« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
Public district
Chicago, IL
Students enrolled: 883

Contact this school

1034 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60610

(773) 534-0034
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Payton College Preparatory High School address.

March 08, 2015
Payton was a great school. I honestly took advantage of Payton when I went there, but it still gave me the advanatage on a ton of colleges that I shouldn't have got in to. Amazing teachers, some have left, but still amazing teachers. Glad I chose Payton instead of Whitney young or northside. I would not be who I am today without Payton, it really put me ahead.

- submitted by a student

November 13, 2012
I'm a recent graduate (2011), and I have very mixed feelings about the school. Sadly, many of these are negative. I chose Payton over many other great high schools because I wanted a challenge and good reputation, which many high schools in CPS just can't provide. When I got there, I was pleased with my teachers and the programs, but extremely unhappy with the school. The students here are extremely condescending, elitist, and unwelcoming. Expect to be around people with no interests outside of school and activities that look good on transcripts. For some students, this will be okay; for most, it won't. As someone who did not come from a privileged caucasian background or well represented minority group, I endured four years of hell to get a good education. I am now at a highly ranked East Coast school on a wonderful scholarship, and while I can say it prepared me very well for challenging math and science higher education, I would never repeat the experience in a million years. In addition, if you have ANY learning disabilities, DO NOT GO HERE. It's bad enough that "regular" students are overlooked, but the support for my friends with learning differences was tragically low.

- submitted by a student

December 15, 2011
Graduated class of 2008, and didn't appreciate Payton until I got to college. It is exactly what it's named, a college prep. And if you can't deal with the course load, or the "unsympathetic" teachers then go to a school that doesn't prepare you for what lies ahead. I went to Depaul and felt that my Payton experience prepared me for a much more challenging institution. Aside from the demanding curriculum, I loved and still love Payton. I still talk with current teachers and students. All of my best friends attended Payton as well. And as far as the comment about Payton not balancing intellegent and great people, that's completely inaccurate. Only a Payton graduate can understand the ways in which Payton made us great. Love the teachers. Love the opportunites. Love the school.

- submitted by a student

March 16, 2011
What a great school and curriculum. What fantastic teachers. What nice chairs, laptops, and equipment. They should all be like this. They aren't, as this is the flagship they take out-of-towners to, where even the private sector invests with internships, cool arts and activities; and it just happens to be in a gentrified area in the shadow of the now-defunct Cabrini Green. I love it and I hate it, I suppose; after seeing the neglect of many potentially good neighborhood schools in order to create a showpiece like Payton; and after seeing how many outside organizations participate in the deceit. A few of them should consider partnering with other schools just as deserving. I'm rating them average, if only because there's no telling how others would compare with the same outsized political and economic support.. (And I meant that about the teachers).

- submitted by a community member

February 23, 2011
All I heard is the school is a great school if you really want to get your kids to the Ivy's. Not sure what the school vision is, but definitely they are attracting parent care about their kids academic (PERIOD). This drive the school focus, but I doubt they can balance between making an intellgent individual and a great person. A school full of highly competitive (IQ) intellgent body definitely lack of the diversity, and most importantly lack of an environment for young people to dvelope their element of PASSION. IT IS THE CHOICE THE PARENT HAVE TO TAKE; BUT RATHER IT IS A GOOD CHOICE FOR THE KID then it is also a choice.

- submitted by a community member

November 24, 2010
im a sophmore right now at walter payton and i have to say i really do love my school. sometimes the work is challenging and i feel stressed but its all worth it in the end. Not to mention I have great teachers and friends that can help with my problems im having. Its alot of hard work but when you see you test results and you score higher than 87% of the kids in your state you feel a sort of accomplishment and know that its because of WPCP. GO GRIZZLIES!!!!!!! Class of 2013 <3

- submitted by a student

October 13, 2010
I graduated from Payton, i love my school. They have awesome curriculum, students who want to learn, and amazing opportunities. I saw fellow students travel to Ghana; Granada, Spain; Prague; Hungary; France; China; Japan and the list goes on

- submitted by a community member
no rating
October 13, 2010
Great teachers, great atmosphere and great school, wouldnt want to be anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent

October 12, 2010
Payton College prep is an amazing school with an outstanding international and global focus. From Ghana to Beijing, Payton's focus continues to stretch the globe. This $20,000 can help them go even further.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating
October 12, 2010
It's an awesome school. I'm so glad I go here.

