Cities Journal

These Are Seattle’s Top Private High Schools


It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do for a living or what your approach to raising kids is – you will want your child to get into the best possible high school in your city. It is an unfortunate reality, but in the United States, the best high schools are almost invariably private schools where you pay for tuition but where your child gets the best possible education.

Niche is an organization founded by Carnegie Mellon University students which provides insight and reviews of K-12 schools and colleges around the United States. Today, we are looking at their list of the best private high schools in Seattle in order to find out which of them offer the best education your child can get in the Emerald City.

Before we start talking about individual rankings, we should say a thing or two about how the Niche rankings are measured and calculated. The first factor that they use are the average SAT/ACT Scores which are reported by students and which make up for the 25 percent of the final score. They also look at the average scores of colleges that students from the high school enroll. Once again, this makes for 25 percent of the score. Another 15 percent of the score is calculated according to the percentage of seniors who go on to four-year colleges.

Parents and students also give their opinions about the overall experience, accounting for another 15 percent of the score. Niche also assigns a Niche Student Culture & Diversity grade (another 10 percent), which is pretty self-explanatory, we think. The final 10 percent of the score is assigned to the student-teacher ratio, i.e. how many students a single full-time teacher is assigned.

Following this methodology, the Niche has come out with the list of the best private schools in Seattle in 2016 and the school topping their rankings is Lakeside School. They boast amazing SAT and ACT scores and their students go on to attend some of the country’s finest colleges. The percentage of their alumni who go to four-year colleges is 99. They have earned 4.4 out of 5 from parents and students and they have one teacher to 9 students, which is a fantastic ratio. The only thing we don’t like is that their Student Culture & Diversity grade is, for some reason, unavailable on the Niche website at the moment.


The second best private high school in Seattle is The Overlake School, with superb SAT/ACT scores as well and the A+ grade in the Top Colleges Score. They also boast a 100 percent rate of students who go to four-year colleges after leaving the high school and they actually earned 4.5 out of 5 for the overall experience. Their student to teacher ratio is also 9 to 1.

The third best private school in Seattle according to Niche is The Bush School. Its SAT and ACT scores are a bit lower than those in the first two schools, but they still get an A+ in the Top College Score and all of their students go on to four-year colleges. The students and parents give The Bush School 3.9 out of 5 for the overall experience. They boast an even better student-to-teacher ratio than the first two schools, with 8-to-1. Their Student Culture and Diversity Grade is a B+.

The next school on the list is technically located in the city of Tacoma (these are the best schools in the Seattle Metro area) and it is the Annie Wright Schools. They posted SAT/ACT scores lower than the previous schools, but they still nailed the Top Colleges Score and the percentage of their students who enroll four-year colleges following high school.  They have earned a 4.5 out of 5 rating from students and parents and their student-teacher ratio is incredible 6:1. Finally, they also earned an A in student culture and diversity.

The school that rounds off the Top 5 of private schools in Seattle is the Charles Wright Academy in University Place. They boast the same SAT/ACT scores as Annie Wrights Schools and their Top Colleges Score and percentage of four-year college students that come out of the school are the same as in the fourth best school. They have earned somewhat lower overall experience rating from students and parents with 4.3 out of 5 and their culture and diversity grade is an A-. Finally, it is their “poor” student-teacher ratio of 11:1 that hurt them the most.

You can find out the rest of them HERE.

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