2017 Best Public Schools in Illinois
This according to NicheThe 2017 Best Public High Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and high school ratings.
1-Adlai E. Stevenson High School
High School Senior:The opportunities Stevenson gives its students are tremendous. Anyone can find an enjoyable class with the multitude of classes offered. The state of the art technology gives students like myself a great hands-on experience with equipment some colleges don’t even possess.
- Lincolnshire, IL
More about Adlai E. Stevenson High School
2-Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy
Parent:My son has thrived there, and has made it clear that he is very happy that he chose to attend. It is hard work, and hard to be away from home, but that’s way better than being bored and disinterested for 4 years of high school.
- Aurora, IL
More about Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy
3-Northside College Preparatory High School
High School Senior:Northside is an amazing high school that provides a great education with a friendly atmosphere. At times, the workload may seem overwhelming, so make sure to manage your time wisely. Northside also has a variety of activities, sports, and clubs for everyone. Teachers encourage a lot of independent studying and always make sure the students come first.
- Chicago, IL
More about Northside College Preparatory High School
4-Young Magnet High School
High School Senior:Couldn’t be better. The problems with the school are problems that are outside of the school administration’s control (such as problems with Chicago Public School in general and problems in Chicago)
- Chicago, IL
More about Young Magnet High School
5-Walter Payton College Prep
High School Junior:I love this school because of the interactive school environment, helpful and fun teachers, and the diverse and nice friends I have made at this school. Because it is so easy to cooperate with teachers and other students, making friends is easy and many students at my school are very social and active in extracurricular activities. The school environment although may be very challenging, the student body and the teachers are very helpful and motivational towards my studies and my success.
- Chicago, IL
More about Walter Payton College Prep
6-Hinsdale Central High School
Niche User:Let’s be honest. I loved Hinsdale Central, and I’ll always be grateful for the various opportunities it’s given me and the tremendous impact it’s had on my life. No matter who you are and what path you will take, always remember that you will always be part of the supportive Red Devil nation.
- Hinsdale, IL
More about Hinsdale Central High School
7-New Trier Township High School
Niche User:NT is the best high school on the North Shore. If you have the opportunity to attend, it’s definitely worth choosing (over private schools like Loyola, North Shore CD, Sacred Heart, LFA, etc). Not only are the academics outstanding here, but the sports teams are nationally recognized for excelling in their fields, and there are enough extracurriculars to allows everyone of all interests to be involved in some way with the school. The beauty of attending such a large school is the diversity in academics and extracurriculars; there’s always something for everyone. Additionally, applying to colleges from New Trier gives you a leg up. Again, it is known nationally the rigor and academic excellence expected here, so colleges are always confident in that a NT graduate will continue to perform to the best of their abilities in college and throughout their lives. New Trier really lays a foundation for success in life.
- Winnetka, IL
More about New Trier Township High School
8-Lane Tech College Prep High School
Niche User:A 4-story building housing +4,000 students where everyone can get a sample of everything that makes the world go around is quite impressive. There is a group of friends for everyone. There is almost any AP course you can fathom. There is any sport you can imagine. There are opportunities you had no idea even existed. Being a Lane Tech student, you are automatically loved/hated by everyone. Much respect is earned as an alumnus, yet so many people will try to knock you down out of spite (usually those whom have been rejected for admission). We literally are the School of Champions and being apart of 3 sports still gives me chills to this day when reminiscing about the battles fought for trophies and plaques to be placed within the hallways to boast our sportsmanship. The bond of a large family is why this school is so important. Not a day goes by where I am not grateful for having such an incredible place to learn, to make friends, to acquire a new skill, to find a new path, to know pain is only temporary, and to know success is eternal. Thinking of Spirit Week and the annual Pep Rally makes me numb with excitement and my mind begins to race. These memories are priceless and is film-worthy. I hope someday if I have children they will be awakened with the feeling of wanting to better our world in someway just as I discovered that very feeling myself. No one does it better as far as earning an education and paving a path for a successful future like Lane Tech. Go, Lane, Go!
- Chicago, IL
More about Lane Tech College Prep High School
9-Libertyville High School
High School Senior:There are so many opportunities at this school if you want to get ahead. There is a wide selection of AP and Honors classes, and for the most part the teachers of these classes are great! I especially love the history department. I have not had a bad teacher yet in history, although I have not had a really outstanding math teacher in the last few years. LHS also heavily stresses athletics over other activities. And although our athletics are good, the teams are ultra-competitive and extremely stressful for student athletes. One should not overlook the fantastic fine arts department or interesting clubs.