- submitted by a parent

October 12, 2010
Great teachers who care about the students!!!!!!!!!

- submitted by a community member

April 11, 2010
I graduated from Payton 2 years ago, this spring. I can't say that I completely regretted going to Payton due to the fact that I got a full ride to college, however, all 4 years I was miserable. The teachers are very unsympathetic and unwilling to make accommodations to their students' needs and abilities (or lack thereof). I didn't have a normal high school experience, which believe it or not, is actually important. There was never an emphasis on anything except for academics, which if that is all you want to do in high school then more power to you. I would never, ever allow my siblings, other students that I know going into high school or even my own children (when it comes to that time) to attend or even entertain the thought of going to Payton.

- submitted by a student

August 11, 2009
My daughter is going to be a freshmen at Payton this fall '09. We love this school. The curriculum is excellent. They teach and prepare these kids very well for college. My daughter learned so much in her freshmen year, I cannot imagine how much more she will learn in the next 3 years. I love the idea of a smaller school. I'm so glad my daughter worked so hard and was able to get her qualifications to make it into Payton. There are so many activities to choose from, it's great.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
January 19, 2008
Excellent choice; my daughter is a Fall '08 freshman and Payton was the first on the list of high school choices. The school is new, fresh and high tec; the teachers are dedicated with a diverse student body. Challenging curriculum, many extra curricular activities and interests are available to nuture these future leaders.

- submitted by a parent

April 02, 2007
If you want your child to be challenged this is your school. Payton offers a quality education from a diverse faculty, which was very important to me. This school prepares students well for college because they facilitate discuss about college starting from their freshman year. The neighboring area is a bit sketchy but many students commute to school together.

- submitted by a student

March 24, 2006
Payton offers a diverse array of educational options. It's major limitation is the surrounding neighborhood and safety issues as experienced by my son on more than one occasion.

- submitted by a parent

November 19, 2005
WoW,I enjoyed going to the Walter Payton open house today.I'm a student at Sandoval School applying for highschools. Payton is astounding, it is definitely my number one choice. The school's overall appearance is spectacular. It's a very modern hightec school. They have over 30 clubs to join and they travel to many places around the world. Also, they are the second best highschool in the state of Illinois. I love this school and I hope this short review can help you percieve what a magnificent highschool this is.I myself cannot even think of anything negative of Payton. Sending your child to Walter Payton will undoubtedly be one of the best choices you make for their future. This school creates a brilliant future for teens and puts them off in a great start!

- submitted by a student

February 20, 2005
My daughter is now a sophmore at Payton. I cannot begin to say how much our family loves that school. The curriculum is excellent and the teachers are a vibrant and enthusiastic group. That was the one school my daughter really wanted to attend. We feel blessed that she attends that school.

- submitted by a parent

February 12, 2005
As a parent of a freshman student, I am pleased to see that my first impression of Payton was not a misrepresentation. The teachers and staff are dedicated and accessible. The course work is challenging which I support completely. The environment and overall size of the school is excellent for students not looking to get lost in between the cracks. We made an excellent choice.

- submitted by a parent

September 13, 2004
My daughter is a freshmen at Payton, class of 2008. We've already met the Principal, asst. principals and many of her teachers. Great support and respect from other students. Heavy amount of homework, but not hard at all. Best decision we've ever made!

- submitted by a parent

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school's profile?

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Find out what parents are saying about Payton College Preparatory High School


Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: March 08, 2015

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Payton College Preparatory High School
1034 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL  60610
(773) 534-0034
Last modified Payton College Preparatory High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Payton College Preparatory High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 25 reviews. Top