Best Private Schools in NYC – 2024

December 13, 2023

NYC private schools, new york city private high schools

You won’t find a greater concentration of highly-selective private high schools anywhere in the world than in New York City. Many of these Big Apple institutions have annual tuition costs in the $60k range and serve as feeders into the nation’s biggest-name colleges and universities. Of course, as parents, there are a multitude of considerations guiding your decision of which private schools in New York City will be best for your child. Ultimately, your decision will need to balance your teen’s academic, emotional, and social needs with financial and logistical considerations. However, College Transitions’ list of the Best Private Schools in NYC will focus primarily on our area of expertise—college admissions. As such, we will highlight the job that each of the schools do at sending their graduates on to the region/nation’s premier 4-year schools.

Best Private Schools in NYC

Here’s a quick preview of the best private schools in New York City that made our list. Detailed profiles and stats can be found when you scroll below.

1) Collegiate School

2) Dalton School

3) Trinity School

4) Horace Mann School

5) Riverdale Country School

6) The Brearley School

7) Regis High School

8) Rye Country Day School

9) The Chapin School

10) The Spence School

Please note that inclusion on our Best Private Schools in NYC list is a selective and criteria-based process. However, the order in which the schools appear is not representative of any further ranking; the numbering is solely intended to enhance the ease of navigating this resource.  All of the schools profiled below have a history of sending graduates to the top colleges in the country. For each of the best private high schools in NYC, College Transitions will provide you with—when available—each school’s:

  • Location
  • Tuition (9-12)
  • Enrollment (9-12)
  • Average SAT Score
  • Average ACT Score
  • Senior Class Size
  • College Admissions Highlights
  • Academic Highlights

Without further ado, let’s look at the profiled high schools that are among the best private schools in NYC.

#1 Best Private Schools in NYC
Collegiate School – NYC

Collegiate School – NYC

  • 301 Freedom Pl S, New York, NY 10069

College Admissions Highlights:  From 2018-2022, ten or more students attended Harvard, Duke, Cornell, Columbia, UChicago, Yale, Brown, and Penn. Five or more matriculated into Williams, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Northwestern, Georgetown, Dartmouth, UMichigan, and Colgate.

Academic Highlights:  Collegiate is an all-boys school founded in 1638.  Many students pursue independent studies/senior projects.  76% of the teachers possess advanced degrees.  6:1 student-to-faculty ratio.  13 athletic teams and 11+ student clubs and publications with opportunities to serve the community. Curricular offerings include Computer Science, Mandarin, History, and the Classics including Ancient Greek.

    • Tuition (9-12): $63,400
    • Enrollment (seniors): 49
    • Average SAT Score: 1480
    • Average ACT Score: 34

#2 Best Private Schools in NYC
Dalton School – NYC

Dalton School – NYC

  • 108 E 89th St, New York, NY 10128

College Admissions Highlights:  In the last five years, multiple students have enrolled at each of the following colleges: Cornell (38), Yale (27), Brown (35), Harvard (36), UChicago (19), Columbia (18), Tufts (16), Duke (11), WashU (14), NYU (14), Northwestern (17), Princeton (14), Dartmouth (10), and Penn (17).

Academic Highlights:  58% of students identify as non-white. 75+ high school clubs.  There are 48 sports teams from grades 7-12.  78% of teachers have advanced degrees.  5:1 student-to-teacher ratio.  The school offers 10+ engineering/comp sci electives, 7 creative writing electives, and 5+ student publications.

    • Tuition (9-12): $62,120
    • Enrollment (K-12): 1325
    • Average SAT Score: 1430
    • Average ACT Score: 33

#3 Best Private Schools in NYC
Trinity School – NYC

Trinity School – NYC

  • 139 W 91st St, New York, NY 10024

College Admissions Highlights:  In recent years, large numbers of graduates have been scooped up by Bowdoin, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, MIT, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, Stanford, Princeton, UChicago, Penn, and Yale. Many have also ended up at Colby, NYU, Tufts, Boston College, Wake Forest, Emory and a host of similarly selective institutions.

