Jared Kendall
chicago school bus

As the newest edition to our series looking at the most affordable apartments near the best public schools, Apartment Guide is looking at the Chicago area. With Lake Michigan acting as natural border to the east, we find most of Chicago's best schools in the northern half of town. Generally speaking, the best schools appear in two clusters. One cluster is along Lake Michigan and starts slightly north of town center before running off to the north. The other cluster is inland to the west, near Oak Park.

In the newest addition to our series featuring the most affordable apartments near the best public school, Apartment Guide looks at the Chicago area. To help figure out which specific properties give the best value, we'll use average property rent and school ratings throughout Chicago and identify our picks for each grade level.

Best Public Schools Chicago
Click for interactive version

Viewing school ratings by neighborhood allows us to find the areas with superb overall schools, rather than just identifying one-off instances of an individually exemplary school. The Chicago area has a  3-way tie for top neighborhood among Downtown, Central Street and Lakeview neighborhoods, all of which can be found along Lake Michigan.

Neighborhood Rank Neighborhood Neighborhood City and State Avg. School Rating
1 Lakeview Chicago, IL 8.7
2 Central Street Evanston, IL 8.7
3 Downtown Evanston, IL 8.7
4 Lincoln Park Chicago, IL 8.6
5 Uptown Chicago, IL 8.3
6 Edgewater Chicago, IL 8.0
7 Mount Greenwood Chicago, IL 8.0
8 O'Hare Chicago, IL 8.0
9 Hyde Park Chicago, IL 6.0
10 West Ridge Chicago, IL 5.9

Chicago area apartments near great schools

Having looked at the best overall neighborhoods, we now try to find the best individual properties near the best schools at the elementary, middle and high school level. Click on any location circle in our interactive maps to pull up info on properties for that location.

Elementary Schools

For families with students in elementary schools, Oak Park Resident Corporate Apartments in Oak Park, IL offers the best value for the best education.

best elementary schools chicago
Click for interactive version
Value Rank Property Name Avg. Rent Avg. School Rating
1 Oak Park Residence Corporation Apartments $1,178 9.0
2 RK Apartments $1,200 9.0
3 822 S Austin $1,238 8.0
4 Oak Park Apartments $1,450 9.0
5 Oak Park Regional Housing Center $1,799 10.0
6 25 E. Delaware $1,945 9.0
7 605 Hinman $1,537 7.0
8 The John Evans Building $2,200 10.0
9 Oak Park City Apartments $2,226 10.0
10 14 West Elm $2,070 9.0

Middle Schools

For affordable apartments near the best public middle schools in the Chicago area, Chatham Park Village Cooperative is our top pick.

best middle schools chicago
Click for interactive version
Value Rank Property Name Avg. Rent Avg. School Rating
1 Chatham Park Village Cooperative $747 8.0
2 7609 S Coles Avenue $800 8.0
3 South Shore Apartments $950 8.0
4 Oak Park Residence Corporation Apartments $1,178 9.0
5 73rd Street Apartments $1,055 8.0
6 4300 West Flournoy $800 6.0
7 RK Apartments $1,200 9.0
8 822 S Austin $1,238 9.0
9 The Pershing $827 6.0
10 3600 W Franklin $1,145 8.0

High School

Atrium at Old Town Park offers proximity to top public high schools at a reasonable price.

best chicago public high schools
Click for interactive version
Value Rank Property Name Avg. Rent Avg. School Rating
1 Atrium at Old Town Park $1,022 8.0
2 Oak Park Residence Corporation Apartments $1,178 9.0
3 RK Apartments $1,200 9.0
4 Evergreen Tower II $1,083 8.0
5 822 S Austin $1,238 9.0
6 New Evergreen Sedgwick Apartments $1,130 8.0
7 Oak Park Apartments $1,450 9.0
8 Midpointe Apartments $1,317 7.0
9 605 Hinman $1,537 8.0
10 Oak Park Regional Housing Center $1,799 9.0
The school rankings information included in this article is provided by GreatSchools. ApartmentGuide.com and its affiliates do not endorse, sponsor or guarantee the information provided by third parties and are not responsible in any way for any advice, content, information, practices, products or services related to or made available by third parties.

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About The Author

Jared is a Baton Rouge, La.-based freelance journalist focused on, in his words, "finding data, 'interviewing it' and then telling its story through interactive tools and traditional journalism." His past work includes analyzing pension shortfalls, looking at election results, tracking campaign finance contributions and analyzing educational and school system data. Some of his work has previously appeared on The Daily Advocate and unfundedmichigan.org.

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