The Most Expensive Private High Schools in America by State
College costs have risen astronomically over the years, but in some states, private high schools now cost more than college. That’s certainly true of many of the high schools on this list.
The most expensive private high schools in the country have a few things in common. These 50 ultra-prestigious schools all feature outstanding facilities, rigorous academic coursework, a wealth of resources … and, of course, an incredibly hefty price tag.
Ever wonder what it costs to go to one of these top-rate institutions? Here are the most expensive private high schools in America by state, according to stats from Niche and Private School Review.
Alabama: Indian Springs School
Location: Indian Springs
Led by its official motto, “Learning Through Living,” Indian Springs School fosters an atmosphere of creativity, intellectualism, innovative thinking and a true love of learning.
Its 350-acre campus serves grades 8-12 and hosts both boarding and day students. Its hefty curriculum includes 15 AP courses, countless independent study options (Indian Springs is a founding school in the Mastery Transcript Consortium, a collective of high schools focused on individualized learning), a remarkable arts program and 39 STEM classes.
Alaska: Grace Christian School
Grace Christian School serves about 544 students in grades K-12. The curriculum is Christian-focused, with a college prep program that ensures 95 percent of graduates go to attend a four-year college.
With a student-teacher ratio of 12:1, students get a lot of personal attention, and the school's athletics program is one of the best in the state.
Arizona: Phoenix Country Day School
Location: Paradise Valley
The elite Phoenix Country Day School has an enrollment of 700 students that start as young as pre-kindergarten and attend through 12th grade. It offers a distinctive model of academic excellence, with an array of challenging, university-level courses — Postmodernism, Comparative Genocide, Science of Self and the Natural History of the Sonoran Desert are a few examples — and top athletics and arts programming.
Oh, and that’s not to mention that all of this is set against the stunning backdrop of the Praying Monk of Camelback Mountain.
Arkansas: Subiaco Academy
Nestled at the foothills of the scenic Ouachita mountains, Subiaco Academy is a private Roman Catholic boarding and day school for boys that was founded in 1928. Spirituality and community fellowship are of the utmost importance at this historic school — as are academic excellence, arts appreciation, and extracurriculars in the form of student groups like the Cultural Awareness at Subiaco Academy (CASA), Robotics Club, the Order of the Blue Arrow and more.
The school sees an average enrollment of about 200 students a year in grades 7-12.
California: The Cate School
Tuition: $62,900 (boarding) vs. $49,700 (day)
The Cate School routinely makes “Best of America" high school lists — the Princeton Review named it the 14th best boarding school in America — and considering the caliber of academics here, it’s not hard to see why.
A sizable percentage of each year’s class is either National Merit Commended Scholars or National Merit Finalists, and there are more than 50 advanced and honors courses offered here. It has quite the international presence as well, with a current enrollment of 270 students (grades 9-12) from 31 different states and 18 foreign countries.
Colorado: Colorado Rocky Mountain School
Tuition: $61,000 (boarding) vs. $38,300 (day)
Founded in 1953, the top-rated Colorado Rocky Mountain School is intentionally sized at about 165 students, which means all students enjoy a sense of close-knit community and plenty of individualized attention.
Serving students in grades 9-12, the curriculum is a seamless blend of college-prep academics, project-based learning, service activities and (thanks to the school’s serene mountain setting) exciting outdoor adventure programming.
Connecticut: Salisbury School
Tuition: $63,250 (boarding) vs. $47,500 (day)
At the Salisbury School, academic rigor is prized — 100 percent of its graduates have been accepted to a four-year college or university, and the faculty are well-regarded as some of the best teachers in the country.
In addition to academics, the school has a nationally recognized lacrosse team and hockey team. This private, all-male prep school is one of the last of its kind in New England. It serves an average of 325 students each year in grades 9-12.
Delaware: St. Andrew’s School
Founded in 1929, St. Andrew’s School is an independent, co-ed, all-boarding, Episcopal high school that’s dedicated to “tying education to a public purpose.” On that note, they offer more financial aid than most other pricey private schools.
In addition to a grueling academic program, the school’s about 311 students (grades 9-12) can pick from more than 20 extracurricular activities and a bevy of sports, including basketball, bowling, dance, swimming, volleyball, running and more.
