2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST HIGH SCHOOLS IN CHICAGO


Finding the Best High Schools in Chicago for Your Child

Chicago is the third largest city in the U.S., right behind New York and Los Angeles. This makes it a popular place to live, work, and go to school for about 2.7 million people, including parents looking for the top high schools in Chicago for their child.

While living in a big city can have both advantages and disadvantages, there is no lack of things for families to explore in the Windy City, with more than 200 theaters, 36 annual parades, and 552 parks. You can also find some very good high schools in Chicago, both public and private.

According to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), there are 172 high schools in Chicago, and that’s just the public Chicago high schools. There are another 39 private high schools in Chicago. So for a parent looking through the list, choosing the best Chicago high schools to consider can feel daunting.

Top 6 Best High Schools in Chicago

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best High Schools in Chicago

We’re going to try to make it a little easier for you by ranking the best private high schools in Chicago and the best public high schools in Chicago. We’ve chosen three of each and will go through graduation rates, awards, and how much the private high schools in Chicago, Illinois cost to attend.

Beyond our top 6 best high schools in Chicago list and review, we’re also going to give you some links to sites where you can find other top 10 high schools in Chicago so you have all the tools you need to find great private and public high schools in Chicago.

So, let’s get started!



AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best High Schools in Chicago

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the school names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that school):


Top 6 Good High Schools in Chicago | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Top High Schools in Chicago

Graduation Rate

Public or Private

Location of Chicago High Schools

Latin School of Chicago

Not listed

Private

59 W. North Blvd. Chicago, IL

Lincoln Park High School

84%

Public

2001 N. Orchard St., Chicago, IL

Morgan Park Academy

 100%

Private

2153 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL

Northside College Prep

 96%

Public

5501 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Not listed

Private

1362 E. 59th St., Chicago, IL

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

98%

Public

211 South Laflin St., Chicago, IL

Table: Top 6 Very Good High Schools in Chicago | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Top High Schools in Chicago FAQ | Do High Schools in Chicago Have School Choice?

A big question for any family moving to a new school district or putting their child into public or private high schools in Chicago for the first time is, “Do they have a school choice program?” School Choice, where students aren’t automatically assigned by location to a school, can offer a world of benefits.

Any parent with a high school student that’s looking for high schools in Chicago, Illnois will need to know the basics in order to ensure their child has the opportunity to attend the best public high schools in Chicago before they’re filled up.

Best High Schools in Chicago

Image Source: Pixabay.com | Top High Schools in Chicago

High schools in Chicago are included in the district’s school choice program, which can be a bit complicated to navigate. The program includes school vouchers and charter schools to ultimately give students going to elementary and good high schools in Chicago the choice of choosing the perfect school for their needs.

Step-By-Step Chicago High Schools Enrollment Process

According to the Chicago Public Schools website, there are three simple steps to their enrollment process for public high schools in Chicago.

  • Research the best Chicago high schools to find your top choices.
  • Decide which of those public high schools in Chicago to apply for.
  • Register your student according to your top high schools in Chicago requirements.

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Top High Schools in Chicago FAQ | Where to Find the Top 10 High Schools in Chicago

In this comparison and reviews guide, we’re going to bring you the top 3 best public high schools in Chicago and the top 3 best private high schools in Chicago. But with over 200 high schools in Chicago total to choose from, we understand you may want to look at a few more.

Here are some websites where you can find listings of more than just the top 10 high schools in Chicago. You’ll find lists of some more of the best high schools in Chicago to consider when choosing for your child’s secondary education.



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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Good High Schools in Chicago

Below, please find a detailed review of each school on our list of best high schools in Chicago. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these top high schools in Chicago to score so highly in our selection ranking.

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Latin School of Chicago Review


The Latin School of Chicago is one of the oldest independent and very good high schools in Chicago. It was founded over a century ago, in 1888, when a group of parents decided to form a new parent-owned school.

This is one of the private high schools in Chicago that focuses on providing students with classical studies in Greek and Latin languages, while also preparing them for the future with a rigorous college-preparatory education.

