"We used six indicators culled from school surveys to compare public high schools in the U.S.," the report said, "with graduation and college acceptance rates weighed most heavily."
Other factors included rigor/college preparedness, ACT and SAT scores, and percentage of students with free or reduced lunch.
Beyond its above average overall ranking, HHS also ranked in the top 100 for rigor/college preparedness. This ranking was based on the 51.9% of HHS students enrolled in AP or IB courses, as well as the 67.8% of those students who pass their AP/IB exams.
"We are very proud to receive this national recognition," said HHS Principal Brian Robinson. "It is especially rewarding to be named among the 100 most rigorous schools in the country. We are truly fortunate to have a supportive community, well-prepared students, and talented teachers. It is a great day to be a Bluebird."
HHS was one of only six public high schools in Kentucky to appear in the rankings.
"We are extremely pleased that Highlands has once again been ranked among America's very best high schools," said FTIS Superintendent Gene Kirchner. "It is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our students and staff, and a reflection of the culture of high expectations within the Fort Thomas Independent School district."
The Daily Beast's rankings came not long before the Fort Thomas Board of Education voted to increase tax revenue for the district for the 2014-15 school year.