The 25 smartest boarding schools in America

St. Albans School, Washington DCFacebook/stalbansschoolSt. Albans School in Washington, D.C., ranked highest on the list.

We recently published a list of the most elite boarding schools in the US by using data from BoardingSchoolReview.com.

But because strong academics are a major reason why people opt to attend boarding school, we decided to re-rank the data by highest average SAT score.

The SAT, which is scored out of 2400, is one of the top factors colleges look at when deciding which applicants to admit. The schools whose students have the highest average SAT scores — 2140, 2130, and 2104 — are St. Albans School, The Hockaday School, and Groton School, respectively. Many of the schools on this list offer SAT tutoring in advance of the exam, which can give students a leg up on their scores.

Data that was unavailable on BoardingSchoolReview.com was taken from the schools’ websites or from Niche. When two schools reported the same average SAT scores, we used average ACT scores as a tiebreaker.

25. St. Mark's School -- Southborough, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 1940

Advanced or AP classes offered: 32

St. Mark's students can choose between 32 advanced and AP courses, including Latin, studio art, and physics, as well as 70 extracurricular organisations including yearbook, badminton, and jazz band. St. Mark's is constructing a new campus building that will provide state-of-the-art facilities for STEM subjects.

24. The Madeira School -- McLean, Virginia

Average SAT score: 1945

Advanced or AP classes offered: 17

From freshman year, Madeira girls study along a rigorous academic curriculum and a cocurriculum, which provides students with additional experiential and social learning opportunities. Cocurriculum opportunities involve off-campus internships, personal-finance classes, and outdoor field trips.

23. Emma Willard School -- Troy, New York

Average SAT score: 1950

Advanced or AP classes offered: 23

Emma Willard girls take AP classes in subjects like English, foreign language, maths, science, history, art, and computer science. The school also expresses a belief students should be free to pursue their own interests, offering an intense personalised studies program.

22. Ojai Valley School -- Ojai, California

Average SAT score: 1960

Advanced or AP classes offered: 19

This California college-prep school puts a heavy emphasis on preparing students for college. Small class sizes give OVS students the opportunity to both receive individualized attention and participate more and ask more questions. OVS grads go on to study at numerous top Ivy League, state, and technical/design colleges and universities.

21. Georgetown Preparatory School -- North Bethesda, Maryland

Average SAT score: 1975

Advanced or AP classes offered: 25

The all-boys Georgetown Prep offers more than 60 courses, with more than two dozen following the AP curriculum. This year 27 students from the class of 2015, about one-fourth of the grade, were inducted into the National Honour Society.

20. The Hotchkiss School -- Lakeville, Connecticut

Average SAT score: 1985

Advanced or AP classes offered: 21

The Hotchkiss School accepts 21% of applicants and sends 100% of its students to college when they graduate. Hotchkiss says its students are intellectually curious and aren't afraid of challenging ideas or learning from their teachers and from one another.

19. Cate School -- Carpinteria, California

Average SAT score: 1990

Advanced or AP classes offered: 51

Cate offers 51 advanced and AP classes, and one-fourth of this year's senior class consists of either National Merit Commended Scholars or National Merit Finalists. Cate students who take the ACT score an average of 25 out of 36.

18. Oregon Episcopal School -- Portland, Oregon

Average SAT score: 1990

Advanced or AP classes offered: 7

Students at Oregon Episcopal have an average ACT score of 28. OES focuses on 'educating the complete person,' which means students are well-read, culturally enlightened, and instilled with a sense of service and compassion. Students use a six-day-long 'Winterim' before second semester to further their foreign-language studies, complete community-service projects, and conduct research experiments in science and maths.

17. Deerfield Academy -- Deerfield, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 2000

Advanced or AP classes offered: 27

One of the oldest schools on this list, founded in 1797, Deerfield has a 15% acceptance rate, and it offers college-level courses in all subjects. One-hundred per cent of Deerfield graduates go on to attend four-year colleges and universities.

16. Indian Springs School -- Indian Springs, Alabama

Average SAT score: 2010

Advanced or AP classes offered: 24

In the past four years, Indian Springs grads matriculated to six of the eight Ivy League schools -- more than three students at each in some cases -- as well as to Stanford and MIT. Seventy-nine per cent of students score 3 or better on AP exams, and 51% score 4 or 5.

15. Choate Rosemary Hall -- Wallingford, Connecticut

Average SAT score: 2025

Advanced or AP classes offered: 27

A notable 81% of Choate students score 4 or 5 on their AP exams. The school, which accepts 23% of applicants, also has small classes, with six students per faculty member, which give students the opportunity to delve deeper into academic subjects.

14. The Thacher School -- Ojai, California

Average SAT score: 2026

Advanced or AP classes offered: 18

Students at Thacher, which is located on a former ranch in California, often get well-rounded cultural experiences by spending a year abroad in China, France, Italy, or Spain, or half a year during The Maine Coast Semester program. The school is very discerning with acceptance letters, admitting just 13% of applicants.

