Top 100 Best High Schools 2013– North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics – Newsweek – 23/100
GRAD RATE(%): 100
AP/IB TESTS: 1.2
COLLEGE BOUND(%): 100
AVG SAT: 2034
AVG ACT: 30
SUBS LUNCH(%): 8
AVG AP SCORE: 4
NEWSWEEK SCORE: 3.9
1219 Broad St, Durham, NC 27705, United States
The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) is a two-year, public residential high school located in Durham, North Carolina, that focuses on the intensive study of science, mathematics and technology. The school accepts rising juniors from across North Carolina and enrolls them through senior year. Though NCSSM is a public school, enrollment is limited, and applicants undergo a highly competitive review process prior to admission. NCSSM is a founding member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology (NCSSSMST) and a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system.
Since its inception, NCSSM has been fully funded by the state, meaning no student is required to pay any tuition, room, board, or other student fees. This funding is supplemented by the NCSSM Foundation’s private funding, which supports NCSSM’s academic, residential, and outreach programs as well as providing funds for some capital improvements. In the past 25 years, the Foundation has raised in excess of $25 million in private support from corporations, foundations, alumni, parents and friends of NCSSM. A tuition fee was considered for the 2002–03 school year in the midst of a state budgetary crisis, but it was never implemented. In 2003, the NC Legislature approved a bill granting tuition costs for any university in the University of North Carolina System to all graduates of NCSSM, starting with the class of 2004, as an incentive to encourage NCSSM’s talented students to stay in North Carolina. That bill was amended in 2005 to allow students to use additional tuition monies awarded to cover “costs of attendance.” However, the tuition waiver has been phased out in the Appropriations Act of 2009 in the North Carolina Senate in order to balance the budget. The bill states that “No new recipients shall be funded after June 30, 2009.”  NCSSM has served as a model for 18 similar schools, many of which are now members of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology (NCSSSMST).
NCSSM students are not given a class rank and are encouraged to strive for their best rather than competing against other students. Although students previously were not given grade point averages (GPAs), the school currently provides GPAs on transcripts to simplify the college application process. NCSSM students have consistently done extremely well in national academic competitions, and NCSSM’s SAT scores are among the highest in the state of North Carolina. In 2013, it was 2034, second to the Early College at Guilford’s 2051.
NCSSM houses approximately 660 students. There are 354 seniors enrolled as of the 2012-2013 academic year. Currently there are more females than males due to the larger number of female dormitory spaces. About 50% are Caucasian, 35% are Asian American, 10% are African American, 3% are Hispanic, and 1% are Native American. The student population of NCSSM is designed to be a demographic reflection of the population of North Carolina as a whole; additionally, a certain number of slots are reserved for each congressional district.