The best public high school in every state

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.comThe best public high schools offer a quality education for free.
  • School-ranking company Niche rated the best public high schools in every US state.
  • To determine the best public high schools, the company looked at everything from academics to teachers to facilities.
  • The best public high school in the US is Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago.

The best public high school in America is Walter Payton College Prep, according to school-ranking company Niche.

Students at Walter Payton, a high school that’s part of Chicago Public Schools, earn high standardised test scores and nearly all of them graduate.

But Illinois isn’t the only state with great public schools, so Business Insider used Niche’s list to find the best high school in every state.

The ranking analysed 17,867 public high schools and rated schools in areas like academics, teachers, student culture and diversity, and resources and facilities. You can read more about the methodology here.

Below, find the best public high school in every US state and the District of Columbia.


Alabama: Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School

Location: Montgomery, Alabama

Overall rank: #87

Graduation rate: 5%

AP Enrollment: 73%


Alaska: West High School

Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Overall rank: #1,887

Graduation rate: 86%

AP Enrollment: 10%


Arizona: BASIS Scottsdale

Google Earth

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Overall rank: #14

Graduation rate: 90%

AP Enrollment: 93%


Arkansas: Haas Hall Academy

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Overall rank: #255

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 56%


California: Henry M. Gunn High School

Location: Palo Alto, California

Overall rank: #23

Graduation rate: 96%

AP Enrollment: 38%


Colorado: Cherry Creek High School

Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado

Overall rank: #150

Graduation rate: 92%

AP Enrollment: 39%


Connecticut: New Canaan High School

Wikimedia Commons

Location: New Canaan, Connecticut

Overall rank: #173

Graduation rate: 99%

AP Enrollment: 60%


Delaware: Charter School of Wilmington

Location: Wilmington, Delaware

Overall rank: #15

Graduation rate: 98%

AP Enrollment: 43%


District of Columbia: The School Without Walls High School

Location: Washington, District of Columbia

Overall rank: #70

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 68%


Florida: Pine View School

Pine View School/Facebook

Location: Osprey, Florida

Overall rank: #148

Graduation rate: 98%

AP Enrollment: 66%


Georgia: Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia

Overall rank: #10

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 74%


Hawaii: University Laboratory School

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Overall rank: #878

Graduation rate: 90%

AP Enrollment: NA


Idaho: Boise Senior High School

Location: Boise, Idaho

Overall rank: #945

Graduation rate: 94%

AP Enrollment: 52%


Illinois: Walter Payton College Prep

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Overall rank: #1

Graduation rate: 93%

AP Enrollment: 52%


Indiana: Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics & Humanities

Location: Muncie, Indiana

Overall rank: #17

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 50%


Iowa: Ames High School

Location: Ames, Iowa

Overall rank: #309

Graduation rate: 93%

AP Enrollment: 37%


Kansas: Blue Valley High School

Location: Stilwell, Kansas

Overall rank: #238

Graduation rate:98%

AP Enrollment: 41%


Kentucky: DuPont Manual High School

Location:Louisville, Kentucky

Overall rank: #50

Graduation rate: 99%

AP Enrollment: 78%


Louisiana: Benjamin Franklin High School

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Overall rank: #41

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 72%


Maine: Maine School of Science & Mathematics

Location: Limestone, Maine

Overall rank: #164

Graduation rate: 90%

AP Enrollment: 78%


Maryland: Poolesville High School

Location: Poolesville, Maryland

Overall rank: #61

Graduation rate: 98%

AP Enrollment: 63%


Massachusetts: Massachusetts Academy of Maths & Science

Location: Worcester, Massachusetts

Overall rank: #22

Graduation rate: 90%

AP Enrollment: NA


Michigan: International Academy

Location: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Overall rank: #36

Graduation rate: 90%

AP Enrollment: NA


Minnesotta: Wayzata High School

Wayzata High School/FacebookWayzata High School.

