Top Schools in Northern VA
Public and Private Schools Ranked “Best Schools in Virginia”
The best schools in Northern Virginia are routinely ranked as the top in the state and even the country.
Niche’s 2020 private school ranking of the best schools in Virginia found all of the top four to be in Northern Virginia. At the top of the list, The Potomac School’s graduates from the 2015-2019 classes can be found at every single Ivy League institution. But private schools aren’t the only top-ranking education systems across the region. In 2020, U.S. News & World Report found that 9 out of the top 10 public high schools in Virginia are located in Northern Virginia.
Students in Northern Virginia join diverse student bodies and small class sizes to learn how to be leaders and change the world. Experiential learning programs, internships, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, fine arts programs, and top-ranked athletics are at the ready as prepared students find and pursue their passions.
Graduates of Northern Virginia schools go on to prestigious colleges and universities, many receiving scholarships thanks to their performance in rigorous program offerings.
Rankings & Stats
9 of U.S. News & World Report's top 10 Virginia public high schools of 2020 are in Northern Virginia
16 of U.S. News & World Report's top 20 Virginia public high schools of 2020 are in Northern Virginia
Top Ranked Academics and Diversity
Fairfax County Public Schools is the 10th largest district in the U.S. Its Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, established through a partnership between Fairfax County Public Schools and private industry STEM leaders, is ranked #1 in the nation by both U.S. News & World Report and Niche.
Championing diversity, Alexandria City Public Schools enrolls 15,000 K-12 students hailing from 120 countries and speaking more than 120 languages and ranks as the nation’s #12 most diverse school district according to Niche. Arlington Public Schools’ student population of 28,000 is also one of the nation’s most diverse, with over 150 countries and 110 languages represented across the district.
Other public districts in Northern Virginia also rank highly in academics and athletics, including Falls Church City Public Schools, Fauquier County Public Schools, Loudoun County Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, and Prince William County Public Schools.
Best in the State
Niche’s 2020 ranking of private schools in Virginia found all of the top four schools to be in Northern Virginia. At the top of the list, The Potomac School’s graduates from the 2015-2019 classes can be found at every single Ivy League institution.
Teacher engagement and student success are central at #2-ranked Episcopal High School in Alexandria, where the average class size is 11 and each teacher has three seated meals with students every week. Every senior works, conducts research, or pursues a creative project during an on-site externship and alumni go on to be Rhodes Scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, and governors.
Find Your Community
Ready to make your move to Northern VA? Our quiz helps you decide which neighborhood for families is the best place to live, whether it’s a D.C. neighborhood, Northern VA, or Fairfax County.
Cost of Living Calculator
One of the best places to live near DC, Northern Virginia’s amenities offer high value at a lower cost of living than many major metros. Explore our cost of living calculator to help you plan your finances when moving.