Ahead of the first day of school, Newsweek has revealed the top 500 high schools in the country — and three Austin-area schools make the cut.
Newsweek and research partner Westat assessed high schools on six factors: graduation rate, college-bound rate, enrollment in college preparedness classes, SAT/ACT scores, student retention, and counselor-to-student ratio. According to the publication, Westlake, Vandergrift and Dripping Springs high schools are the best in the region.
Westlake High School leads the pack in the Austin area. The well-regarded school ranks No. 4 in Texas and No. 106 overall. It boasts an impressive graduation rate of 100 percent and a college-bound rate of 99 percent.
Vandergrift High School in Leander ranks No. 20 in Texas and No. 256 overall, with a 99.5 percent graduation rate and a 93.6 percent college bound rate. Dripping Springs High School follows at No. 30 in the state and No. 480 in the nation. The school has a 100 percent graduation rate and a college-bound rate of 91 percent.
All three Austin-area schools also earned a "gold star" from Newsweek for having low-income students score at or above the average on standardized tests.
According to Newsweek, the three top-rated schools in Texas are the School For the Talented and Gifted at No. 26 (Dallas), Cedar Hill Collegiate High School at No. 76 (Cedar Hill) and DeBakey High School for Health Professionals at No. 91 (Houston).