Florida: The Vanguard School
Location: Lake Wales
Tuition: $49,000 (boarding) vs. $25,500 (day)
An internationally recognized and fully accredited institution with a maximum enrollment of just 140 students (grades 6-12), The Vanguard School has a truly enviable campus that consists of a state-of-the-art media center, library, cafeteria, fitness center, performing arts center and more.
The school also specializes in educating students who experience learning difficulties, as individualized learning and gentle mentorship in a collaborative, safe environment are the hallmarks of a Vanguard education.
Georgia: Darlington School
Tuition: $52,820 (boarding) vs. $21,700 (day)
Curiosity and service are considered to be important values at the Darlington School, scenically situated at the foothills of the Lookout Mountains. The day and boarding school serves students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12, with a student body that represents 24 countries.
What looks more like a college campus than a high school spread across 500 acres, Darlington boasts an intensive academic structure, tons of fine arts opportunities and a competitive athletics program.
Hawaii: Hawaii Preparatory Academy
Tuition: $55,000 (boarding) vs. $27,500 (day)
At Hawaii Preparatory Academy, students (grades K-12) pursue a well-rounded course of studies in small, intimate classes led by talented faculty.
The curriculum is unique in that it offers students the chance to learn in real-world settings; for instance, students can take marine science courses in conjunction with the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.
Idaho: Sun Valley Community School
Location: Sun Valley
Tuition: $49,250 (boarding) vs. $31,250 (day)
Students at Sun Valley Community School can take advantage of a rigorous, rewarding college prep program that includes community service, outdoor education, athletics and fine performing arts.
Like most schools on this list, the educational environment here is one that caters to individual differences and learning styles. With about 400 students, the school accommodates grades pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
Illinois: Brehm Preparatory School
Tuition: $77,500 (boarding) vs. $46,500 (day)
Offering a uniquely supportive holistic program that addresses each student’s individual needs, Brehm Preparatory School is a popular, family-style boarding school that’s for students with complex learning disabilities.
Apart from the core curriculum, there are several additional programs that include a four-week summer program and the Brehm Arrowsmith Program.
Indiana: Culver Academies
Tuition: $50,135 (boarding) vs. $40,135 (day)
Culver Academies is a college-prep boarding school that comprises three entities — Culver Military Academy for boys, Culver Girls Academy, and the Culver Summer Schools and Camps — where “leadership and responsible citizenship in society” are key values.
Students develop an innovative spirit, as well as strong leadership and academic skills, via a cutting-edge, comprehensive academic program that rivals that of any other top private high school.
Iowa: Scattergood Friends School
Location: West Branch
Tuition: $34,500 (boarding) vs. $19,600 (day)
At Scattergood Friends school, students experience a close, tight-knit community, classes with a social justice bent and rich coursework that’s bound to prepare them for any college experience. The progressive school was founded in 1890 and serves only 24 students in grades 9-12.
Situated on 126 acres, the school features a working organic farm, restored prairie and living laboratories for project-based learning. Scattergood alumni have gone on to attend Oberlin, Reed, Cornell and dozens of other top universities.
Kansas: Horizon Academy
Horizon Academy is the only private, fully accredited school for students (grades 1-12) with dyslexia and other specific learning abilities in the Kansas City area.
Staff are highly trained specialists who focus on the whole child, imparting the right set of learning strategies along with self-advocacy and social skills. There are approximately 77 students attending the school, which has a student-to-teacher ratio of 5:1.
Kentucky: Louisville Collegiate School
A Louisville Collegiate School education is held in high esteem, thanks to the school’s dedication to imbuing students with real-life leadership skills and a deeply felt moral compass that’s necessary for civic and global engagement. Founded in 1915, the school enrolls 640 students in grades PreK-12.
The liberal arts–focused curriculum is highly relevant and rigorous as well.
Louisiana: McGehee School
Location: New Orleans
Founded in 1912 as an independent college-prep school for girls, the McGehee School has several accolades and claims to fame: 100 percent of graduates attend college, there are honors and/or AP courses offered in virtually every discipline and the school has a nationally recognized Service Learning curriculum.
Spread across 10 buildings in New Orleans’ Garden District, classes take place in historic mansions that add an undeniable sense of charm to the experience.
