What it costs to live in the top 10 school districts in the U.S.

  • Photo: Zillow

    If you want your children to go to the best schools in the country, you may want to move to a small town near New York City or Philadelphia.

    According to a recent study by Niche, a website that ranks more than 13,000 public school districts in the United States, six of the top 10 public school districts in the United States are in suburbs of New York City, with four in Westchester County alone. Three of the best school districts are in Pennsylvania, with an outlier district in upstate New York.

    Niche compiles its list by assessing what it calls the "overall experience" at public schools throughout the country and in Puerto Rico. Data is sourced from government and public data (including test scores and financial documents). Additional data is collected by Niche and more than 4.6 million opinion-based survey responses from current students, recent alumni and parents.

    According to Niche, high rankings indicate that students are happy with their schools in areas such as academics, teachers, health, safety, resources, facilities, extracurriculars, sports and fitness, and that district schools excel by providing stellar academic opportunities, learning resources, diversity and extracurriculars.

    As Niche puts it, "A high ranking indicates that the district contains great schools with exceptional teachers, sufficient resources, and a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experiences very highly."

    Not-so-coincidentally, all the districts listed in Niche's top 10 have nearly perfect ratings at GreatSchools.org, a site that rates schools based on how well their students perform on standardized tests.

    The towns with the best schools all also feature open spaces, close proximity to a major metropolitan area and -- especially in the case of each of the New York City suburbs -- high home prices.

    Click ahead for a look at these top 10 districts and how much it'll cost you to live there.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns ThinkGlink.com, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.