Best High Schools in Chicago | At a Glance

  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 8:1
  • Upper school courses offered: 161
  • Percentage of teachers with advanced degrees: 79%
  • Percentage of upper school students that play sports: 80%
  • Annual tuition for grades 5-12: $32,535

Highlights That Make the Latin School of Chicago Stand Out on Our List of Top High Schools in Chicago

100% of Students Earn College Admission

If your child has a goal of being accepted to a college of their choice, then this is one of the best Chicago high schools you can choose to ensure that dream comes true. The Latin School of Chicago has an incredibly impressive 100% college placement rate.

That’s right! One hundred percent of Latin students attend four-year colleges and universities.

You Can Be Smart and Athletic Too

This is one of the private high schools in Chicago where althetics are important. While some good high schools in Chicago emphasize academics over everything else, Latin teaches that athletics and team spirit are also an important component to a young person’s education.

They offer over 65 athletic teams to participate in at the school. Their interscholastic program helps to develop confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline, which they feel compliments academics.



Lincoln Park High School Review


This next school is one of the public high schools in Chicago with an excellent reputation as one of the top high schools in Chicago to attend for stellar programs. Lincoln Park High School was started over a hundred years ago, in 1875.

The school has the distinction of being praised by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 as one of the best public high schools in Chicago, or anywhere else, due to producing many Science and History Fair winners, Illinois State Scholars, and National Merit Scholars.

Best High Schools in Chicago | At a Glance

  • Student to Teacher Ratio, district: 22:1
  • Magnet courses offered: 3
  • Percentage of graduating seniors enrolling in a 2 or 4 year college: 78%
  • Days per week students participate in physical education: 5

Highlights That Make Lincoln Park High School Stand Out on Our List of Top High Schools in Chicago

Magnet Programs

This is one of the high schools in Chicago that combines the charm of a neighborhood school with the benefits of one of the magnet Chicago high schools. The school brings together students from over 150 elementary schools for a diverse student body.

Magnet programs offered:

  • Performing Arts
  • Double Honors (HH) College Prep
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)

Nationally Recognized

Lincoln Park High School has a number of recognitions as one of the good high schools in Chicago and the state of Illnois to attend. The school was recognized as one of the best high schools in Chicago and the state by US News & World Report and by the Washington Post as the third most challenging high school in Illinois.

Related: Best Colleges in Illinois | Ranking | Cheap, Best, Top Illinois Colleges (Reviews and Comparison)



Morgan Park Academy Review


Morgan Park Academy is another of the best private high schools in Chicago. It first began as Mt. Vernon Military and Classical Academy in 1873 during Ulysses S. Grant’s second term as president of the U.S.

This is one of the high schools in Chicago, Illinois that offers a rigorous academedic program which includes liberal arts and college prep curriculum. They also promote the talents and creativity of each student.

Best High Schools in Chicago | At a Glance

  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1 – 15:1
  • Percentage of graduates that attend 4-year colleges: 100%
  • Percentage of teachers with advanced degrees: 67.5%
  • Annual tuition for grades 9-12: $11,985 – $23,970

Highlights That Make Morgan Park Academy Stand Out on Our List of Top High Schools in Chicago

The Whole Child

If you’re looking for a school that nurtures the spirit as well as the mind, then this is one of the best Chicago high schools to choose. They have a philosophy centered around “The Whole Child” that includes providing opportunities for a student to grow intellectually, physically, creatively, emotionally, and socially.

You’ll Be Ready for the World

Global Studies is a vital part of the Morgan Park Academy curriculum. They are one of the good high schools in Chicago for your student if you want them exposed to other languages and cultures. Some of the areas they explore are:

  • Languages
  • Histories
  • Cultures of the global community
  • Service
  • Environmental sustainability


Northside College Prep Review


Northside College Prep prides themselves on taking “The Road Less Traveled” which makes then one of the best public high schools in Chicago for an education built on teaching students to ask “What is possible?” each and every day.