Maine: Kents Hill School
Tuition: $61,950 (boarding) vs. $32,500 (day)
A co-educational boarding school just three hours north of Boston, Kents Hill School boasts very low student-to-faculty ratios, a broad yet demanding academic curriculum, and a warm, welcoming on-campus community. Enrollment consists of 245 students in grades 9-12.
These students take part in a holistic experience that combines leadership development, academics, arts, athletics and extracurriculars.
Maryland: St. Timothy’s School
Established in 1832, St. Timothy’s School is a private boarding school for up to 200 girls in grades 9-12 that offers both the International Baccalaureate Diploma and the Middle Years Program.
Students cherish the individualized attention that’s given, in addition to the lively atmosphere, spiritual richness and wide variety of thought-provoking courses, summer programs, internships and more.
Massachusetts: Concord Academy
Tuition: $62,975 (boarding) vs. $50,445 (day)
Situated on a 39-acre campus in a historic area near Boston (Henry David Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott lived here), the renowned Concord Academy prizes collaboration, a close-knit community, and a rigorous approach to the sciences, arts and humanities.
Students at Concord balance academics with longstanding traditions, club meetings and individual passions, all within a structured framework. Now a co-educational school, the academy became the first all-girls’ boarding school in New England to make the switch in 1971. Currently, 378 male and female students in grades 9-12 attend.
Michigan: The Leelanau School
Location: Glen Arbor
Tuition: $54,650 (boarding) vs. $31,825 (day)
The well-regarded Leelanau School was founded in 1929 and bills itself as “not your typical boarding and day high school.” The school has a long, rich history of teaching students with various learning styles and helping students (grades 9-12) develop their own personal strengths, through small-class sizes and integrated learning support.
Above all, a commitment to whole-person wellness is the cornerstone of a Leelanau education.
Minnesota: Shattuck-St. Mary’s School
Tuition: $52,750 (boarding) vs. $35,250 (day)
One of the oldest college prep schools in the Midwest, established in 1858, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School features an individualized curriculum that blends tradition with innovation. Their Centers of Excellence offer students the chance to pursue their personal passions in the areas of academics, athletics and arts alike. These Centers include BioScience, Engineering, Vocal Performance, The Major, Pre-Conservatory Music, Golf, Hockey, Soccer and Figure Skating.
The school serves approximately 472 students in grades 6-12.
Mississippi: St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
At St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, more than 1,100 students (grades PreK-12) are encouraged to explore their individual interests and strengths via the school’s intensive college preparatory program, which ascribes to the Episcopal tradition.
In addition to fostering academic growth, the St. Andrews community nurtures moral responsibility, arts and athletic pursuits, and community involvement. It's the only school in the state and one of only 50 schools across the U.S. to receive a $2 million Malone Family Foundation grant to create scholarships for gifted students with financial need.
Missouri: Agape Boarding School
Nestled on a gorgeous 200-acre ranch in southwest Missouri, Agape Boarding School is designed specifically for teen boys struggling with behavioral problems, either in school, at home or in society.
Though tuition isn’t exactly cheap, Agape has much to offer its students, including 24/7 supervision, accredited academics, vocational training, mentoring, sports and other activities.
Montana: Bozeman Field School
Recently founded in 2017, Bozeman Field School offers a solid, unique college-prep curriculum that’s built on immersive, place-based learning. Students get to choose from a variety of community-based electives and internships, in addition to academics.
They also take part in four, one-week expeditions, exploring places like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and canoeing on the Upper Missouri River Breaks.
Nebraska: The Roberts Academy
At The Roberts Academy, the goal is to help each student (grades 7-12) learn by the method that works best for them, and educators view themselves as a “community of lifelong learners.”
The school emphasizes the Montessori method and an intergenerational approach to learning, with students doing weekly activities with dementia patients in addition to regular coursework and campus life.
Nevada: Sage Ridge School
A leading co-educational school in northern Nevada, Sage Ridge School provides students with world-class educational opportunities that imbue them with a true love of learning.
College-prep classes in all departments are small in size, so students really get to know each other and work with their teachers on a one-on-one basis.
New Hampshire: St. Paul’s School
At St. Paul’s School, educators are dedicated to equipping students with humanistic values and a strong intellectual and moral background, via collaborative, innovative coursework and service work. The 2,000-acre campus enrolls about 534 students in grades 9-12.
The boarding school requires participation in four areas of community life, apart from the academic curriculum. These include the Community Outreach Program, Athletics, the Living in Community Program and the Chapel Program.
