Here Are the 20 Most Expensive Private High Schools in America

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- George Washington Carver said that "education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." But as anyone who has attended a four-year college in the last decade can attest, access to that door to freedom isn't necessarily free. Freedom at this point isn't even really affordable for large swaths of Americans.

The average tuition for a private nonprofit four-year institution including room and board is $40,917, a 14% five year percentage change. Public institutions cost $18,391 a year, a 20% increase from the previous five years.

While grade schooling is provided by the government and paid for by taxes, parents of means do have the option of sending their children to elite private schools. These schools are very exclusive, often have famous alumni, and are all extremely expensive. All of the schools on this list have a higher tuition than the average four-year colleges and universities in this country.

Here is the list of the most expensive Private High Schools in America.

#20 - The Browning School

Non Boarding Tuition: $42,850

Enrollment: 113

Location: New York, NY

Founded: 1888

The Browning School has a rough application process with only 30% of applicants being accepted into the Upper East Side all-boys academy. The school does not admit any applicants in the 11th or 12th grades. Notable alumni include John D. Rockefeller, JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, and former DNC chairman and Presidential candidate Howard Dean.

#19 - The Berkshire School

Non Boarding Tuition: $42,975

Enrollment: 399

Location: Sheffield, MA

Founded: 1907

This coed school located at the foot of Mount Everett, one of the highest mountains in the state, offers access to different amenities such as its own radio station and boasts an endowment of $112 million. The school counts journalists Ryan Lizza and Chester Currier as alumni.

#18 - Ethical Culture Fieldston School

Non-Boarding Tuition: $43,265

Enrollment: 588

Location: Bronx, NY

Founded: 1878

This Ivy Prepatory School League member was founded by 24 year old Felix Adler. The school is firmly part of the progressive movement, a fitting legacy to its founder. Notable alumni include former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, author William Melvin Kelley, Federal Reserve Board Governor Frederic Mishkin, Manhattan Project Scientific Dirrector J. Robert Oppenheimer, and musician Gil Scott-Heron.

#17 - Middlesex School

Non-Barding Tution: $43,300

Enrollment: 375

Location: Concord, MA

Founded: 1901

Middlesex School was formerly an all-boys school that went coed in 1974. The school boasts an endowment of $194 million and a mean SAT score of 2090. The school had 17 AP National Scholars and 22 AP Scholars with Honor in 2013. Notable Alumni include former New Mexico Governor and Presidential candidate Bill Richardson, actor Steve Carell, former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. 

#16 - Horace Mann School

Non Boarding Tuition: $43,300

Enrollment: 724

Location: Bronx, NY

Founded: 1887

Ranked the second best preparatory school in the country in 2010, Horace Mann School is the third most expensive private school in New York City. Notable alumni include Washington Post writer Marc Fisher, former U.S. Attorney General Willam Barr and former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer.

#15 - Groton

Non Boarding Tuition: $43,390


Groton, MA


This private Episcopal college preparatory boarding school boasts notable graduates such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, author Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep), and actor Sam Waterston.

#14 - Collegiate School

Non Boarding Tuition: $43,400

Enrollment: 222

Location: New York, NY

Founded: 1628

This Upper West side all-boys school is the oldest in the country. The school was ranked first in the world for the number of freshman students at Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Williams, Pomona, Swarthmore, The University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins in 2007. Notable alumni include JFK Jr., The Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Actor Cesar Romero, Grammy winner Mark Ronson and Buzzfeed President Jon Steinberg.

#13 - The Peddie School

Non Boarding Tuition: $43,500


Hightstown, NJ


While originally founded as an all-girls school, the school became an all-boys school between 1908 and the early 1970s.  Today, Peddie is coeducational.

#12 - Concord Academy

Non Boarding Tuition: $43,680

Enrollment: 365

Location: Concord, MA

Founded: 1922

Concord Academy alumni include current U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, Masters of Sex television star Caitlin FitzGerald and former U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, Peter Fisher.

