The Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC can be a great place to live if you’re looking for a family-friendly neighborhood in the greater Washington, DC area (or the DMV, as it’s often known.) Southern Maryland’s schools are a particularly big draw for new residents with kids in tow.

How to Find the Best Schools in Southern Maryland

Finding the best schools in southern Maryland can take time, but here are some things to consider:

  • What are the school districts in your new area and what kind of ratings do they earn from independent agencies?
  • What are the districts’ high school graduation rates?
  • What are the local math and reading proficiency scores?
  • How do former students describe their experiences, and are there a lot of reviews online?

With these as our guidelines, let’s take a deeper dive into the schools southern Maryland has to offer.

What Private Schools Are in Southern Maryland?

The Maryland suburbs of Washington have a lot of highly rated private schools. Here, we’ve broken them down by county, covering the areas of Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Howard County. Schools are ranked via a combination of test scores, graduation rates and online student feedback. Affordability can be hard to include in these ratings, since most private schools prefer not to disclose their pricing online, and most will offer sliding rates for different families based on merit and need.

Top Private Schools in Prince George’s County

DeMatha Catholic High School, Hyattsville, MD

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DeMatha Catholic High School offers grades 9-12 and earns stellar grades from online reviewers. In 2023, the school claims to have 813 students and a student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1.

Belair Baptist Christian Academy, Bowie, MD

Belair Baptist Christian Academy offers private religious education to children of all faith backgrounds in a K-12 system. The school generally lacks afterschool programs, but it is in a partnership with a larger local Christian private network that’s nationally ranked for various sports. Belair is a very small school, with just 55 students and a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

New Hope Academy, Hyattsville, MD

New Hope Academy offers preschool for potty-trained children, in addition to its regular K-12 program. The school has 196 students and a student-to-teacher ratio of 7:1. Over 80% of its graduates go on to a four-year college, and financial aid is available for the approximately $14,000 annual tuition.

Top Private Schools in Montgomery County

Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, MD

Holton-Arms School offers grades 3-12 for its 665 students. It boasts a low student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1 and enjoys nearly universally positive reviews from families and former students who post their experiences online.

Landon School, Bethesda, MD

Landon School offers grades 3-12 and has a 700-student body. The student-to-teacher ratio is just 5:1, and it gets A and A+ ratings from several online education rating sources, as well as a 4.5/5 star rating that’s fairly stable across different review sites.

Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, MD

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Georgetown Preparatory School is a Catholic boys’ boarding school that earns universally high marks for academics, clubs, college prep and teacher performance. Fees include boarding and may exceed $68,000 a year, though 28% of students receive financial aid.

Top Private Schools in Howard County

Glenelg Country School, Ellicott City, MD

Glenleg Country School offers pre-K and K-12 on a campus with 761 students and a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio. The school is set somewhat back into the country, with wide open lands around the campus and a quaint, rustic atmosphere.

Chapelgate Christian Academy, Marriottsville, MD

Chapelgate Christian Academy has 383 students and a student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1. The school offers K-12, and promotes its highly individual approach to students’ needs.

Fusion Academy Columbia, Columbia, MD

Fusion Academy Columbia offers grades 6-12 for its 68 students. It boasts a low 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, and emphasizes college prep in its materials and curriculum.

Public Schools in Southern Maryland

If private school isn’t part of your family’s plan, you’re not out of luck. The Maryland suburbs around the capital offer some highly regarded public schools that earn high marks at every level, from elementary through high school. Here are some of the top-rated public schools in the Maryland counties closest to the District of Columbia.

How Are Schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland?

Prince George’s County public schools are unique in the United States for having basically 100% minority enrollment. Its 209 schools serve 131,646 students, 49% of whom are considered economically disadvantaged. The high school graduation rate is over 80%, and 98% of the district’s teachers are certified.

How Are Schools in Montgomery County, Maryland?

xThe 209 campuses in Montgomery County serve 160,564 students, 70% of whom are minority listed. About 28% of the students’ families are economically disadvantaged. Montgomery County schools maintain a 14:1 student-to-teacher ratio and an 89% graduation rate.

How Are Schools in Howard County, Maryland?

Schools in Howard County serve 57,293 students on 77 campuses. Minority enrollment is 70%, and 14% are economically disadvantaged. Over 90% of students graduate from the 12th grade, and 48% are considered college ready.

What Colleges and Universities Are in Southern Maryland?

For many people, education doesn’t stop at the 12th grade. More and more families are choosing to support their recently graduated students at home, or to encourage their adult kids to look for schools close enough to live at home or commute fairly easily back and forth from campus. That makes the local university scene more important than it would have been in the past, when recent graduates would routinely travel across the country to attend school out of state, or at least far from the home where they grew up.

Southern Maryland has several colleges and universities that earn top marks for quality of education, merit-based access and admissions, cost and alumni support for graduates. Post-secondary education can be evaluated in different ways, largely depending on what you hope to get out of it and how far you plan to go in your academic career. A good school for undergrads, for instance, might be less ideal for graduate school, just as a good school for the humanities might be ranked relatively low for the sciences.

Here, we’ve listed some of the best colleges and universities in Southern Maryland with an eye toward balancing quality factors and finding desirable schools for your kids to apply to. We’ve also gone a little outside the immediate area to include the more prestigious schools in the region, with the idea that new students can reach the campus without driving too far from home.

Top Colleges and Universities in the Capital Area

Read to make the move?

When you’re ready to consider moving to Maryland’s DC suburbs, give us a call. We have Washington DC movers ready to help you all over the greater Washington DC area, from the Virginia suburbs of Arlington and Alexandria up to Baltimore.

Tyler Brown