8 Most Expensive High Schools in the U.S.

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Of the over 33,000 high schools in the United States, less than a quarter of them are private. Private high schools charge the families of the students tuition fees depending on the services and facilities offered by the school. The average tuition cost of these schools nationwide is $12,350. However, many schools charge much more than that.

On the high-end, private schools in the United States can charge a very high premium to board and educate high schoolers. Continue reading to learn about the 8 most expensive high schools in the U.S.

  1. The Woodhall School
  2. Tuition: $76,000
    Location: Bethlehem, Connecticut
    Enrollment: 42
    Founded: 1983
    The Woodhall School
    photo source: Private School Review

    This independent boarding high school houses and teaches 42 students in grades 9-12 in Bethlehem, Connecticut. Jonathan A. Woodhall and Sally Campbell Woodhall founded the school in 1983. The Woodhall School advertises an individualized learning program that focuses on multi-modal teaching paradigms, including college-prep courses.

    The current head of school is Matthew C. Woodhall. To be a student at The Woodhall School’s 38-acre campus costs $74,500 per year.

    Did you know?

    The motto of The Woodhall School is “Soli Ipsi Adesse,” which is Latin for, “Be present to the student [himself] alone.” It expresses the school’s stated intention to integrate intellectual, physical, moral, emotional, and spiritual learning using individualized programs focused on each student’s needs. It also serves as a reminder that The Woodhall School is a school for boys only.


  3. The Quad Preparatory School
  4. Tuition: $79,250
    Location: New York, New York
    Enrollment: 113
    Founded: 2009
    The Quad Preparatory School
    photo source: Quad Prep

    The Quad Preparatory School in New York, New York charges students $74,850 per year to provide its educational programs for both gifted and learning-challenged students who need fully customizable education programs.

    Quad’s program integrates emotional and social programs to give students a more individualized education. Its 113 students are taught by many teachers in a purposefully diverse array of disciplines. The school was founded in 2009 by its current Head of School, Kimberly Busi, MD.

    Did you know?

    To provide its students with the educational variety and expertise they need, Quad Preparatory School recruits staff with credentials from MIT, Yale, the NYU School of Medicine, and more, as well as teachers who hold higher degrees in medicine, special education, and psychology.


  5. Brehm Preparatory School
  6. Tuition: $80,215
    Location: Carbondale, Illinois
    Enrollment: 64
    Founded: 1982
    Brehm Preparatory School
    photo source: Brehm

    Brehm Preparatory School has been operating since 1982 in Carbondale, Illinois. It is both a boarding school and a college preparatory day school, which means that it houses most of its students but also holds classes for non-boarded high schoolers to prepare them for college. Unlike many schools on this list, Brehm Preparatory School offers classes for grades 6-8 as well as 9-12.

    Its 64 students annually pay $77,500 to attend Brehm Preparatory School (or at least, their parents do).

    Did you know?

    The executive headteacher of Brehm Preparatory School is Grant Sheehan. One of the things that sets this school apart, other than being a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1992-1992 (awarded by the U.S. Department of Education), is its huge campus. The Brehm campus is 100+ acres wide.


  7. The Lang School
  8. Tuition: $80,250
    Location: New York, New York
    Enrollment: 50
    Founded: 2010
    The Lang School
    photo source: The Lang School

    The Lang School was founded in 2010 in New York, New York by Cyril Lang, a tenth-grade English teacher who believed in challenging students of all learning levels. The school board disagreed. Disillusioned, he founded The Lang School with 13 enrolled students to create a curriculum for “twice-exceptional students,” those who are both gifted and challenged in some way, either with anxiety, dyslexia, attention disorders, or language-based learning challenges.

    Today, the school is a K12, unlike some boarding on this list. It teaches 50 students per year with an average of 12 students per class. Its tuition is $80,250 per year.

    Did you know?

    Lang established an interdisciplinary curriculum called MESH, which stands for “Math, Engineering, Science, and Humanities.” He focused on the original programs that got him in trouble in the public school system, which use literature and Socratic dialogues to encourage research-based learning and educational practices grounded in ethics.


  9. The Oxford Academy
  10. Tuition: $82,000
    Location: Westbrook, Connecticut
    Enrollment: 48
    Founded: 1906
    The Oxford Academy
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    The Oxford Academy is one of three schools named that. One is in Cypress, California and another is in Oxford in the United Kingdom. This one is in Westbrook, Connecticut and is one of the most expensive high schools in the United States.

    Its 26 faculty members teach a maximum of 48 students, which is an unusually high ratio. The current headmaster is Phillip Cocchiola. Tuition at The Oxford Academy is $82,000 per year.

    Did you know?

    This school is the oldest on this list, being founded in 1906. However, back then it was in Pleasantville, New Jersey, founded by the psychologist, Dr. Joseph M. Weidberg. Weidberg designed the school to use Socratic and John Dewey systems of learning to cater to students that he felt were not served well by traditional public and private schooling.


  11. Forman School
  12. Tuition: $85,900
    Location: Litchfield, Connecticut
    Enrollment: 230
    Founded: 1930
    Forman School
    photo source: Forman School

    Unlike some of the other most expensive high schools in the U.S., Forman School in Litchfield, Connecticut has at least 230 students yearly. This is because it is not exclusively a boarding school, serving as a day school too. Forman School features a postgraduate program for students that have learning disabilities like dyslexia and ADD.

    Forman School also offers a summer program that lasts for 4 weeks for students with these difficulties. Tuition for the boarded students at Forman School is $85,900 per year.

    Did you know?

    Forman School is one of the older schools on this list, founded in 1930. It currently runs under headmaster Adam K. Man, with 60 faculty and 230 students.


  13. Shortridge Academy
  14. Tuition: $112,500
    Location: Milton, New Hampshire
    Enrollment: 42
    Founded: 2002
    Shortridge Academy
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    The most expensive high school in the U.S. is Shortridge Academy. Like many of the priciest high schools, Shortridge Academy is a residential school, which boards its students for the school year. Unlike some private schools, Shortridge Academy is coeducational (or “coed”), meaning it educates males and females in the same classes.

    Shortridge Academy is known as a therapeutic school, which offers academic programs with an emphasis on college prep. In chilly New Hampshire, this high school is both a traditional boarding school and the most high-end modern institution of its kind in the United States, charging students’ families $112,500 in tuition per year, not including enrollment, technology, and other fees amounting to thousands more.

    Did you know?

    Shortridge Academy houses around 42 students each year. It was founded in Milton, New Hampshire in 2002 and currently runs under Anne Downey, its academic director.


The Takeaway

The most expensive high schools in the United States are all private schools, mostly boarding schools that house their students as well as educate them. The faculty at these schools are some of the most well-regarded educators in the country, facilitating highly individualized learning programs that cater to gifted students as well as those with learning difficulties (so long as they can pay).

While you may not be able to afford these schools, which all cost more than $65,000 per student per year, you can use the information provided in this list to learn about them and seek out cheaper schools that offer similar services. While the majority of United States students go to day school (“public school”), there are also many private options. If you can afford it, you may consider the educational benefits of the programs listed here, built specifically for your child’s needs.

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