Top U.S. Private High Schools with the Highest Percentage of Graduates Accepted to Ivy League Universities

Top U.S. Private High Schools with the Highest Percentage of Graduates Accepted to Ivy League Universities

By Admissions Expert, Dr. Paul Lowe

Did you ever wonder why parents pay as high as $60,000 a year for private high school?  Did you ever wonder why the private school admissions process in Manhattan is so hyper-competitive?

I am always surprised in my college admissions seminars at parents who assume that it really doesn’t matter where their kids attend school when their kid is interested in Ivy League colleges.

As many parents suspect, the path to Ivy League acceptance is most successfully traveled via exclusive, elite private schools. College counselors at private schools spend more time and resources to guide students on this journey. Furthermore, Ivy League universities recruit heavily from these high schools because of long standing and historical relationships, as well as the fact that they view students as potentially successful in their institution, having already competed to gain entrance into and demonstrated success with the curriculum in their respective private schools.

Although public high schools now account for approximately half of the admissions to Ivy League universities, when you examine the per-school percentage, private high students still have a have a competitive advantage and edge. According to a study conducted by Worth magazine, 94 of the top 100 Ivy League feeder schools were private high schools.

Here is a list of the top 14 private high schools that send the greatest percentage of students to the Ivies.

  1. Trinity School – NY, NY:  40%
  2. Collegiate School – NY, NY:  40%
  3. Brearley School – NY, NY:  37%
  4. Horace Mann School – Bronx, NY:  36%
  5. Roxbury Latin School – West Roxbury, MA:  36%
  6. Phillips Academy Andover – Andover, MA:  33%
  7. The Spence School – NY, NY:  33%
  8. The Winsor School – Boston, MA:  31%
  9. The Dalton School – NY, NY:  31%
  10. St. Paul’s School – Concord, NH:  30%
  11. Chapin School – NY, NY:  30%
  12. Harvard-Westlake School – Los Angeles, CA:  30%
  13. Phillips Exeter Academy – Exeter, NH:  29%
  14. The College Preparatory School – Oakland, CA:  29%

As you see, the average acceptance rate for these elite private high schools to the Ivies is approximately 33%. For public high schools, even those located in coveted suburban towns, the rate is on average 2%. For parents who want their kids to get into the Ivies, they may want to consider one of the top private schools or may alternatively consider a specialized college admissions consultant who has expert knowledge of the Ivy League admissions process.


Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Greenwich Admissions Advisors. Tel. (203) 542-7288, and founder of Ivy League Admissions Advisors a part of the Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  

Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for families and students who are interested in applying to top private schools, Ivy League and highly selective colleges and combined BS/MD programs. Dr. Lowe also helps students gain admissions into their top choice private schools and colleges after they have been wait-listed and rejected. Dr. Lowe and his Greenwich Admissions Advisors team provide house-calls for families with extremely busy schedules who can’t come to their office.