Education

Colorado's Best Public and Private High Schools in 2021

Kent Denver School is rated the top private high school in Colorado for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Kent Denver School is rated the top private high school in Colorado for the 2021-2022 academic year. niche.com
Kent Denver School recently made national news after two former teachers, Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, were charged with espionage. But we're guessing administrators are happier with another development: Kent Denver has been named the best private high school in Colorado.

The new list from the ratings service Niche for the 2021-2022 academic year offers separate rosters for public and private high schools in the state, with its grades focusing on five main subject areas: academics, diversity, teachers, college prep and clubs/activities. Also included are marks for health and safety at the public level and sports for the private institutions.

The Niche rankings, now in their eighth year, looked at 94,491 public schools, 2,489 private schools and 11,846 school districts nationwide in 2021, and even the top Colorado facilities didn't make much of a splash compared to those in the country as a whole. For instance, Kent Denver registers as the 143rd best private high school in the U.S. (out of 4,290 total). But it topped all private competitors in Colorado, while Cherry Creek High School took the gold among public high schools.

Speaking of gold, paying for a Kent Denver education is beyond the means of most parents, given an annual tuition in excess of $32,000 — and Niche reveals that only about 24 percent of students receive financial aid. Moreover, would-be students outside of major Colorado urban areas will have to move if they want to experience what Niche sees as the most elite educational opportunities in the state; all of its best schools in both the public and private categories are in metro Denver or Colorado Springs.

Continue to see the Niche picks for the top five public and top five private high schools in Colorado, complete with grades in major categories and tuition information. Click an item's link for more details about each school.

Best Public High Schools

1. Cherry Creek High School
Greenwood Village

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: B+
Teachers grade: A+
College Prep grade: A+
Clubs & Activities grade: A+
Health & Safety grade: A minus

2. Stargate Charter School
Thornton

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: A minus
Teachers grade: A+
College Prep grade: A
Clubs & Activities grade: C+
Health & Safety grade: A minus

3. Fairview High School
Boulder

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: B
Teachers grade: A
College Prep grade: A+
Clubs & Activities grade: B+
Health & Safety grade: A minus

4. D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School
Denver

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: B
Teachers grade: A
College Prep grade: A+
Clubs & Activities grade: C+
Health & Safety grade: A

5. Cheyenne Mountain High School
Colorado Springs

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: B
Teachers grade: A
College Prep grade: A
Clubs & Activities grade: A
Health & Safety grade: A minus

Best Private High Schools

1. Kent Denver School
Denver

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: A minus
Teachers grade: A+
College Prep grade: A+
Clubs & Activities grade: A+
Sports grade: A

Yearly Tuition: $32,841
Received Financial Aid: 24 percent
Average Financial Aid: $24,640

2. Colorado Academy
Denver

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: B+
Teachers grade: A+
College Prep grade: A+
Clubs & Activities grade: A+
Sports grade: A

Yearly Tuition: $30,840
Received Financial Aid: 19 percent
Average Financial Aid: N/A

3. Fountain Valley School
Colorado Springs

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: A
Teachers grade: A
College Prep grade: A+
Clubs & Activities grade: A
Sports grade: B

Yearly Tuition: $30,500
Boarding (Tuition + Boarding): $61,500
Received Financial Aid: 40 percent
Average Financial Aid: N/A

4. The Colorado Springs School
Colorado Springs

Academics grad: A+
Diversity grade: A
Teachers grade: A
College Prep grade: A+
Clubs & Activities grade: A
Sports grade: B minus

Yearly Tuition: $24,300
Received Financial Aid: 40 percent
Average Financial Aid: $8,751

5. St. Mary's Academy
Englewood

Academics grade: A+
Diversity grade: B+
Teachers grade: A
College Prep grade: A+
Clubs & Activities grade: A
Sports grade: B

Yearly Tuition: $22,810
Received Financial Aid: 24 percent
Average Financial Aid: $12,000
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts