Best private high schools in Illinois

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December 13, 2021
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Best private high schools in Illinois

America's private high schools opened long before their public counterparts and even before the United States was first established. The Roman Catholic Church in the 1700s started private schools in Florida and Louisiana while in New York (a former Dutch colony called New Amsterdam), the Dutch West India Company and Dutch Reformed Church set up private schools that filled the void left by the colonies' lack of an education system.

That changed in the 1840s when the U.S. instituted a uniform public school system. To stay relevant, private schools changed from marketing themselves as the only option to portraying their education as the "best" option. To this day, private high schools have positioned themselves as fast-tracks to admittance into elite universities. Faced with the rigorous demands of the highly competitive college admissions process and increased pressure over getting into the "right" school, parents (most often parents with means) often consider private schools for their children.

Stacker compiled a list of the best private high schools in Illinois using rankings from Niche. Private schools have historically catered to America's most elite, with exorbitant tuition and legacy admissions ensuring the socioeconomic exclusivity of student bodies. Scholarships, incremental transparency in the admissions process, and improved (albeit still imperfect and unequal) access to excellent early education for students of all backgrounds have allowed more low-income students and minorities today to take advantage of these schools. Still, white students continue to represent the vast majority of private-school students.

Read on to find out the best private high schools in your state.

#25. Wolcott College Prep (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 150 (3:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#24. Ida Crown Jewish Academy (Skokie)
- Enrollment: 214 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#23. GEMS World Academy Chicago (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 440 (5:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#22. Benet Academy (Lisle)
- Enrollment: 1357 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#21. Keith Country Day School (Rockford)
- Enrollment: 286 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#20. Fenwick High School (Oak Park)
- Enrollment: 1197 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#19. Loyola Academy (Wilmette)
- Enrollment: 2000 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#18. The Chicago Academy for the Arts (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 145 (4:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#17. The Einstein Academy (Elgin)
- Enrollment: 89 (5:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#16. Elgin Academy (Elgin)
- Enrollment: 227 (5:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#15. Christian Heritage Academy (Northfield)
- Enrollment: 351 (9:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#14. Northridge Preparatory School (Niles)
- Enrollment: 330 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#13. Morgan Park Academy (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 423 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#12. St. Ignatius College Prep (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 1480 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#11. Lycée Français de Chicago (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 790 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#10. Rochelle Zell Jewish High School (Deerfield)
- Enrollment: 185 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#9. Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart (Lake Forest)
- Enrollment: 131 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#8. Beacon Academy (Evanston)
- Enrollment: 213 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#7. Francis W. Parker School (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 935 (9:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#6. Roycemore School (Evanston)
- Enrollment: 239 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#5. British International School of Chicago, South Loop (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 604 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#4. North Shore Country Day (Winnetka)
- Enrollment: 525 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#3. Latin School of Chicago (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 1155 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#2. Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest)
- Enrollment: 437 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#1. University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Chicago)
- Enrollment: 2051 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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