This top 10 high schools in the Boston area article combines Niche’s 2024 ranking and US News ranking, along with student reviews, to best understand each school and the meaning behind its ranking. Along with the rank, we will also provide some analysis to help students better understand each school.
Best Private High School in Massachusetts: Phillips Academy Andover
With an acceptance rate of only 9%, Phillips Academy Andover is one of the most competitive high schools that students can apply to in Massachusetts. The student body of the school comes from a diverse cultural, racial, socioeconomic, and geographic background who strives for academic excellence and fosters rich perspectives that enrich the learning experience for all. One of the most outstanding points of Phillips Academy Andover is that the school has offered need-blind admissions for 16 years. The school’s adoption of need-blind admission means that financial considerations do not factor into the decision-making process during the admissions review. Students are admitted based on their academic merit, achievements, and potential, regardless of their ability to pay. Sustaining this commitment for 16 years demonstrates the school’s dedication to ensure that deserving students, regardless of economic circumstances, have equal access to the opportunities offered by Phillips Academy Andover.
2. Commonwealth School
Attracting talented students from across Massachusetts, Commonwealth School is a top private co-ed high school in the heart of Boston – Back Bay. At Commonwealth School, the commitment to creating a tight-knit and supportive community extends beyond the classroom. One distinctive feature that contributes significantly to this sense of community is the organization of two all-school getaways each year to a lakeside camp. These getaways serve as more than just recreational outings; they play a pivotal role in enhancing students’ holistic educational experience.
3. Groton School
Located in close proximity to Boston, Groton School selects 380 outstanding students from grades 8 to 12. Despite the large number of students, Groton stands out due to its small class sizes. Embracing the idea that in this tight-knit community, students will both know and be known. The intimacy of the Circle fosters personalized connections, community influence, inspiration, and transformative experiences that shape students into curious, motivated individuals prepared for lifelong success.
4. Noble and Greenough School
Noble and Greenough School is a distinguished educational institution that always strives for academic excellence and developing character. Noble and Greenough has provided holistic education with various options for students to choose from, especially with the adoption of 5-day boarding in addition to traditional day school options. This model allows students to experience the structure and community of a boarding school environment during the academic week, while providing the opportunity to spend weekends with their families.
5. Deerfield Academy
In the picturesque town of Deerfield, Massachusetts, Deerfield Academy stands as an educational haven distinguished by its commitment to academic excellence, character development, and a close-knit community. At Deerfield Academy, a commitment to academic excellence is embodied in the faculty’s qualifications and the immersive learning environment. With 98% of the faculty living on campus, the school is committed to increasing interactions between students and faculty members outside of class hours.
6. St. Mark's School
Located in the picturesque Southborough, Massachusetts, St. Mark’s School is a preparatory and Episcopal School. Established in the Episcopal tradition, the school blends a rigorous academic curriculum with a strong emphasis on character formation and ethical values. St. Mark’s School provides students with a supportive and inclusive community, fostering an environment where intellectual curiosity is nurtured, and diverse perspectives are celebrated. St. Mark’s School’s campus is intentionally small, encouraging each individual to explore their role in their community and the broader world beyond.
7. Middlesex School
Middlesex School stands as a distinguished co-educational independent school with a rich history dating back to 1901. Renowned for its commitment to academic excellence, character development, and a vibrant community, Middlesex offers students a transformative educational experience. In the admissions process for the 2022–23 academic year, Middlesex School demonstrated its selectivity by accepting only 14% of students who applied. This competitive acceptance rate underscores the school’s commitment to maintaining a high standard of academic and personal excellence among its student body.
8. Boston University Academy
Affiliated with Boston University, BUA offers unique opportunities for students to engage with university-level coursework, resources, and faculty. BUA has programs that allow students to take college-level courses at Boston University, giving them a head start on their college education. This connection allows students to access a collegiate environment while still in high school.
In the past five years, Boston University Academy students have taken:
- 2,689 Classes at BU
- 462 Unique Courses in 63 Different Departments and Interdisciplinary Programs
9. Concord Academy
Located in historic Concord, Massachusetts, Concord Academy is a co-educational independent school known for its commitment to academic excellence, a vibrant learning community, and a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. What sets Concord Academy apart is its focus on learning driven by the intrinsic motivation to do one’s best work, rather than by competition. It takes pride in being a “no prize” school, devoid of class rank and academic awards. In this unique educational setting, the emphasis is not on external recognition, but on the genuine desire to explore, create, and excel in individual pursuits.
10. Milton Academy
Milton Academy is a private, co-educational preparatory school located in Milton, Massachusetts, USA. It was founded in 1798, and is one of the oldest independent schools in the United States. The school serves students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. A notable aspect of Milton Academy is its commitment to academic excellence, ensuring that students are well-prepared for challenges beyond the classroom. Here, you’ll not only be prepared to take AP tests, even in courses not explicitly labeled as AP, but you’ll also find that many upper-level courses exceed the rigor and rewards of traditional AP curricula.
In the vibrant educational landscape of Boston, these top 10 high schools stand out as beacons of excellence, each contributing uniquely to the academic and personal development of their students. As you navigate the crucial decision of selecting a high school, consider not just the rankings but also the distinct features, programs, and community ethos that align with your aspirations. Your transformative high school journey in Boston awaits, filled with opportunities for growth, learning, and lifelong connections!
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