the many well-known Lab school alums who graduated in 1982.

Payton College Preparatory High School (Chicago, IL)

Payton College Preparatory High School is ranked first among public high schools in Illinois and fifth overall by U.S. News and World Report. Payton School, founded in 2000, has 1,191 pupils enrolled as of this writing.

The Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education, the National Blue Ribbon Awards from 2008 and 2014, and its rating as the finest international high school in the nation are just a few of the school’s numerous honors.

The Confucius Institute, which supports learning about Chinese culture and language and is administered and supported by a division of the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Education, is housed at the school, the only high school in the entire globe.

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Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest, IL)

According to, Lake Forest Academy is the second-best private boarding and day high school in Illinois. Currently, the school has more than 400 pupils enrolled, and little under half of them are boarders.

The school’s international students come from 40 different nations and territories, and there are six students for every one teacher. Students at the institution have an average composite SAT score of 1390 and an average composite ACT score of 30, according to data gathered by

Due to Lake Forest Academy’s participation in the School Year Abroad program, students who are accepted into the program have the chance to spend a year immersed in one of four foreign cultures while still pursuing their high school education.

Students that are admitted into the selective program might choose to study in France, China, Spain, or Italy.

Northside College Preparatory High School (Chicago, IL)

Chicago’s Northside College Preparatory High School, which U.S. News and World Report ranks number 31 nationally and number 2 among Illinois’ public high schools, now has over 1,000 students enrolled.

According to information gathered by, the school’s pupils contribute to an average composite ACT score of 31 and an average composite SAT score of 1380, and it has a 97% graduation rate.

The N:Vision program, which offers its students an interdisciplinary curriculum that uses cross-curricular activities, field trips, and community engagement to offer students a rich and distinctive educational experience, is offered at the school in addition to the AP and college preparatory courses.

Additionally, Northside allows academically accomplished seniors who have explored all of their options within a department and/or area of interest to submit their own year-long project that is concentrated on one or more academic areas in which they conduct independent research.

Latin School of Chicago (Chicago, IL) 

The Latin School of Chicago, founded in 1888 to offer a classical education, presently has more than 1,000 students enrolled in all grades, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 8 to 1.

In addition to receiving a college prepared education, students at the school also acquire experience learning by taking part in activities like Project Week and a number of international exchange programs run in collaboration with schools throughout the world.

High school students engage in extracurricular learning during Project Week by investigating a subject of interest like the Civil Rights Movement, the arts, technology, or literature. Some students decide to achieve this through volunteering in the community or on trips.

Jones College Prep High School (Chicago, IL)

Jones College Prep High School, which is ranked third among public high schools in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report, has also received the Illinois State Board of Education Rating’s “exemplary” designation.

The pre-law and pre-engineering Career and Technical Education programs at Jones College Prep High School will give students who are interested in either law or engineering a head start in their careers by establishing fundamental concepts and abilities in both fields before even finishing high school.

Before getting the chance to put their concepts into action, students in the pre-engineering program will hone their modeling and design skills.

Students in the pre-law program will take part in simulated trials and benefit from the school’s collaborations with the Cook County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Supreme Court.

North Shore Country Day (Winnetka, IL)

The fourth-best private high school in Illinois according to is North Shore Country Day in Winnetka, a suburb of Chicago.

The school offers a student-to-teacher ratio of 8 to 1 to its upper division’s 200+ students, and its pupils generally receive composite ACT scores of 31 and composite SAT scores of 1390.

The Live+Serve Lab at the school combines maker spaces, lab space, and North Shore Country Day’s service goal to encourage the creation of concepts and answers to societal issues.

The school also incorporates service learning into its “interim” programs, which provide students the chance to learn outside of the classroom by taking part in initiatives like researching metallurgy, learning Chinese and other alphabets, and working with young people.

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (Chicago, IL)

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago is ranked 67th out of all public high schools nationwide and fourth out of all public high schools in Illinois according to U.S. News and World Report.

Students from all over Chicago can participate in dual enrollment, honors, and AP classes at the National Blue Ribbon school. The magnet school’s Academic Decathlon team has experienced significant success at the state level, finishing second just once in the previous 35 years.

Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and astronaut Joan Higginbotham are just two of the school’s alumni who have achieved success in the entertainment, sports, and science industries.

British International School of Chicago, South Loop (Chicago, IL)

According to, the British International School of Chicago, South Loop, which is a part of the Nord Anglia Education network of schools, is the fifth-best private high school in Illinois.

The school boasts a 100% graduation rate with average composite ACT and SAT scores of 29 and 1330, respectively.

In order to give its pupils a top-notch education and college preparation, the school takes part in both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education programs.

Through collaborations with organizations like MIT, Juilliard, and UNICEF, the school offers additional educational options. While others give speeches and take part in seminars at the UN, students are taught by educators who were schooled at MIT and Juilliard.

Lane Technical High School (Chicago, IL) 

Lane Technical High School, which ranks 84th overall among public high schools in the country, is ranked fifth among public high schools in Illinois according to U.S. News and World Report.

The innovators of future are prepared for success at every stage of their careers at Lane Technical High School, a college-preparatory high school with a focus on science, technology, and engineering.

The school’s Alpha Honors STEM Program and Omega Istoria Humanities Program are just two examples of the outstanding educational possibilities it provides. These events are by invitation only and offer participants excellent learning opportunities.

Students in the Alpha program take demanding courses that incorporate STEM instruction into all academic subjects. These students have received patents for their innovations, published research articles, and received national attention at science fairs.

The Omega program provides students with honors and AP courses that strive to understand the world through the human experience while also providing an interdisciplinary approach to learning English, art, and history.



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