Private Schools

Ranking Eyes Which Schools Send Most on to Top Colleges

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The Wall Street Journal offers a twist on the controversial practice of ranking schools with a recent analysis of which high schools send the most students to a small group of top U.S. colleges and universities.

All the high schools in the top 10 are private, but a larger list of 40 includes six U.S. public schools—and two private ones from South Korea. The Journal ran a similar analysis in 2004.

“New York City private schools and New England prep schools continue to hold sway, … but these institutions are seeing some new competition from schools overseas and public schools that focus on math and science,” reporter Ellen Gameran writes in the Nov. 30 story.

The analysis examined the freshman classes at eight highly selective institutions: Pomona, Swarthmore, and Williams colleges; Harvard, Princeton, and Johns Hopkins universities; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the University of Chicago. It identified which schools with 50 or more graduates sent the largest shares of students; in most cases, more than one school had the same rate.


Atop the ranking was the all-boys Collegiate School in New York City, which sent 13 of last year’s 50 seniors to one of the eight colleges. Next came the Brearley School, at second, and the Chapin School, also in New York. Fourth was Polytechnic School in Pasadena., Calif., followed by the University of Chicago Lab Schools.

Next on the list were: College Preparatory School in Oakland, Calif.; Trinity School in New York City; Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.; Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J.; and Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H.

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For more stories on this topic see Colleges & Careers.

Among the public schools in the top 40 were Hunter College and Stuyvesant high schools in New York City and Princeton High School in Princeton, N.J. The South Korean schools were the Daewon Foreign Language High School and the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy.

Noting that the Washington-based National Association of Independent Schools generally “is opposed to any kind of school rankings,” spokeswoman Myra A. McGovern said: “The best school is the school that most closely meets the needs of an individual student, and that can’t be determined by an arbitrary ranking.”

Vol. 27, Issue 15, Page 6

Published in Print: December 12, 2007, as Ranking Eyes Which Schools Send Most on to Top Colleges

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