Academic Highlights:  Founded in the early 1700s, the school has longstanding connections to many prominent universities.  36% are students of color.  13:1 student-to-faculty ratio.  Courses offered include Engineering Principles, Forensics, Mass Incarceration Crisis in America, Spiritual Healing, Songwriting, and Global Bodies.

    • Tuition (9-12): $64,600
    • Enrollment (Nursery-12): 1,040
    • Average SAT Score: 1500
    • ACT Score: 34

#4 Best Private Schools in NYC
Horace Mann School – NYC

Horace Mann School – NYC

  • 231 W 246th St, The Bronx, NY 10471

College Admissions Highlights: From 2020 to 2022, more than 10 students have entered: Barnard (10), UChicago (50), Columbia (20), Cornell (39), Georgetown (23), Harvard (19), University of Michigan (18), Penn (22), Princeton (10), Vanderbilt (10), WashU (13), and Yale (14).

Academic Highlights:  Horace Mann is a diverse school with 51% students of color.  66 of the 126 faculty members possess advanced degrees, 34 with doctorates.  The average class size is 13 students.  Offers 49 400-level courses that are designed to be at least as rigorous as an AP course.  This school has study abroad and independent study options available. 60+ student clubs and organizations in the Upper Division. 70+ middle division, junior varsity and varsity athletic teams.

    • Tuition (9-12): $61.900
    • Enrollment (seniors): 184
    • Average SAT Score: 1437
    • Average ACT Score: 32

#5 Best Private Schools in NYC
Riverdale Country School – NYC

Riverdale Country School – NYC

  • 5250 Fieldston Rd, The Bronx, NY 10471

College Admissions Highlights:  In the last six years, an incredible number of students have gone on to elite colleges. This includes Cornell (51), Penn (44), UMichigan (38), Brown (36), Duke (30), Tufts (29), Northwestern (23), Yale (21), Columbia (20), Harvard (20), Georgetown (20), NYU (18), Stanford (17), Hamilton (16), Princeton (11), USC (11) and Dartmouth (10).

Academic Highlights:  5:1 student-to-faculty ratio.  Riverdale is a diverse school with 48% students of color.  72 nationalities are represented.  20% of students are attending with financial aid.  Unique course offerings like The Art of Africa, Thinking About Thinking, Japanese, AI/Machine Learning, Rock Band, and many more. 27.5 acres over two campus spaces. 80% of upper schoolers have participated on at least one sport team.  Has an outdoor educator on staff who creates programs that teach wilderness skills and build character.

    • Tuition (9-12): $54,545
    • Enrollment (K-12): 1,260
    • Average SAT Score: 1440
    • Average ACT Score: 33

#6 Best Private Schools in NYC
The Brearley School – NYC

The Brearley School – NYC

  • 610 E 83rd St, New York, NY 10028

College Admissions Highlights:  From 2019-2023, the top college destinations included: Harvard (28), Columbia (20), Yale (18), Cornell (18), UChicago (18), UPenn (15), Williams (11), Princeton (10), Georgetown (7), Northwestern (7), Amherst (7), Colgate (6), Duke (6), and NYU (6).

Academic Highlights:  Brearley is an all-girls school.  85% of faculty members possess advanced degrees.  6:1 student-to-faculty ratio.  55% of those enrolled are students of color.  Courses offered include the Classics, Mandarin, Environmental Sustainability, Introduction to Computer Science, and Studio Art. Over 50 clubs/organizations for students to join.

    • Tuition (9-12): $61,500
    • Enrollment (9-12): 255
    • Average SAT Score: 1510
    • Average ACT Score: 34

#7 Best Private Schools in NYC
Regis High School – NYC

Regis High School – NYC

  • 55 E 84th St, New York, NY 10028

College Admissions Highlights:  Regis grads from 2020-2023 headed to the following schools in the largest numbers: Georgetown (38), Fordham (28), Cornell (24), Boston College (22), Notre Dame (20), Holy Cross (16), Northeastern (16), Williams (16), UChicago (13), UPenn (13), Princeton (11), NYU (9), RPI (8), and Yale (8).