13. St. Paul's School -- Concord, New Hampshire

Average SAT score: 2028

Advanced or AP classes offered: 50

Students at St. Paul's School can choose from 50 advanced or AP classes across numerous disciplines, including chemistry, Japanese, and art. Over the past four years, the most attended colleges by St. Paul's grads have been Georgetown, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, and Williams.

12. Thomas Jefferson School -- St. Louis

Average SAT score: 2050

Advanced or AP classes offered: 14

TJ students have an average SAT score of 2050 and a median score of 2060. They also take three foreign-language courses (Latin, classical Greek, and either French or Italian) for at least two years each. The foreign-language program is rigorous and accelerated -- the second-year level is equivalent to an intermediate-level college foreign-language class.

11. The Storm King School -- Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York

Average SAT score: 2050

Advanced or AP classes offered: 10

The beautiful Hudson Valley school has a 100% college acceptance rate. Students score an average of 2050 on the SAT, and 20 on the ACT. The most exceptional students can qualify for the National Honour Society or the Cum Laude Society -- a membership-based group of academic excellence that models itself after the college-level Phi Beta Kappa societies.

10. The Webb Schools -- Claremont, California

Average SAT score: 2060

Advanced or AP classes offered: 33

Home to two schools that share a campus -- Vivian Webb School for girls and Webb School of California for boys -- Webb is not for students looking to coast through high school. Over 40% of the school's classes are advanced, and 46% of students in 10th grade or higher enrolled in AP classes last year.

9. Middlesex School -- Concord, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 2070

Advanced or AP classes offered: 23

In the past five years, nearly 16% of Middlesex graduates attended Ivy League schools. The school sponsors numerous extracurricular activities, including Chess Club, French Club, and Diversity Committee.

8. Phillips Academy Andover -- Andover, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 2076

Advanced or AP classes offered: 30

Phillips Academy Andover's acceptance rate is lower than that of Cornell University. In 2013, 92 students -- nearly one-third of the graduating class -- went on to Ivy League colleges. The Academy offers both AP and advanced courses; the 500-level courses are often beyond AP level.

7. Milton Academy -- Milton, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 2080

Advanced or AP classes offered: 11

Milton Academy boasts an impressive list of alumni, including poet T.S. Eliot and former US senator Robert F. Kennedy. Students learn from great minds as well -- 75% of faculty members hold advanced degrees. Between 2012 and 2014, more than 25% of students matriculate to Ivy League schools.

6. Concord Academy -- Concord, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 2089

Advanced or AP classes offered: 34*

One-hundred per cent of Concord graduates go on to attend four-year institutions; the most attended colleges in the past four years include Tufts, Brown, Connecticut College, NYU, and Yale. Ninety-seven per cent of students who take AP exams score a 3 or higher, and 80% score a 4 or 5.

*Data from Concord Academy website

5. The Lawrenceville School -- Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Average SAT score: 2095

Advanced or AP classes offered: 154

Lawrenceville offers a whopping 154 advanced or AP courses. Students learn in Harkness method seminar classes, giving them the opportunity to guide their own courses of learning. Students can also participate in honours societies, like the Cum Laude Society, or spend a year abroad to study, conduct research, or participate in language immersion programs.

4. Phillips Exeter Academy -- Exeter, New Hampshire

Average SAT score: 2100

Advanced or AP classes offered: 14*

Phillips Exeter Academy is known for producing some of the most successful alumni in the world, including many millionaires and even a handful of billionaires. In 2015, 107 students became National Merit Commended Scholars, and 34 became National Merit Semifinalists. A whopping 85% of students score 4 or 5 on AP exams.

*Data from Phillips Exeter Academy website

3. Groton School -- Groton, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 2104

Advanced or AP classes offered: 8

Groton has a 94% success rate for students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams. The school has a very low acceptance rate (12%). Colleges are so keen on recruiting Groton students that the school receives visiting representatives from more than 100 colleges each year. Between 2010 and 2014, the most attended school by Groton graduates was Harvard.

2. The Hockaday School -- Dallas

Average SAT score: 2130

Advanced or AP classes offered: 20

This all-girls school offers a variety of AP classes, including biology and Mandarin Chinese, and challenging classes unique to Hockaday like 'Business French' and 'History of Art and Music.' Last year, 85% of students received a score of 4 or 5 on their AP exams, and 53% of the class of 2014 were National Merit Finalists, Semifinalists, or Commendees.

1. St. Albans School -- Washington, D.C.

Average SAT score: 2140*

Advanced or AP classes offered: 13

The all-boys St. Albans School claims 22 Presidential Scholars among its graduates, as well as 45 National Merit Semifinalists since 2007. St. Albans also awards students with its own academic awards and honours, including the Bishop Freeman History Award and the Satterlee Medal for academic achievement. Over the past five years, Harvard and Yale were the two most attended colleges by St. Albans grads.

*SAT score via Niche

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