Best private high schools in Pennsylvania

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December 13, 2021
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Best private high schools in Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania 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. Malvern Preparatory School (Malvern)
- Enrollment: 631 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#24. Lancaster Country Day School (Lancaster)
- Enrollment: 593 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#23. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Philadelphia)
- Enrollment: 1090 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#22. Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School (Kingston)
- Enrollment: 771 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#21. Abington Friends School (Jenkintown)
- Enrollment: 583 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#20. Friends Select School (Philadelphia)
- Enrollment: 590 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#19. William Penn Charter School (Philadelphia)
- Enrollment: 977 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#18. The Agnes Irwin School (Rosemont)
- Enrollment: 581 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#17. Friends' Central School (Wynnewood)
- Enrollment: 806 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#16. Germantown Academy (Fort Washington)
- Enrollment: 1207 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#15. Moravian Academy (Bethlehem)
- Enrollment: 709 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#14. The Shipley School (Bryn Mawr)
- Enrollment: 800 (5:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#13. Sewickley Academy (Sewickley)
- Enrollment: 581 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#12. Westtown School (West Chester)
- Enrollment: 694 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#11. Winchester Thurston School (Pittsburgh)
- Enrollment: 641 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#10. The Haverford School (Haverford)
- Enrollment: 960 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#9. Grier School (Birmingham)
- Enrollment: 260 (4:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#8. Linden Hall (Lititz)
- Enrollment: 127 (6:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#7. George School (Newtown)
- Enrollment: 540 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#6. Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh)
- Enrollment: 1107 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#5. The Hill School (Pottstown)
- Enrollment: 529 (9:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#4. The Episcopal Academy (Newtown Square)
- Enrollment: 1288 (8:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#3. The Baldwin School (Bryn Mawr)
- Enrollment: 584 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#2. Mercersburg Academy (Mercersburg)
- Enrollment: 446 (4:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#1. Germantown Friends School (Philadelphia)
- Enrollment: 1070 (4:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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