On April 29th, Forbes published their list of Top 20 Prep schools (which included day schools). Their rankings were based 50% on matriculation statistics though they used a statistic which we have already described as a bit of a mixture of an image and historical category with the current reality (the Ivies + MIT + Stanford). The other 50% was based equally on endowment, student/faculty ratio and faculty with advanced degrees. Unfortunately, Forbes does not fully disclose their methodology (unlike us), so it’s difficult to comment in detail about exactly what they did. Even though they claim that half their ranking is determined by matriculation statistics, what does that really mean? How do they compare the apples and oranges of the four disparate measures that they use? Depending on exactly what they do (and their are a variety of seemingly reasonable ways to do so), the results can vary significantly.

Anyway, we present on a new page our list of top 25 matriculation statistics across our 3 pages, NYC day schools, other city day schools and boarding schools. We base the ranking on our preferred statistic, the MATRIC TOP Index. This index analyzes schools’ matriculation records to the top 25 national university and top 15 liberal arts colleges from the US News & World Report rankings. (Though in fact, we also include 2 additional liberal arts colleges because of ties and 5 international universities which pop up too often to ignore). More details about our methodology can be read on our home page with supporting data on the the college rankings page.

We have a few insights on the rankings. The NYC day schools dominate as they do the Forbes rankings with 8 schools (the same 7 plus St. Ann’s) present all in the top 20. Boarding schools have 6 present instead of 7 though Deerfield is not in the Top 20 like it was on the Forbes list and Milton dropped down to #26 and thus is not shown. And the Boston area day schools added a 4th school in addition to the 3 on the Forbes list (Buckingham Browne & Nichols). And the other 7 are spread around with 2 each in California (though 1 in the north and 1 in the south), Connecticut and Washington, DC. And finally one from Texas shows up.

And in the gender game, 15 of the schools are coed but the girls outdo the boys by 6 to 4 amongst the single sex schools.

It must be noted that there are a few potential candidates around the country which simply don’t make their data available (Sidwelll Friends in DC and Hockaday in Dallas, for example). We apologize for that, but we are limited by the data we can obtain. If anyone feels they have a school that is not already listed on one of our pages which should make this list, please bring it to our attention (via a contact email or the comments page) and we will be happy to analyze the data to determine if this page should be amended.

As stated on our home page, we definitively do NOT believe that better matriculation statistics imply that one school is better than another. But they are fun to look at, aren’t they?