Best private schools in Chicago

Searching for private schools can be a challenge. Check out this list of the top educational environments in Chicago. Find the best one for your fa…

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

children wearing school uniforms, sitting in front of computers

If you’re moving to Chicago with children, you might be overwhelmed by the different choices of private schools available.

All in all, there are over 650 public schools in the Chicago Public Schools district alone. This includes standard neighborhood schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and selective enrollment schools.

And there are even great international schools. Some of these schools get great reviews from parents. Others lack the funding and resources to provide adequate opportunities for students.

However, it can be hard to tell which of these categories a school falls into. 

children writing on chalkboard at school

It’s no surprise, then, that many parents in Chicago choose to send their children to private schools instead.

From preschool through 12th grade, there are plenty of wonderful choices within city limits, each with its own specialty to cater to your child’s interests.

Here are our picks for the best Chicago private schools:


Latin School of Chicago

Neighborhood: Old Town

Grades: Preschool through 12th grade

Annual Tuition: $35,675

Latin School of Chicago is one of the oldest private schools in Chicago.

Founded in 1888, it originally consisted of a small group of boys who gathered in private homes for their daily lessons. The school got its name from a curriculum heavily focused on Classical studies, and Latin is still taught to its older students today.

If you’d like for your child to get personalized attention, especially in the elementary school years, take note that Latin’s student-to-teacher ratio is about 8:1, which is less than half that of Chicago Public Schools.

This aids in Latin’s preferred teaching method of experiential learning, which allows students to learn through hands-on projects such as simulations and labs.

In addition to its strong academics, the school also has a notable arts program. The program includes a wide range of electives from fashion design to the theater.

In fact, former actress and First Lady Nancy Reagan attended the Latin School of Chicago.


St. Ignatius College Preparatory School

Neighborhood: University Village

Grades: 9th through 12th grade

Annual Tuition: $19,000

St. Ignatius College Preparatory School may have the lowest tuition of any Chicago private school on our list, but this price tag doesn’t include an iPad, which is a required purchase for every student who attends the school.

Each student receives materials and assignments digitally. This may come as a relief if your child is used to hauling around a backpack full of heavy textbooks.

As its name implies, St. Ignatius is also a Catholic high school affiliated with the Jesuit network of schools and universities.

However, your family does not necessarily need to be members of the Catholic faith in order for your child to attend.

Many parents choose to send their children to Catholic schools because of the positive moral values that are taught as part of the curriculum.

The school also gives out a considerable amount of financial aid each year. Approximately 25% of students receive an average of $8,000 annually.

If this wasn’t enough, students are required to complete a certain number of service hours each year. This further supports a commitment to helping the community alongside their top education.


University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Neighborhood: Hyde Park

Grades: Preschool through 12th grade

Annual Tuition: $34,737

More familiarly known as Lab, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools is affiliated with the University of Chicago and is known as one of the most academically rigorous schools in the country.

In terms of sending its students to top universities, Lab was ranked fourth in the United States. These include Yale, MIT, Stanford, and Princeton.

For high school students at Lab, there are over 150 college preparatory classes to choose from. Although students are also invited to take classes at the University of Chicago for no extra fees. Extracurricular activity options include Model UN, the student newspaper, and a math team.

All of which are nationally ranked.

It’s no wonder that average SAT and ACT scores are exceptional, at 1460 and 32, respectively.


Lycée Français de Chicago

Neighborhood: Ravenswood

Grades: Preschool through 12th grade

Annual Tuition: $20,590

This Chicago private school is unique in that classes at the Lycée Français de Chicago are taught bilingually, in both French and English. The school caters not only to children of mixed-nationality parents and ex-pats living in Chicago.

But also to any English-speaking family who wants their child to also speak French fluently.

Children who currently speak only English are eligible to apply to the preschool and kindergarten programs, the Welcoming Program in grades 1-3, or to the International Baccalaureate program in high school.

Elementary school children drawing in class.

Because the student-to-teacher ratio is just 6:1., no matter which program at Lycée Français you might enroll your child in, they’re guaranteed to get plenty of specialized care.

There are also many other unique programs, such as the foreign exchange program. It allows students to study abroad for an entire semester and host a foreign exchange student for another semester.

There’s also Start’up Lycée which is an annual competition.

There, students at Lycée Français de Chicago compete with others at French high schools to build a startup company in just 48 hours.


Chicago Academy for the Arts

Neighborhood: River West

Grades: 9th through 12th grade

Annual Tuition:  $27,990

If your child is serious about pursuing a lifelong career in the creative arts, this is the first Chicago private school to consider. Two out of three graduates from the Chicago Academy for the Arts end up with a job in the arts.

However, each prospective student must also successfully pass an audition or submit a portfolio, depending on their desired area of study.

After the academic portion of each day, students spend between three and five hours training in their discipline. It pays off; the graduating class receives up to $10 million in scholarship offers each year, and alumni have gone on to win Grammys and other awards.

With so many great private school options in Chicago, you won’t have to worry about finding a safe and positive environment to send your child to each day.

When relocating as a family, finding a suitable school and home go hand in hand. What’s most important as a parent is to ensure that your kids feel at ease in the whole spaces they may identify with most.

At the end of the school day, come home to a Blueground apartment. You and your family will settle into having a central location, second bedrooms that can be furnished as a kids’ room, and app-enabled services so you can make the most of your first year in Chicago.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.