In 2020 US News and World Report Magazine ranked Highlands School in the top 12% of all schools in North Carolina and in the top 14% of all schools in the United States. Between 2012 and 2020 Highlands School was listed in the top 15% of all state and national schools. The School also established itself as a leader in athletics. Between 2001 and 2021 Highlanders brought home 36 conference championships in Boys' Soccer, Girls’ Soccer, Boys’ Basketball, Girls’ Basketball, Golf, and Volleyball.
Highlands School continues its unique brand of education as one of two K-12 schools in Macon County’s public school system. Every senior who graduates from Highlands School receives a scholarship from the Permanent Endowment Fund. Highlands is one of the only schools in North Carolina that provides funding like this to encourage higher education among its graduates.