Where Are the Cheapest Apartments Near the Best Public Schools in Philadelphia?
As part of our ongoing series highlighting affordable rental properties near highly-rated schools, we analyzed the Philadelphia metro area. Philadelphia is a large American city with a long list of neighborhoods and a wide range of options for renters. It also has a broad spectrum of schools, across which the difference in education quality from the lowest performing schools to the best can be huge.
Like most big cities, living near the best schools in Philly usually comes at a higher cost, but the sheer volume of apartments and rental housing ensures that if you look hard enough there are ways to give your kids access to great schools without breaking the bank. This Apartment Guide analysis identifies the most affordable neighborhoods and apartment communities in Philadelphia that sit inside top-rated school districts.
The best public schools in the greater Philadelphia area
As with our other city analyses, we started by looking at the best public schools within the greater Philadelphia area based on those with a score between 8 and 10 using GreatSchools 1-10 scale ratings.
On the map, you can see that there are great schools in multiple areas around Philadelphia, with no one geographic center dominating. Taking into consideration the average of all school ratings within Philadelphia neighborhoods, we learned which areas are closest to the best schools overall. This composite score lets us identify overall neighborhoods with high-rated schools across every grade level.
This score is vital for families with children of different ages or who are planning to stay in an area long enough that their kids may pass through multiple school levels. An average also helps parents avoid neighborhoods where one school might be great at the elementary level but less than stellar at the middle or high school level.
Top Philly neighborhoods by average school ratings
Viewing school ratings at the neighborhood level lets us locate the areas with multiple superb schools, rather than simply identifying one-off examples of highly-rated schools. Using this approach, the Bala Cynwyd neighborhood in nearby Bala Cynwyd, Pa., is the metro neighborhood closest to the top schools overall.
After finding the best areas with close proximity to good schools at every level, we can now start to focus our attention on which of these areas are best for cost-conscious apartment hunters.
Which neighborhoods offer the best value (low rent + great schools)?
Across the greater Philly area, higher-rated schools correlate generally to higher rent prices with some fluctuations. Parents will pay on average around 47% more to live near a Philadelphia area school rated 10, than to live near one rated 5. Urban areas are a big outlier as rents are high but school quality is often low.
In Philadelphia, parents can still find a good school for a relatively low rent cost. By looking at Philadelphia area neighborhoods with great schools and determining which of them have the most affordable housing, we are able to locate the places in Philly where you’ll find the best school district bang for your buck.
Cheapest neighborhoods with high-rated schools
We measure bang for buck in a simple value rank that divides the average rent price for a 2 bedroom apartment in each neighborhood by the average rating of all schools in that neighborhood. The higher the score, the better the overall value of the neighborhood on a cost-per-quality-of-school-rating basis. The chart above represents the top 10 neighborhoods in Philadelphia for affordability near highly rated schools.
Which Philadelphia apartment properties offer the best school district value?
Finally, we analyzed the data to see which specific rental properties offer access to the best schools for the lowest average monthly rent cost. This gives us a list of apartments near high-rated schools at every level: elementary, middle school, high school.
Value ranking: cheapest Philadelphia apartments near best elementary schools
Value ranking: cheapest Philadelphia apartments near best middle schools
Value ranking: cheapest Philadelphia apartments near best high schools
Apartment Guide’s number crunching reveals where parents who want their precious rental dollars to leverage the best possible education for their kids should strongly consider living. But for parents who are just looking for proximity to the best schools at any cost, we’ve also included some specific apartments which fit that bill, in order of school ranking.
Money aside – best Philadelphia apartments near top schools
Parents looking to rent an apartment in Philadelphia can use the data here to help decide which neighborhoods and apartment communities offer their children the best public school systems. Find an apartment in Philadelphia by using our easy apartment search tool here. Good luck!