New Jersey: The Lawrenceville School
Tuition: $66,360 (boarding) vs. $54,890 (day)
The Lawrenceville School has always been regarded as one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the country, likely because it’s one of the oldest. Founded in 1810, this top-rated school is located on 700 acres in the historic village of Lawrenceville.
Its mission is to inspire and educate its about 817 students (grades 9-12) through fulfilling coursework, global community projects and intellectual discourse.
New Mexico: Albuquerque Academy
A private, co-educational, college-prep school for about 1,149 students in grades 6-12, Albuquerque Academy has been at the top of the high school heap for more than 60 years, with more than 7,000 alumni living across the U.S. and in nearly 50 countries.
The academy has a challenging curriculum that includes 25 AP courses, as well as community service programs, global languages and experiential education.
New York: Horace Mann School
Expensive boarding schools are a dime a dozen in New York, but the Horace Mann School takes the cake. At this prestigious learning academy, students cultivate a nuanced understanding of core subjects as well as foreign languages, computer science and robotics, the arts and physical education, in addition to taking part in an outdoor experience-based leadership curriculum.
Founded in 1887, Horace Mann School is a member of the Ivy Preparatory School League and serves approximately 1,696 students from nursery school to 12th grade.
North Carolina: Asheville School
Tuition: $60,525 (boarding) vs. $35,675 (day)
Situated in quaint Asheville, encompassed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville School is both a lovely campus (it was named the most beautiful private high school in North Carolina by Architectural Digest) and a rigorous college prep experience for about 295 students.
Faculty is focused on teaching “21st century and timeless skills in a traditional setting, where students are known and loved.” Every year, the majority of recent grads attend colleges and universities that Barron’s magazine rates as “highly selective.”
North Dakota: Dakota Adventist Academy
At Dakota Adventist Academy, students (grades 9-12) hail from all over the world — the school has a proud history that spans more than 100 years, and academic traditions are firmly rooted in the Seventh-day Adventist faith.
The campus, which is nestled in the heart of the Missouri River Valley, is gorgeous, and in addition to academics, outreach and community building are cherished here.
Ohio: Western Reserve Academy
Tuition: $60,850 (boarding) vs. $39,600 (day)
Ranked the No. 1 boarding school and private high school in Ohio by several higher ed publications, as well as the most beautiful private school by Architectural Digest, Western Reserve Academy is a selective, enriching breeding ground for its about 370 students (grades 9-12) focused on achieving academic success.
Students study on a 190-acre plot of land, where the school has stood since being established in 1826. It’s not cheap to attend, but the school’s many awards and accolades speak for themselves.
Oklahoma: Casady School
Location: Oklahoma City
Located in Oklahoma City, Casady School promotes and encourages academic excellence and deeper-level learning through a demanding college-prep curriculum and innovative class offerings.
The approximately 900 students (grades K-12) also participate in competitive athletics and physical education and receive instruction in theology and ethics, as expressed in the Episcopal tradition.
Oregon: Delphian School
Tuition: $56,015 (boarding) vs. $31,117 (day)
The Delphian School provides a peaceful, friendly, creative atmosphere for independent-minded, curious students from all over the country. Personalized education, community service and personal ethics are held in high regard; 100 percent of Delphian students will participate in multiple apprenticeships, projects or internships in their field of interest by graduation.
Pennsylvania: Germantown Friends School
Founded in 1845, Germantown Friends School is a Quaker, co-educational day school for grades PreK-12 in the historic Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Its mission is to “seek truth, challenge the intellect, honor differences, embrace the city, and nurture each student’s mind, body and spirit,” and their intellectually intensive programming certainly reflects those values.
Its about 1,021 students consist of National Merit Scholars and top athletes, and 100 percent of graduates are accepted to a four-year university.
Rhode Island: Portsmouth Abbey School
Tuition: $63,050 (boarding) vs. $39,810 (day)
Portsmouth Abbey School is a Catholic, co-educational boarding and day school situated on a scenic, 526-acre stretch along Narragansett Bay.
With its comprehensive, structured academic, athletics and residential life program, Portsmouth Abbey is nearly unparalleled when it comes to intellectual rigor and life skills development. Founded in 1926, the school serves about 359 students in grades 9-12.