- Libertyville, IL
More about Libertyville High School
10-Vernon Hills High School
High School Sophomore:This school is a truly remarkable place to be, because curriculum is excellent. Happy , healthy school atmosphere contributes to the success of the students .
- Vernon Hills, IL
More about Vernon Hills High School
11-Glenbrook North High School
Niche User:Even though my parents were not that much involved in sporting events and others, it was great to see other parents getting involved and putting their heart into parties and bonding times.
- Northbrook, IL
More about Glenbrook North High School
12-Glenbrook South High School
High School Junior:My overall experience at my high school has been incredible so far. Envolvement is stressed to freshmen students which creates a positive atmosphere for everyone.
- Glenview, IL
More about Glenbrook South High School
13-University High School
Parent:This school offers a variety of college prep classes, has excellent and caring administration and teachers, provides lots of activities, encourages it’s students to be involved in multiple activities, and has great school spirit!
- Normal, IL
More about University High School
14-Jones College Prep High School
Parent:Diverse environment in a downtown very urban location. New school with all of latest technology. Quality teachers that are involved in helping students achieve their best.
- Chicago, IL
More about Jones College Prep High School
15-Prospect High School
Niche User:As one of the top high schools in that nation, and currently number one in Illinois, Prospect High School was over all a great experience. In all my years there I never came across an unlikable teacher, and our sports teams and theater programs were top notch so you always had good entertainment. Even the lunches there weren’t the typical gross school lunches you always saw on TV shows, instead we were treated with blizzards, sandwiches from subway, and a wide variety of pizza places. Prospect High School was truly a unique experience that you just had to be there to understand
- Mt Prospect, IL
More about Prospect High School
16-John Hersey High School
Niche User:I wouldn’t have gone to any other school. I had a really good experience at this school. I made a lot of good friends that I am still in contact with I really do love this school.
- Arlington Heights, IL
More about John Hersey High School
17-Neuqua Valley High School
Parent:Because of the large student body, everything is competitive. Sometimes it is hard to “just join a club” because there are too many students.
- Naperville, IL
More about Neuqua Valley High School
18-Niles North High School
High School Senior:Our school is not only an exceptionally diverse high school, but has teachers who constantly motivate their students to challenge themselves in order to explore their true potential. Teachers make class engaging and fun in order to get student’s attention, and go out of the way to help all students. We have an impressive array of extra curricular activities, sports, and electives. Niles North provides us with the best of both worlds!
- Skokie, IL
More about Niles North High School
19-Barrington High School
High School Senior:Barrington is absolutely the best. The people are great, the education is first class, the sports are fun, the community really supports the school and the education and athletic talents of the kids, and those who are the highest achieving you know are destined to be the CEOs, entrepreneurs, and billionaires of tomorrow.
- Barrington, IL
More about Barrington High School
20-Naperville Central High School
High School Senior:I love NCHS with all my heart. Attending NCHS is very differnt and was a bit of a culture shock but the staff and opportunies I have expeirenced have changed me in positive ways. I wish i would have gotten more involved with clubs and being a Redhawk but for being an average student i feel as though my time at NCHS has been great!
- Naperville, IL
More about Naperville Central High School
21-William Fremd High School
High School Senior:The teacher’s care so much to help you out! They are highly qualified, so use them to your advantage. That is why they chose the job and it is why they are paid so well. I think anyone considering Fremd should definitely choose the school and be very strategic about taking the best courses. There are many good ones
- Palatine, IL
More about William Fremd High School
22-Metea Valley High School
High School Senior:My overall experience at Metea Valley has been the best one ever. The staff, teachers and people here are all great. They really promote a welcoming atmosphere of academia, kindness, and helpfulness.
- Aurora, IL
More about Metea Valley High School
23-Oak Park & River Forest High School
High School Senior:This is a really great school! Hundreds of activities, no one ever gets bored here! So many fun and energetic students and staff, I feel I can trust any adult in the building with any problem.
- Oak Park, IL
More about Oak Park & River Forest High School
24-Naperville North High School
High School Senior:The best times were all there of my past years. The most memorable experiences I have had were about show choir ,competing ,practicing,performing. It is my little family. It’s my second family the people in the program are amazing and wonderful and always so helpful to other students.
- Naperville, IL
More about Naperville North High School
25-Lake Forest High School
High School Sophomore:I love lake forest high school. The teachers are helpful and everyone pushes you to be your best. There are many classes for all levels of learning and the whole community is supportive.
- Lake Forest, IL
More about Lake Forest High School