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A Look Inside the Triangle's Most Prestigious Private Institutions

Looking for a region with some of the most elite schools in the Southeast? The North Carolina Triangle is known for its endless educational opportunities, but certain institutions simply outrank the competition. We're taking an exclusive look inside some of the Raleigh area's highest performing private schools to see what sets them apart from the rest—here are some of our top picks.

Ravenscroft School


The Ravenscroft School is nestled just off of Raleigh's Falls of Neuse Road, and it serves over 1,200 students ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade. This institution is one of the oldest private schools in Raleigh, and today, it has grown to serve some of the Triangle's brightest students. The school's curriculum aims to nurture personal and academic skills through a groundbreaking custom course of study designed by the Center for Creative Leadership.

Ravenscroft students benefit from robust fine arts, athletics, and global education programs. The school also offers dozens of clubs and activities, in addition to summer camp programs. And to top it all off, Ravenscroft also has quite a few famous alumni, including actors Thomas C. Hall (Dexter) and Emily Procter (The West Wing), and NFL player Antwan Harris. 

North Raleigh Christian Academy


Founded in 1996, the North Raleigh Christian Academy is a college-preparatory school that focuses on fostering student growth through its unique curriculum. Although it serves just under 1,500 students, this institution features endless opportunities that go beyond the classroom, such as European study abroad programs and community outreach projects.

The average class size at North Raleigh Christian Academy is just 19 students, which allows for a truly individualized learning experience. Classes also range from pre-kindergarten all the way to 12th grade, which means students often stay here for the entire duration of their academic careers. Popular programs at this prestigious institution include honors and Advanced Placement classes, college guidance, athletics, fine arts, and theater.

Cary Academy


Located in the heart of Cary, Cary Academy is a private secondary institution that serves high-achieving young men and women from middle to high school. Their custom-tailored curriculum emphasizes discovery, innovation, collaboration, and excellence, which helps to craft well-rounded graduates.

Cary Academy's expansive campus offers everything from a dining hall and dedicated learning buildings to athletics facilities and a Japanese garden. All students are also encouraged to enroll in "signatures," the school's elective-style courses that foster academic and personal development. As if that isn't enough, pupils also benefit from career and world language exchange programs, a high graduation rate, and a 10:1 student to teacher ratio.

Durham Academy 


Durham Academy is a private coeducational day school for students ranging from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. The school has four divisions, each with its own director, which helps to ensure a comprehensive and age-appropriate learning experience. Since its founding in 1933, Durham Academy has expanded its campus to four acres and received many national honors for its extracurricular programs. 

Students at Durham Academy enjoy a low student to teacher ratio of just 7:1, as well as a broad selection of Advanced Placement courses and opportunities for independent study. Many student athletes also go on to play sports for Division I schools throughout the nation, including Duke University, The University of North Carolina, and Harvard University. Other top programs at Durham Academy include its performing arts department and their speech and debate team. 

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