#11 - Kent School

Non-Boarding Tuition: $44,500

Enrollment: 567

Location: Kent, CT

Founded: 1906

This Episcopalian school is proud of its religious tradition and the entire student body gathers for three weekly services at its St. Joseph's Chapel. The coed school has a diverse religious student body. The school also has a robust athletic program with over 70% of the student body participating in a sport. Notable alumni include actor Ted Danson, singer Lana Del Rey, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, and director Will Wallace.

#10 - Marymount School

Non-Boarding Tuition: $44,630

Enrollment: 201

Location: New York, NY

Founded: 1926

This New York City catholic day school boasts a 100% college acceptance rate for its graduating classes. The school takes advantage of its location, holding regular classes at the Met.

#9 - Newton Country Day School

Non-Boarding Tuition: $44,740

Enrollment: 231

Location: Newton, MA

Founded: 1880

This all-girl Roman Catholic school emphasizes spiritual as well academic excellence and offers students plenty of amenities such as its new ice hockey rink.

#8 - Lawrence Academy

Non Boarding Tuition: $44,800

Enrollment: 399

Location: Groton, MA

Founded: 1793

Lawrence Academy is the third oldest boarding school in the country. The school boasts student to teacher ratio of 5:1 with an average class size of 14. The school offers students unique programs like Costa Rican ecology excursions and sailing lessons. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is a graduate, along with former first round NBA draft pick Antoine Wright, and Audrey McNiff, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.

#7 - Trinity School

Non-Boarding Tuition: $44,850

Enrollment: 449

Location: New York, NY

Founded: 1709

Trinity School is the fifth oldest school in the country and the oldest continuously operated school in New York City. Forbes Magazine named the school the best college prep school in the U.S. in 2010. Notable alumni include journalist David Faber, tennis players John and Patrick McEnroe, composer Charles Wuorinen and Facebook (FB) CFO David Ebersman.

#6 - The Spence School

Non Boarding Tuition: $45,150


New York, NY


The Spence School is an American all-girls independent school in New York City.  Notable alumnae include Gwyneth Paltrow, Kerry Washington, and Mary Ellis Peltz, the first chief editor of Opera News.

#5 - Avenues: The World School

Non Boarding Tuition: $45,350

1,110 (15 grades)

New York, NY


Avenues: The World School is a planned international and integrated "learning community" of for-profit private schools for pre-K-12th grades. This is the first location of about 20 planned schools around the world.

#4 - Riverdale Country School

Non Boarding Tuition: $45,600

Enrollment: 455

Location: Bronx, NY

Founded: 1907

The Riverdale Country School's sprawling 27.5 acre campus is the largest in New York City. Notable Alumni include actor Chevy Chase, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Director Joss Whedon and Actress Sarah Michelle Geller.

#3 - The Hotchkiss School

Non Boarding Tuition: $45,605

Enrollment: 594

Location: Lakeville, CT

Founded: 1891

Hotchkiss is part of the Eight Schools Association, the Ten Schools Admissions Organization and the G20 Schools group. The school has one of the largest endowments of any secondary school in the country at $430 million. Alumni include Time Magazine founders Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, and automotive magnates Henry Ford II, Edsel Ford and William Clay Ford.

 #2 - Salisbury School

Non Boarding Tuition: $47,250

Enrollment: 310

Location: Salisbury, CT

Founded: 1901

This all-boys prep school requires all seniors take a philosophy and religion course. The average class size at the school is 11 students. The school has a nationally recognized lacrosse team and has won hockey league championships in four of the past eight seasons. Notable alumni include Major League Baseball pitcher Chris Dwyer and two time Olympian Porter Collins.

#1 - The Lawrenceville School

Non Boarding Tuition: $47,840

Enrollment: 817

Location: Lawrenceville, NJ

Founded: 1810

Students at this prestigious school get what they pay for with an average SAT score of 2095. Fidel Castro, Muhammad Ali, President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Billy Collins, Arianna Huffington and Cornel West have all spoken at the school. Alumni include U.S. Senator David Baird, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Forbes Publisher Malcolm Forbes and NBA All-Star Joakim Noah.

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