The full Newsweek article can be read here.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School ranks among the top 20 percent of all private high schools in the United States and is the #1 private high school in Mississippi. Newsweek reported the rankings in a February 3, 2021 article, listing St. Andrew’s #178 in its ranking of the nation’s top 1,000 private schools.
“The Newsweek ranking reinforces what we already knew,” said Tom Sheppard, St. Andrew’s head of school. “While we’re happy to be recognized as the best in Mississippi, St. Andrew’s offers a national caliber education. Our ranking as one of the top 20 percent of schools in America is reflected in the caliber of our faculty and our programming and in the achievements of our current students and our alumni nationwide.”
Newsweek relied on criteria provided by Niche, a private organization that annually ranks every K-12 school in the United States, in compiling the rankings. Criteria included academics, quality of faculty, teacher/student ratio, diversity, college prep, sports programs, and clubs and extracurricular opportunities. The national rankings were based on statistical information, plus reviews by actual teachers, students, and parents at each school.
Based on the Niche criteria, St. Andrew’s was the only private high school in Mississippi ranked among the top 500 nationwide; the highest ranking by another Mississippi private high school was #861.
Return on Investment
At $20,050, St. Andrew’s tuition was the sixth-lowest on the list of top schools in each state profiled by Newsweek. The highest tuition on Newsweek’s top schools list was $55,500. The average tuition was $30,762.
According to St. Andrew’s alumni, the school delivers a strong return on that tuition investment. As senior vice president of digital products with Rightpoint in Boston, Ben Johnson, St. Andrew’s class of 2007 and the school’s 2021 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, leads a team of designers creating custom digital products for clients. His clients have included Costco, Cadillac, Macy’s, Six Flags, and Boston Dynamics.
“My parents prioritized my education by sending me to St. Andrew’s,” Johnson said. “It was important to them that I take academics seriously, but also that I was pushed to explore different activities. My time at St. Andrew’s helped shape my leadership skills and laid a strong foundation for the work I’m doing today. I’m forever indebted to my parents for seeking out the kind of education I received at St. Andrew’s.”
Josh Clark, a 1990 graduate and founder of New York-based Southpoint Capital Advisors, agreed. “I graduated from St. Andrew's Episcopal School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then earned my MBA at Harvard. I can honestly tell you St. Andrew's provided the best education I ever had.”
Highest Caliber Faculty
A critical factor in the rankings was the caliber of the St. Andrew’ faculty. St. Andrew’s recruits locally, nationally, and internationally to find and hire the most talented educators in every discipline. Almost 20 percent of faculty and staff members are from out-of-state or overseas.
“Being part of a place that offers viewpoints that bring in broad, worldwide perspectives is refreshing,” said Colin Dunnigan, director of college counseling and associate head of St. Andrew’s Upper School. “It’s meaningful to be part of a faculty that sees its purpose as encouraging students to take on intellectually challenging work in all subject areas. I see St. Andrew's as counter-cultural in a time when expectations too often seem to be lowered, or the trajectory for students' futures is narrow or self-limiting. Being part of the group that shepherds students through such a place is rewarding beyond measure.”
The faculty also includes St. Andrew’s alumni who chose the school that shaped them as the best place to build a rewarding career.
“As an alum of St. Andrew's, I have the privilege to work alongside many of the teachers who inspired me
to teach,” said 2003 graduate Marty Kelly, Upper School English teacher. “This ranking is validation for the hard work done day in and day out by our faculty, staff, coaches, administration, and especially our students. Mississippi is oft-maligned for lack of educational achievement. I’m proud that St. Andrew's changes that narrative and that I get to be a part of that change.”
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Was Ranked:*
Top 20% of Private High Schools in America
#178 Private High School in America
#93 Private K-12 School in America
#1 Private High School in Mississippi
#1 Private K-12 School in Mississippi
#22 Best Christian High School in America
#137 Best College Prep Private High School in America
#1 Best College Prep Private High School in Mississippi
#1 Best Christian High School in Mississippi
*Rankings data provided by Niche, an independent organization that ranks every K-12 school in the United States.