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.

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) Collegiate School

Location: 301 Freedom Pl S, New York, NY 10069

Tuition (9-12): $60,400

Enrollment (seniors): 49

Average SAT Score: 1480

Average ACT Score: 34

College Admissions Highlights:

From 2019-2022, ten or more students attended Duke, Cornell, Columbia, UChicago, Yale, Brown, the University of Michigan, and Penn. Five or more matriculated into Williams, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Northwestern, Dartmouth, and Colgate.

Academic Highlights:

  • Collegiate is an all-boys school.
  • Many students pursue independent studies/senior projects.
  • 76% of the teachers possess advanced degrees.
  • 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Curricular offerings include computer science, Mandarin, and the Classics.

2) Dalton School

Location: 108 E 89th St, New York, NY 10128

Tuition (9-12): $ 57,970

Enrollment (K-12): 1,325

Average SAT Score: 1430

Average ACT Score: 33

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:

  • 20-30% of 9th graders are new to the school, in a typical year.
  • There are 50 sports teams from grades 7-12.
  • 85% of teachers have advanced degrees.
  • 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio.
  • The school offers 10+ engineering/comp sci electives, 6 creative writing electives, and 5 student publications.

3) Trinity School

Location: 139 W 91st St, New York, NY 10024

Tuition (9-12): $58,495

Enrollment (Nursery-12): 1,006

Average SAT Score: 1500

ACT Score: 34

College Admissions Highlights:

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

Academic Highlights:

  • Founded in the early 1700s, the school has longstanding connections to many prominent universities.
  • In addition to being one of the best private schools in NYC, Trinity is New York City’s oldest continuously operating academic institution.
  • 36% are students of color.
  • 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
  • Courses offered include Engineering Principles, Forensics, Mass Incarceration Crisis in America, New York in the Movies, and Economics.

4) Horace Mann School

Location: 231 W 246th St, The Bronx, NY 10471

Tuition (9-12): $59,800

Enrollment (seniors): 180

Average SAT Score: 1434

Average ACT Score: 32

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 46% students of color.
  • 35 of the 127 faculty members possess doctoral degrees.
  • 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.

5) Riverdale Country School

Location: 5250 Fieldston Rd, The Bronx, NY 10471

Tuition (9-12): $52,575

Enrollment (K-12): 1,260

Average SAT Score: 1440

Average ACT Score: 33

College Admissions Highlights:

In the last six years, an incredible number of students have gone on to elite colleges. This includes Cornell (52), Penn (45), Brown (31), Columbia (27), Tufts (23), NYU (23), Harvard (20), Georgetown (20), Yale (18), Dartmouth (14), and Hamilton (14).

Academic Highlights:

  • 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
  • Riverdale is a diverse school with 44% 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, Marine Biology, and many more.

6) The Brearley School

Location: 610 E 83rd St, New York, NY 10028

Tuition (9-12): $58,700

Enrollment (9-12): 252

Average SAT Score: 1510

Average ACT Score: 34

College Admissions Highlights:

From 2018-2022, the top college destinations included: Harvard (26), Columbia (21), Yale (21), Cornell (17), the University of Chicago (13), Princeton (12), Williams (11), Penn (10), Northwestern (8), Colgate (7), Duke (7), and NYU (7).

Academic Highlights:

  • Brearley is an all-girls school.
  • 82% of faculty members possess advanced degrees.
  • 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
  • 56% of those enrolled are students of color.
  • Courses offered include the Classics, Mandarin, Environmental Sustainability, Introduction to Computer Science, and Studio Art.

7) Regis High School

Location: 55 E 84th St, New York, NY 10028

Tuition (9-12): Tuition-free

Enrollment (9-12): 537

Average SAT Score: 1470

Average ACT Score: 34

College Admissions Highlights:

Regis grads from 2018-2021 headed to the following schools in the largest numbers: Georgetown (41), Fordham (37), Boston College (19), Cornell (19), Holy Cross (19), Notre Dame (19), Northeastern (19), and NYU (16).

Academic Highlights:

  • Regis is an all-male 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.

8) Rye Country Day School

Location: 3 Cedar St, Rye, NY 10580

Tuition (9-12): $50,000

Enrollment (senior): ~100

Mid-50% SAT Score: 1420

Mid-50% ACT Score: 33

College Admissions Highlights:

Students from the Class of 2022 matriculated into: UChicago (4), UMich (4), WashU (4), BU (3), Cornell (3), Georgetown (3), Northwestern (3), Penn (3), Colgate (3), Duke (3), Dartmouth (2), Tufts (2), and Yale (2).

Academic Highlights:

  • Courses are offered in the Classics, computer science, engineering and robotics, and computational biology.
  • There are 50+ clubs for upper school students.
  • Access to three full-time college counselors.
  • 97% of surveyed grads say they were well prepared for college.
  • The average class size is 15.

9) The Chapin School

Location: 100 East End Ave, New York, NY 10028

Tuition (9-12): $59,700

Enrollment (seniors): 62

Average SAT Score: 1400

Average ACT Score: 32

College Admissions Highlights:

Colleges attended by multiple 2018-2022 graduates include: Cornell (25), UChicago (12), Penn (11), Princeton (10), Georgetown (10), Harvard (10), Duke (10), Columbia (8), Yale (7), UVA (7), Brown (7), the University of Michigan (7), and Northwestern (7).

Academic Highlights:

  • Chapin is an all-girls school.
  • The student-to-teacher is 6:1.
  • 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.
  • 48% of students identify as students of color.

10) The Spence School

Location: 22 E 91st St, New York, NY 10128

Tuition (9-12): $60,880

Enrollment (seniors): 66

Average SAT Score: 1500

Average ACT Score: 33

College Admissions Highlights:

Between 2020-2022, 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, the University of Michigan, 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.
  • 81% of teachers have advanced degrees.
  • The upper school is made up of 55% students of color.

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.

Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).