Academic Highlights:  Regis is an all-male Catholic institution. Less than 10% of applicants are accepted each year.  The average faculty tenure is 14 years.  10:1 student-to-teacher ratio.  Students take a number of Theology courses as well as Computer Science; they also complete a Scientific Research Project.  There are 8 athletic teams and 9 clubs; plus 48 extracurricular opportunities in service, arts, publications, cultural and social interest.

    • Tuition (9-12): Tuition-free
    • Enrollment (9-12): 532
    • Average SAT Score: 1470
    • Average ACT Score: 34

#8 Best Private Schools in NYC
Rye Country Day School – NYC

Rye Country Day School – NYC

  • 3 Cedar St, Rye, NY 10580

College Admissions Highlights:  Students from the Class of 2023 matriculated into: Cornell (6), Yale (4), Georgetown (4), Colgate (4), Bucknell (4), UChicago (3), WashU (3), BU (3), Brown (3), Tufts (3), Amherst (2), Penn (2), Columbia (2), Duke (2), and Vanderbilt (2).

Academic Highlights:  Courses are offered in the Classics, computer science, engineering and robotics, and computational biology.  15:1 Average Student-to-Teacher ratio.  85% of faculty hold advance degrees.  44.7% identify as students of color.  There are 50+ clubs for upper school students.  68 interscholastic athletic teams grades 7-12.  86% of upper school students participate in at least one sport.  Access to three full-time college counselors.  97% of surveyed grads say they were well prepared for college.  Arts program offers visual and performing arts including dance.

    • Tuition (9-12): $52,250
    • Enrollment (upper school): 443
    • Mid-50% SAT Score: 1420
    • Mid-50% ACT Score: 33

#9 Best Private Schools in NYC
The Chapin School – NYC

The Chapin School – NYC

  • 100 East End Ave, New York, NY 10028

College Admissions Highlights:  Colleges attended by multiple 2019-2023 graduates include: Cornell (24), Penn (12), Duke (11), UChicago (10), Georgetown (10), Harvard (9), Columbia (9), Princeton (8), Yale (8), Northwestern (7), UMichigan (7), UVA (6), Brown (6), BU (5), Dartmouth (5), Tufts (5), and UCLA (5).

Academic Highlights:  Chapin is an all-girls school.  The student-to-teacher is 6:1.  52% of student body self-identifies as students of color.  21% of students receive tuition assistance.  Computer science courses are available beginning in 8th grade; the school also offers Mandarin and advanced coursework in the arts.  14 varsity sports are offered and 40 clubs including teams in Robotics and Ethics.

    • Tuition (9-12): $62,500
    • Enrollment (seniors): 62
    • Average SAT Score: 1400
    • Average ACT Score: 32

#10 Best Private Schools in NYC
The Spence School – NYC

The Spence School – NYC

  • 22 E 91st St, New York, NY 10128

College Admissions Highlights:  Between 2021-2023, students entered the following schools: Amherst, Barnard, Bates, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Claremont McKenna, Colby, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Hamilton, MIT, Middlebury, Princeton, Rice, Stanford, Tufts, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UChicago, UMich, Penn, UVA, Wesleyan, Williams, and Yale.

Academic Highlights:  The Spence School is an all-girls institution.  The median class size is 13 in the Upper School.  Many science electives are available including Forensic Science, Bioethics, and Environmental Ethics.  80% of teachers have advanced degrees.  The upper school is made up of 50% students of color. 92 clubs and organizations in the middle and upper school.  Upper school offers fellowships in the Arts, Environmental leadership, History, and Science.

    • Tuition (9-12): $63,011
    • Enrollment (seniors): 69
    • Average SAT Score: 1473
    • Average ACT Score: 32.6

We hope you found our blog on private schools in NYC to be helpful. All high school students and families may wish to explore further information regarding the college search and admissions process at our Dataverse, Blog, and List-Building Tool.