Best public high schools in New Jersey

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April 21, 2023
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Best public high schools in New Jersey

As filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron said during a '96 commencement address at Wellesley College, "Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead." If that's the case, high school may be one of the greatest dress rehearsals of all.

It's a place where students explore their interests, dive into extracurricular activities, finally get the freedom to choose their own classes, and prepare for college or the workplace. For many of these students and their families, public education is key: 49.5 million students enrolled in public PreK-12 schools in 2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Of those, about a third were in high school, enrolled across about 23,500 public secondary schools nationwide.

For many anxious parents, getting their kids into the best of these public high schools is of the utmost importance. Some families even move homes to get into better school districts. However, among all of these thousands of schools, a few stand out for their academic excellence, incredible track records, and the future success of their young students.

Stacker compiled a list of the 30 best public high schools in New Jersey using 2023 rankings from Niche. Niche uses eight weighted factors for its rankings. A majority of the score is based on academics and grades, but other factors include culture and diversity, health and safety, clubs and activities, resources, and surveys of parents, teachers and students. School districts are provided when available; otherwise, the city is listed instead.

Editor's note: The original article had inaccuracies when multiple schools in New Jersey had the same name. In most of these instances, the wrong data was displayed in the ranking. Stacker sincerely apologizes for the errors.

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#30. Northern Valley Regional High School - Old Tappan

- District: Northern Valley Regional High School District
- Enrollment: 1,085 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#29. South Brunswick High School

- District: South Brunswick School District
- Enrollment: 2,977 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#28. J.P. Stevens High School

- District: Edison Township School District
- Enrollment: 2,667 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#27. Montgomery High School

- District: Montgomery Township School District
- Enrollment: 1,577 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#26. Communications High School

- District: Monmouth County Vocational School District
- Enrollment: 306 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#25. Summit Senior High School

- District: Summit Public School District
- Enrollment: 1,152 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#24. Ridge High School

- District: Bernards Township School District
- Enrollment: 1,794 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#23. Ridgewood High School

- District: Ridgewood Public School District
- Enrollment: 1,775 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#22. Livingston Senior High School

- District: Livingston Board of Education School District
- Enrollment: 1,947 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#21. Northern Highlands Regional High School

- District: Allendale
- Enrollment: 1,364 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#20. Northern Valley Regional High School Demarest

- District: Northern Valley Regional High School District
- Enrollment: 1,023 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#19. Marine Academy of Science & Technology

- District: Monmouth County Vocational School District
- Enrollment: 283 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#18. Union County Vocational-Technical High School

- District: Union County Vocational-Technical School District
- Enrollment: 18 (1:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#17. Millburn Senior High School

- District: Millburn Township School District
- Enrollment: 1,319 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#16. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North

- District: West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District
- Enrollment: 1,521 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#15. Tenafly High School

- District: Tenafly Public School District
- Enrollment: 1,185 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#14. Academy of Allied Health & Science

- District: Monmouth County Vocational School District
- Enrollment: 306 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#13. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

- District: West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District
- Enrollment: 1,649 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#12. Princeton High School

- District: Princeton Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,555 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#11. Academy for Allied Health Science

- District: Union County Vocational-Technical School District
- Enrollment: 305 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#10. Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School

- District: Jersey City School District
- Enrollment: 713 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#9. Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics, & Engineering Technologies

- District: Middlesex County Vocational & Technical School District
- Enrollment: 169 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#8. Bergen County Technical High School - Teterboro

- District: Bergen County Vocational Technical School District
- Enrollment: 677 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#7. Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science

- District: Ocean County Vocational Technical School District
- Enrollment: 277 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#6. Academy for Information Technology

- District: Union County Vocational-Technical School District
- Enrollment: 284 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#5. Union County Magnet High School

- District: Union County Vocational-Technical School District
- Enrollment: 297 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#4. Biotechnology High School

- District: Monmouth County Vocational School District
- Enrollment: 315 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#3. Bergen County Academies

- District: Bergen County Vocational Technical School District
- Enrollment: 1,118 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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#2. The Academy for Mathematics, Science & Engineering

- District: Morris County Vocational School District
- Enrollment: 182
- Niche grade: A+

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#1. High Technology High School

- District: Monmouth County Vocational School District
- Enrollment: 295 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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