Polk State Lakeland Collegiate recognized as Polk County’s top high school

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State Lakeland Collegiate High School has been recognized as the top school in Polk County and among the best schools in the state of Florida.

The high marks came from U.S. News & World Report, which has been regarded as the most influential ranking system for educational institutions. In addition to being the top school in the county, Collegiate ranks as one of the top 100 schools in Florida.

“It’s really exciting,” Principal Rick Jeffries said. “Because of the hard work of our faculty and staff, we keep exceeding expectations. It truly takes a whole team to make this happen.”

U.S. News & World Report ranks high schools on six criteria: college readiness, college curriculum breadth, state assessment proficiency, state assessment performance, underserved student performance, and graduation rate. With an enrollment of nearly 350 students, Lakeland Collegiate posted a perfect graduation rate last academic year. In 2023, Lakeland Collegiate was recognized as a Cognia School of Distinction.

Lakeland Collegiate is one of three Polk State College collegiate high schools along with Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School, and Polk State Lakeland Gateway to College Collegiate High School. Polk State’s collegiate high schools allow students to simultaneously complete requirements for their high school diplomas while earning college credits. In most cases, students graduate with both their high school diplomas and Associate in Arts degrees at no cost to them.

Of the 2023 graduating classes, 68% of students achieved their associate degrees and approximately $4.2 million was earned in scholarships. Graduates continue their education at Polk State, State University System institutions, and Ivy League schools.

Both Chain of Lakes and Lakeland Collegiate earned a school grade of an A for the 2022-23 Academic Year. For the 2021-2022 Academic Year, Polk State Lakeland Gateway to College Collegiate High School achieved a Commendable school improvement rating, which it received in place of a school grade due to differences in its mission and charter. Commendable is the highest rating. School improvement ratings were suspended for the 2022-23 Academic Year. Gateway will receive a school grade for 2023-24.

Both Chain of Lakes and Lakeland Collegiate are accepting applications for 10th grade. Applications will be open through March 1. Gateway’s application period will remain open until all spots are filled.