Location: Plymouth, Minnesota

Overall rank: #103

Graduation rate: 96%

AP Enrollment: 30%


Mississippi: The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

Location: Columbus, Mississippi

Overall rank: #8

Graduation rate: 100%

AP Enrollment: NA


Missouri: Clayton High School

Location: Clayton, Missouri

Overall rank: #29

Graduation rate: 97%

AP Enrollment: 28%


Montana: Bozeman High School

Location: Bozeman, Montana

Overall rank: #1,233

Graduation rate: 86%

AP Enrollment: 31%


Nebraska: Millard North High School

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Overall rank: #656

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 23%


Nevada: The Davidson Academy

Location: Reno, NV

Overall rank: #62

Graduation rate: NA

AP Enrollment: NA


New Hampshire: Hanover High School

Google Maps

Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

Overall rank: #126

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: NA


New Jersey: Bergen County Academies

Location: Hackensack, New Jersey

Overall rank: #11

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 43%


New Mexico: Albuquerque Institute of Maths & Science

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Overall rank: #698

Graduation rate: 90%

AP Enrollment: NA


New York: Stuyvesant High School

Location: New York, New York

Overall rank: #7

Graduation rate: 99%

AP Enrollment: 53%


North Carolina: The Early College at Guilford

Location: Greensboro, North Carolina

Overall rank: #42

Graduation rate: 90%

AP Enrollment: 67%


North Dakota: Central High School

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Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota

Overall rank: #1,660

Graduation rate: 93%

AP Enrollment: 11%


Ohio: Walnut Hills High School

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Overall rank: #51

Graduation rate: 96%

AP Enrollment: 49%


Oklahoma: Booker T. Washington High School

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Overall rank: #146

Graduation rate: 99%

AP Enrollment: 27%


Oregon: Lake Oswego Senior High School

Google MapsHomes in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Location: Lake Oswego, Oregon

Overall rank: #559

Graduation rate: 92%

AP Enrollment: 27%


Pennsylvania: Conestoga Senior High School

Location: Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Overall rank: #37

Graduation rate: 99%

AP Enrollment: 53%


Rhode Island: Barrington High School

Wikimedia CommonsBarrington High School.

Location: Barrington, Rhode Island

Overall rank: #650

Graduation rate: 96%

AP Enrollment: 30%


South Carolina: Academic Magnet High School

Location: North Charleston, South Carolina

Overall rank: #71

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 68%


South Dakota: Lincoln High School

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Overall rank: #1,878

Graduation rate: 81%

AP Enrollment: 23%


Tennessee: Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Overall rank: #92

Graduation rate: 99%

AP Enrollment: 62%


Texas: Liberal Arts & Science Academy

Google Earth

Location: Austin, Texas

Overall rank: #12

Graduation rate: 99%

AP Enrollment: 74%


Utah: Park City High School

Wikimedia CommonsPark City High School.

Location: Park City, Utah

Overall rank: #599

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 42%


Vermont: South Burlington High School

Location: South Burlington, Vermont

Overall rank: #779

Graduation rate: 91%

AP Enrollment: 28%


Virginia: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology

Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Overall rank: #4

Graduation rate: 99%

AP Enrollment: 70%


Washington: Tesla STEM High School

Location: Redmond, Washington

Overall rank: #99

Graduation rate: 95%

AP Enrollment: 62%


West Virginia: George Washington High School

Wiki Commons

Location: Charleston, West Virginia

Overall rank: #2,247

Graduation rate: 92%

AP Enrollment: 35%


Wisconsin: Whitefish Bay High School

Google MapsWhitefish Bay High School.

Location: Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

Overall rank: #139

Graduation rate: 93%

AP Enrollment: 32%


Wyoming: Big Horn High School

Location: Big Horn, Wyoming

Overall rank: #2,456

Graduation rate: 85%

AP Enrollment: NA

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