South Carolina: Porter-Gaud School
An Episcopal, independent, college-prep day school that fosters a truly challenging academic environment, Porter-Gaud School is defined by its excellent, passionate educators and rich coursework offerings. Founded in 1867, the school serves about 980 students in elementary, middle and high school.
For older students, the college admissions process starts early, with orientation in ninth grade, and by junior year, students start to meet individually with college counselors and advisors.
South Dakota: Freeman Academy
Tuition: $55,630 (boarding) vs. $30,155 (day)
Best known for its award-winning fine arts program (which includes choral and instrumental instruction, as well as drama and oral interpretation), the Freeman Academy is a fertile ground for high schoolers who display an interest in the arts.
It’s also a highly regarded academic institution.
Tennessee: Baylor School
Tuition: $51,810 (boarding) vs. $25,440 (day)
A leading college-prep school founded in 1893, Baylor School combines a strong academic tradition with a commitment to community service and innovative thinking.
The results speak for themselves: Last year, 209 students took 442 AP exams, with 88 percent scoring 3 or higher (which means they passed). Plus, the most recent graduating class earned college scholarships exceeding $17 million.
Texas: St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
Tuition: $57,540 (boarding) vs. $29,850 (day)
A nationally recognized boarding (grades 8-12) and day school (grades 6-12) in the exciting heart of Austin, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School has a rich history and a rigorous academic program, as well as a heavy emphasis on athletics and fine arts.
Graduates of St. Stephen’s go on to study at some of the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities.
Utah: Wasatch Academy
Location: Mt. Pleasant
Tuition: $55,630 (boarding) vs. $30,155 (day)
Creative thinking and independent learning are prized at Wasatch Academy, a top college prep school set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains of Utah. Wasatch students embody many different backgrounds and experiences (33 countries represent the diverse student body).
As such, students are encouraged to become globally engaged, empathetic citizens by participating in study abroad and service trips.
Vermont: The Greenwood School
Tuition: $83,000 (boarding) vs. $63,600 (day)
For high school students who face learning challenges like dyslexia and other language-based difficulties, The Greenwood School is easily one of the best schools in the U.S. (and easily one of the most expensive).
Teachers are focused on providing students with a highly structured yet nurturing and supportive environment; in fact, there’s an unbelievable student-teacher ratio of just 2:1.
Virginia: The Foxcroft School
Tuition: $54,000 (boarding) vs. $45,600 (day)
Nestled on a lovely 500-acre campus in Middleburg, The Foxcroft School is among the top all-girls boarding schools in the country.
It’s, by design, a small, residential school with just under 200 students, so classes are intimate, and instruction is personalized. Plus, nearly 86 percent of the faculty and administration live on campus, which makes for a family-style, caring environment.
Washington: The Northwest School
Tuition: $57,915 (boarding) vs. $39,590 (day)
The Northwest School opened its doors in 1980, and today, the day and boarding school enrolls 500 students (grades 6-12), 80 of whom are from foreign countries.
Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, the Northwest School has a reputation for fostering a dynamic academic atmosphere.
West Virginia: The Linsly School
Tuition: $39,730 (boarding) vs. $18,830 (day)
Founded in 1814, The Linsly School is the oldest college prep institution west of the Allegheny Mountains, and 100 percent of graduates attend college.
Apart from the school’s intensive academics, Linsly students learn responsibility, commitment, time management, and sportsmanship through interest groups, yoga and cooking classes, honor societies and community service.
Wisconsin: St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy
Tuition: $39,000 (boarding) vs. $14,000 (day)
A college-prep and leadership-development boarding and day school for young men, St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy provides a unique, outstanding educational experience (which explains that big price tag!)
The campus is gorgeous, with its Gothic-style architecture and lush lawns, and the school’s environment is exceptionally discipline-focused and intellectually rigorous.
Wyoming: Jackson Hole Classical Academy
Location: Jackson Hole
One of the foremost liberal arts–focused high schools in the country, Jackson Hole Classical Academy boasts a strong, content-rich curriculum, a top-notch fine arts program and a seasoned faculty. As of fall 2019, the day school added 11th grade to its K-10 curriculum.
The Upper School academic program features collegiate-level courses in poetry, literature, lab sciences, math and critical reasoning, and students can pursue individual interests in voice performance, music and art.