Top 10 Bay Area Public High Schools Ranked By SAT Scores

Yes, as provided by Niche whom some of you don’t like…

At least this is something we can quantify unlike parent opinions.

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I am a bit confused by the ranking.
According to SAT score, the ranking should be

  1. Mission San Jose (1440)
  2. Monta Vista && Lynbrook (1430)
  3. Gunn (1410)
  4. Saratoga (1400)
  5. Palo Alto (1370)

Instead they say,

  1. Gunn(1410)
  2. Saratoga(1400)
  3. Palo Alto (1370)
  4. Lynbrook (1430)
  5. Mission San Jose (1440)
  6. Monta Vista (1430)

Average_SAT=1440 Vs 1370 is not insignificant difference.
Yet, their rankings are reversed.

Looks like they still consider voluntary parents’ input.


Best value for SAT performance is MSJ. Still available for low million.

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I thought that homes in MSJ are as expensive as cupertino.

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Two sides of Washington Blvd between Paseo Padre and Mission. Pricing is crossing the 1000/sf for entry level SFH. New builds are over 2M. Robson Homes has been working MSJ area heavily the last few years. It keeps prices in check, but I think it’s ready to pop a little or it’s showing it right now.

The area isn’t such an attractive investment opportunity though. Rental yield is poor and development doesnt yield much.

Buy if you want to live there!

My oldest is a high school senior and we have gone through the hectic college application phase. The school district works with Naviance to provide school-specific college-admission data for prior graduates in order to let us get a sense of each college’s competitiveness. Most schools don’t have enough data to really see a pattern, but for UC schools, due to the large number of applicants and large number of enrollments, there are some clear signs one can tell.

The website provides a plot where each student who applied to that school is represented by either a :white_check_mark: (accept by the school) or a :x: (reject), with the X axis being the kid’s SAT score and Y axis the GPA score. The plot is basically a band of green toward the top of the Y axis swiped across the X axis, not the entire X axis but a pretty sizable portion of the X axis. The top side of the band is horizontal which makes sense, and the bottom side of the band is also horizontal (kinda surprising). There are few reds in the green band, and there are few greens outside of the green band.

What does that tell you? SAT score doesn’t really matter once it’s above a reasonable threshold. The acceptance is strongly correlated to the GPA score (unweighted, UC does not look at weighted GPA), and pretty much GPA score only. UC schools don’t even ask for the essay except in specific instances. They basically admit based on GPA. That’s their criteria.

Unfortunately my daughter doesn’t have a strong GPA (her SAT score is decent), even though she is very well rounded and I have complete confidence she will do well in college. So we can pretty much forget about the tier-1 UC schools (Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD), and remain very weakly hopeful about the tier-2 ones (David, Irvine, SB). She’s already received some early action acceptance from out-of-state schools so we do have fallbacks.

So if your kid wants to aim for a UC school, tell him/her to take the easiest classes in high school to get the best GPA. That’s the key.


I guess this is the case in most of bay area.
For 500k-800k condos(small one bedroom condos), HOA is $500 and property tax is $520-$833 per months. Even without mortage, monthly return is less than $1000 and in downturn, you take risk of paying $1000-$1500 in case of vacancy.
I believe SFH is worse.
My condo in korea has 0 HOA and property tax is way way lower than US.
I am not sure how americans can get retirement income through rental properties effectively.
We are talking about appreciation but there are downturns from time to time and we don’t know when we have to sell.

Yah. So if you are looking for cashflow rather then appreciation, multifam is the way to go

With regard to GPA vs SAT, that’s my experience as well. GPA is more important than SAT. I also agree that in order to get into UC, students can pick the easiest classes to improve the GPA.

However, if you also plan for a relatively comfortable life after high school, students should also be prepared with more advanced topics. One of my kids, when he was still in college, mentioned that a lot of kids actually came into colleges with many AP classes. Kids who were less prepared struggled, some throughout all 4 years in college.

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What I mean is there are places in the Bay Area with higher rental yield and appreciation potential for an entry level SFR.

As @BA_lurker mentioned, multi family unit buildings would be one way. For example, my Mom’s small apartment building (3 units in pseudo Chinatown) provides her with over $5-6K in monthly income (rents are semi long term so low) and she has no mortgage. That should be enough for an elderly woman to sustain on every month…

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Really, well I took the hardest classes in high school but still managed to get a 4.35 GPA and got accepted to all the UCs that I applied to. The trick is to study at a less ranked high school so there’s no competition. So all these PA and Cupertino schools might not be the best way to send your average performing kids into a good college. :wink:


I had a thread looking into acceptance rate into Berkeley.

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Come on, any owner in San Jose or parts thereof are Cha-Chinging to the bank with each sec… don’t need to worry about no stinking school score

Here’s something my wifey sent me:


Darn! Only South Bay?

AFAIK, all the global cities have low yield :slight_smile:
Berlin, London, Singapore, Stockholm, Tokyo, New York…

My hypothesis: UCs are forced by State government to admit from all schools equally, hence the GPA focus. GPA for the top 10 BA high schools are not inflated but many high schools inflate their students’ GPA :rofl: So much so, the latter group struggles in passing even the lower division courses. UCs are encouraged to pass them, so …

Wrote my comments before reading yours. You’re correct because many high schools inflate their students’ GPAs. Frankly, this lower the quality of the UC graduates. I think there is a limit to how many you can admit from each school or must admit certain % from each high school. Not so good high schools could be better deal if you don’t belong to the top 10% of the top 10 SV high schools.

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