 The school’s ideal graduate includes someone that:

  • Understands the importantce of a balanced and meaningful life
  • Is an effective leader
  • Thinks with agility in complex ways
  • Can learn autonomously
  • Applies their knowlege as a responsible citizen

Best High Schools in Chicago | At a Glance

  • Student to Teacher Ratio, district: 22:1
  • Percentage of graduates that attend 2 or 4 year colleges: 83%
  • Courses offered at the Honors or Advanced Placement levels: All except physical education
  • Number of athletic programs: 29

Highlights That Make Northside College Prep Stand Out on Our List of Top High Schools in Chicago

21st Century Classroom

This is one of the good high schools in Chicago for a student that wants to keep up with the latest learning advancements. Their 21st Century Classroom program uses enhanced learning through 1:1 mobile computing.

Top High Schools in Chicago

Image Source: Northside College Prep | Best Public High Schools in Chicago

The mission is to prepare students for a global, digital world where there will be no physical boundaries to create, examine, explore, communicate, and collaborate with others.

Classes to Prepare You For Anything

Northside College Prep has a number of diverse classes, from Shakespearean Drama and Journalism to AP Statistics and Environmental Science, to prepare students for any type of field as they move on to a college or university education.

This is also one of the top 10 high schools in Chicago that has been recognized by US News & World Reports.

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The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Review


If you’re a family that prizes curiosity, inquiry, and creativity, then The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (also known as Lab) may be your best pick of all the private or public high schools in Chicago.

This is another of the high schools in Chicago that is over a century old, being founded in 1896 by educator John Dewey. Lab is another of the private high schools in Chicago where virtually all of their graduates go on to graduate from a four-year college.

Best High Schools in Chicago | At a Glance

  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 10:1
  • Number of high school advanced placement and advanced topic classes: 20
  • Percentage of teachers with advanced degrees: 75%
  • Annual tuition for grades 9-12: $33,558

Highlights That Make The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Stand Out on Our List of Top High Schools in Chicago

Award Winning Teachers

This is one of the good high schools in Chicago to enroll your child in if you’re looking for teachers that are the best of the best. Lab has 10 teachers that have won Chicago’s prestigious Golden Apple Award, more than any other Chicago high schools.

Spacious Campus

The Lab campus provides 615,000 square feet of space, which includes 135 classrooms, 13 wet science labs, 6 computer labs, and multiple libraries serving students from preshcool through 12th grade.

Because the school encompases so many ages, this makes it one of the best high schools in Chicago where you can start your child as early as nursery school.


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Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Review


The last school on our list of the 6 top high schools in Chicago is another public school, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. The school is named for a famous leader in the Civil Rights Movement who made educating young people part of his life’s mission.

This is one of the high schools in Chicago that is focused on preparing students for college and also emphasizes building character and helping each child reach their maximum potential.

Best High Schools in Chicago | At a Glance

  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 19:1
  • Advanced placement courses offered: 30
  • Number of interscholastic sports teams: 37
  • Percentage of teachers with advanced degrees: 67%

Highlights That Make Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Stand Out on Our List of Top High Schools in Chicago

Take College Courses

Through dual credit/dual enrollment partnerships with Loyola University and The University of Chicago, this is one of the good high schools in Chicago to attend if you want to take college credit courses while still attending high school.

Championship Teams

This is one of the best public high schools in Chicago to attend if you want to play on a championship team. Their sports teams have garnered 11 city championships, and those aren’t the only types of winning teams at the school.

The school has also won state championships for:

  • Academic Center Cross Country
  • Academic Decathelon
  • Chess

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Conclusion – Top 6 Best High Schools in Chicago

The Windy City definitely offers parents and students multiple choices to attend good high schools in Chicago. Whether you’re looking into private or public high schools in Chicago, IL, there are plenty of award-winning institutions to explore.

The school choice option in the district also allows parents more freedom to enroll their student in either one of the nearby best high schools in Chicago or choose a special magnet school that may be a better fit.

From academics and college prep to international languages and athletics, you can’t go wrong choosing one of these top high schools in Chicago that continue to earn praise and recognition for excellence in education time and time again.



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