The Best Private Schools in the USA: An In-Depth Guide

The best private schools in the USA are also some of the most prestigious and well-facilitated institutions in the world, from the famous Phillips Academy in Andover to the excellent St Mark’s and Lakeside Schools in Texas and Seattle respectively. 

Unsurprisingly, these schools are also some of the most expensive in the world, with tuition fees that can sit at upwards of $50,000 for boarders and $40,000 for day pupils. 

However, most of the best private schools in the USA will have generous and comprehensive financial aid programmes to help fund the education of talented students from lower-income households. 

The Top 8 Best Private Schools in the USA 

Here’s a list of the top 8 best private schools in the USA, from elite institutions in Massachusetts and Connecticut to renowned colleges in Seattle and New York City.

  • Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts 

This prestigious school was founded in 1778 and has a rich history of providing the best education to students from across the globe. The current student body contains pupils from over 50 countries, with 47% of these individuals receiving generous financial aid so that they can study at the best private school in the States. 

The 5 to 1 pupil to teacher ratio is excellent, and 50% of the student body are people of color. At Phillips Academy, Andover, every student is called upon to take part in an activity of some kind in the afternoon, whether it’s yoga, outdoor adventuring, or community service. 

  • Trinity School, New York, New York 

Trinity School is located on the Upper West Side of New York City and was founded by Anglican missionaries in 1709. This college teaches students from the ages of 4 or 5 through to the age of 18 and is a member of the prestigious Ivy Preparatory School League.

The school has a foundational mission to “give generously and joyfully to others”, and runs a successful public service program that allows students to work with local food banks, children’s centers, and community gardens to learn about the importance of giving back. 

  • Harvard-Westlake School, Studio City, California 

Harvard-Westlake School is situated in Los Angeles, near the university campus of UCLA. Originally founded by Grenville C. Emery in 1900 as a military boarding school, Harvard-Westlake now has a total enrollment of over 1600 students and is recognised as one of the best secondary schools in the US. 

The school’s US Learning Center (LC) offers excellent writing support and access to a wide variety of technical services so that students can enhance and bolster their writing, reading, and note-taking skills. 

  • Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire 

This New Hampshire-based school has an exceptional student to teacher ratio of 5 to 1, with small class sizes and excellent college counselling services. The college offers an eclectic and diverse range of academic courses to its students, from Theater and Dance options through to Computer Science and 3D Design classes. 

The state-of-the-art Downer Family Fitness Center is 9000 square feet, with a large section of turf for speed and agility work and 12 high-quality power racks for heavy lifting. The Love Gymnasium contains two whole ice hockey rinks and three basketball courts, as well as a professional-style training centre. 

  • St Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas, Texas

This excellent school was founded in 1906: today, it has an enrollment of over 900 boys between the ages of 5 or 6 through to 17 or 18. St Mark’s School of Texas prides itself on its mission statement to teach boys how to develop character, allowing them to “serve with intelligence, compassion, and integrity” in whatever they endeavour to do as a man.

St Mark’s academic and counselling services help students to achieve their full potential in their scholarly undertakings. The extensive health and wellness initiatives work with boys of all ages to educate them about the importance of mental health, conflict resolution, and speaking about their feelings rather than letting them build up over time. 

  • The College Preparatory School, Oakland, California 

The College Preparatory School is based in Oakland, California, near UC Berkeley. This private school’s motto is Mens Conscia Recti, which translates as “a mind aware of what is right”: every student is treated and respected as an individual, while diversity and inclusivity are celebrated values. 

Students and parents alike will appreciate this school’s thorough and comprehensive college counselling process, which helps pupils get into the college that’s the best fit for their passions and skills. 

  • Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut 

Choate Rosemary Hall is situated in Connecticut, just a few miles north of New Haven. A prestigious and well-known school, Choate Rosemary Hall places a particular “emphasis on the formation of character in a residential setting”, pairing this mission statement with a comprehensive and challenging academic syllabus. 

The innovative iPad programme ensures that every student on campus has access to their own smart tablet, while 18% of the total student body comes from a foreign country, making this one of the most internationally diverse schools in America. The average class size is 11, so all pupils are provided with the necessary support and mentorship required to allow them to flourish. 

In 2019, Choate Rosemary Hall opened a state-of-the-art community and arts centre that’s over 50,000 square feet in size and includes a gorgeous auditorium, a 100-seater Recital Hall, a percussion studio, various music practice rooms, and an open-plan lobby. 

  • Lakeside School, Seattle, Washington 

Lakeside School is a coeducational college in downtown Seattle, and it offers over 130 different courses to pupils in the Upper School. The college does a great job encouraging students to participate in a wide range of activities: over 80% of the student body take part in Lakeside’s art programme annually while over 80% of pupils also play one or more sports each year. 

One third of students receive generous financial aid. The Paul G. Allen Athletics Center   contains strength and conditioning facilities, an athletics training room, a yoga studio, and a high-quality gymnasium with seating. 

Look Into Landing a Spot at One of These Excellent Institutions

If you like the look of any of these schools, but aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to the application process, get in touch with one of our counsellors, consultants, or tutors at A&J Education to book a free consultation. 

You can also find out more information about the best schools in the US and beyond by visiting the Definitive School Guides section of our website.

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