30 Best Public High Schools in Illinois
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, and 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, and enrolled across about 23,500 public secondary schools nationwide.
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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 Illinois 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.
LOOK: Best Public High Schools in Illinois
Gallery Credit: Stacker
Editor's note: The original article had inaccuracies when multiple schools in Illinois had the same name. In most of these instances, the wrong data was displayed in the ranking. Stacker sincerely apologizes for the errors.