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Six metro area high schools rank among top 25% in the nation

WATERLOO — Six of the area’s high schools were among the top 25% of public high schools in the U.S., according to a report released Tuesday.

U.S. News & World Report looked at nearly 18,000 high schools across the nation and ranked them based on college readiness with Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams; reading, math and science proficiency; performance of underserved students; and graduation rates.

There are 317 Iowa high schools and 16 in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area.

The six area schools in the nation’s top 25% are also in the top 10% for the state. Those include Cedar Falls, Denver, Hudson, Waverly-Shell Rock, Waterloo West and Grundy Center. These schools also climbed the charts from where they were last year. Last year, only Cedar Falls and Denver were in the top 25%.

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Waterloo West and East’s ranks rose significantly. West jumped up more than 3,000 spots while East rose at least 1,219 spots. Last year, East was in the bottom 25% of schools so it received a range rather than a specific ranking. Schools in the bottom quarter this year are BCLUW, Dunkerton and Janesville. Tripoli also made its way out of the bottom 25% this year.

Cedar Falls High School ranked first out of the 16 in the metro area. It is 12th in the state and has a national ranking of 2,316. The next three high schools in the area and their state and national rankings are Denver (18 and 3,220), Hudson (23 and 3,975) and Waverly-Shell Rock (28 and 4,205).

2024 Cedar Valley high school ranking chart

Waterloo West is ranked number five and Waterloo East at 11.

Expo in Waterloo is not included in the ranking because their enrollment was too small to be analyzed.

Based on the percentage of a state’s high school in the top 25% of the rankings, Iowa sits at 44 of the 50 states. States performing lower than Iowa include Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Maine.

Iowa City’s West Senior High is the only school in the state in the top 5% of the nation in 626th place. There are seven schools in the top 10% and 31 in the top 25%.

Massachusetts is the top-ranked state, with 43.9% of its high schools in the top quarter across the country.

For more information on the rankings, visit .