Nebraska has one of the finest education systems in the nation. Numerous high schools provide excellent education and high-quality athletic experiences. The best high schools in Nebraska combine academics and athletics to produce graduates who are ready for the challenges of college and careers.
U.S. News World Report Rankings and Reviews and Niche.com provide authority rankings that built the foundation for this article. These sources consider factors like student-to-teacher ratio, college preparedness, and academic performance, as well as noting the quality of each school’s sports.
Using these rankings, we have created our own list of the top high schools in the wonderful Midwestern state of Nebraska!
The Best Public Schools in Nebraska
Elkhorn South High School
Located in Omaha, the state’s largest city, Elkhorn South is considered by many to be the top academic institution in the entire state. It has an academic approach that creates lifelong learners, preparing them to be strong contributors to a global society.
The Elkhorn South Storm has won numerous state titles in a variety of sports. Since 2015, the school has claimed championships in football, softball, girls’ golf, girls’ cross country, and both girls’ and boys’ basketball.
Elkhorn High School
Elkhorn, a former town that is now a neighborhood on the western edge of Omaha, is home to many excellent schools including Elkhorn High School. This is a highly-rated public institution that, according to Niche, has a student-to-teacher ratio of 16-1.
The Antlers have one of the top athletic programs in the state. With teams for almost any athlete, Niche gives this school an A- in sports. Past success includes popular sports like football and basketball, as well as swimming and diving, tennis, wrestling, golf, and more.
The academics at Elkhorn High School are stellar. The school has earned a 95.48 from U.S. News Rankings and Reviews and gets A grades in academics and teachers from Niche.
Millard North High School
Millard is another former town that is now a part of Omaha. The neighborhood boasts numerous excellent schools but Millard North High School is one of the best. This school emphasizes academic skills, character traits, and personalized opportunities for each student, which has helped it earn the #1 ranking for Nebraska high schools from Niche.
The school gets an A- in sports from Niche. The Mustangs have recent championships in football, volleyball, and girls’ soccer and have a history of excellence in tennis, track, and wrestling.
Academically, the school has earned high rankings with an AP participation rate of 45%. The school also has an exceptional speech team, which won state championships in 1993 and 1996, as well as consecutive championships other than one year from 2017 to 2022.
Millard West High School
This school offers some of the most unique classes in the entire state. Students can enroll in diploma paths, dual enrollment programs, career academies, and advanced placement courses. This focus on academics has brought Millard West the ranking of #4 best school in Nebraska from Niche and a score of 86.93 from U.S. News Rankings and Reviews.
The MWHS Wildcats have built up one of the most flourishing athletic programs in Nebraska. They are particularly successful in dance and cheerleading, with numerous championships in recent years.
Bennington Secondary School
Located northwest of Omaha, the city of Bennington is home to one of Nebraska’s best public schools, Bennington Secondary School. The Badgers are one of the top schools for athletics and have earned an A- in sports from Niche.
Well-known across the state for its students’ academic achievements as well, U.S. News Rankings and Reviews has named it the #5 school in the entire state, thanks to high marks in AP participation, reading proficiency, and graduation rates.
Southwest High School
Located in the state’s capital, Lincoln, Southwest High School combines the Silver Hawks’ strong athletics with world-class academics to create one of the finest schools in the Cornhusker State. Niche gives it an A in teachers and clubs & activities, as well as an A- grade in academics.
The school has earned a strong reputation for academics, with high marks in SAT scores (an average of 1320) and ACT scores (26 average).
Bellevue West High School
Bellevue West does decently in academics, but the Thunderbirds demonstrate some of the most dominant athletics in Nebraska, with A’s from Niche in Sports and Clubs and Activities, which make it a clear choice for this list.
The Thunderbirds are excellent in many sports, but two programs stand out: volleyball and boy’s basketball. The volleyball team has 12 state championships since 1989, while the boy’s basketball team has five championships since 2000 and seven second-place finishes since 1991.
The Best Private Schools in Nebraska
Marian High School
If you are looking for an all-girls Catholic school that combines outstanding academics with exceptional athletics, Marian High School in Omaha is one of your best options. It has been ranked the #3 best private school in Nebraska by Niche.
This school gets an A- in athletics from Niche. Marian places a high emphasis on athletics and sees sports as an important aspect of learning and growth. The Crusaders offer 24 different sports for girls with over 40% of students participating in athletics.
Creighton Preparatory School
If you want a similar high-quality Catholic education but at an all-boys school, Creighton Preparatory is an ideal option. The school has advanced academics, and roughly 74% of all graduates receive at least one scholarship.
The Best High Schools in Nebraska are Ready for You!
A well-rounded education is critical for lifelong success. With a combination of academic excellence and outstanding athletics, these ten best high schools in Nebraska are waiting for you and your family.
Whether you want a school that excels in football or basketball, or you simply want the best education with a strong background in athletics, these schools are the best choice. From public schools to parochial institutions, these schools invest in and develop successful students who will make you proud!
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