Which local schools are best for college prep?

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Several high schools in Shelby County are among the best in the state for preparing students for college, according to a list recently compiled by a national ranking website.

Niche.com recently released its list of the best public high schools in Alabama for college prep, basing their rankings on graduation rates, Advanced Placement enrollment, SAT and ACT scores, state test scores and the quality of colleges students at the schools consider.

Spain Park High School in Hoover came in at No. 6 on the list, earning an overall Niche grade of A+, a grade of A for college prep, an average SAT score of 1220, an average ACT score of 27 and an AP class enrollment of 30 percent. Spain Park students are most interested in attending Auburn University, The University of Alabama and UAB.

Oak Mountain High School in North Shelby came in at No. 13 on the list, earning an overall Niche grade of A, a college prep grade of A, an average ACT score of 27, an average SAT score of 1320 and a 16 percent AP class enrollment. Like Spain Park, Oak Mountain students are most interested in attending Auburn University, The University of Alabama and UAB.

Helena High School placed No. 19 on the list, earning an overall Niche grade of A, an A- for college prep, an average SAT score of 1270 and an average ACT score of 26. Helena High School students are most interested in attending Auburn University, UAB and The University of Alabama.

Alabaster’s Thompson High School rounded out Shelby County’s showing in the top 25, coming in at No. 24. Thompson earned an overall Niche grade of A-, a B+ for college prep and posted an average SAT score of 1040, an average ACT score of 25 and an AP class enrollment of 15 percent.

Thompson students were most interested in attending UAB, The University of Alabama and Auburn University.