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Best Bay Area High Schools

Best Bay Area High Schools

For those living in the San Francisco Bay Area, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the best Bay Area High schools. Private schools, public schools, boarding schools, you name it, the Bay Area has it.

But the question is, which Bay Area High Schools are the best to attend? 

This article covers what we believe are the top 10 best high schools in the Bay Area. Some of these schools are private, some are public, and some even double as boarding schools. These top schools located in the Bay Area are chosen based on the best research and reviews from the web and are compiled here and are backed up by statistics and facts to give you what we believe is the best Bay Area High Schools to attend. 

The Harker School

The Harker School is a private coeducational school located in San Jose CA and is known as one of the top schools for STEM in the country. Teaching students all the way from PK to K-12, The Harker School believes that the best way to prepare students for the future is to provide them with an environment that fosters the best academics, athletics, and extracurriculars that they can imagine. Known for integrating athletics, arts, and a global education program as a crucial part of their curriculum, the students at Harker have many opportunities to set them up for success after graduating. With a 100% graduation rate, graduates from Harker are some of the most qualified students for the top colleges in the country.

 

  1. San Jose, CA
  2. Tuition $51,300
  3. Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 13%
  4. Acceptance Rate: 86%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 10:1
  6. Average SAT: 1480
  7. Average ACT: 33
  8. Number of students: 2048

elevated view of Nichols Hall from the roof of Dobbins Hall between period 1 and period 2 with students walking between classes.

Henry M. Gunn High School 

Henry M. Gunn High School is a top-rated, public school located in Palo Alto, CA teaching students grades 9-12. This school is known as one of the best public schools in the U.S. and produces some of the brightest minds and college-ready graduates with AP participation at this High School at a whopping 81%. Henry M. Gunn High School is one of two public High Schools in the Palo Alto area and with over 60% minority enrollment, students at this school are pushed to excel regardless of their socioeconomic status. 

  1. Location: Palo Alto Union School District, CA
  2. Average SAT: 1410
  3. Average ACT: 32
  4. AP Participation: 81%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 17:1
  6. Number of students: 2008

A front view of the Henry M Gunn High School

Mission San Jose

Mission San Jose High School is a public school located in Fremont, CA, and is known as one of the best college-preparatory public schools in all of California. With some of the highest SAT and ACT averages on the list, students at Mission San Jose are very driven with 90% of its students enrolled in AP courses participating in AP exams. Mission San Jose also ranks in the top 20% of the nation when it comes to their STEM programs and has a total minority enrollment is 95%.

  1. Location: Fremont, CA
  2. Average SAT: 1410
  3. Average ACT: 32
  4. AP Participation: 81%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 17:1
  6. Number of students: 2008

The front of Mission San Jose High School's building

The College Preparatory School

The College Preparatory School is best known for, well, prepping its students for college. Also known as College Prep, this private coeducational high school teaching grades 9-12 is rated as one of the top private schools in the entire state of California. College Prep is known for its extensive STEM program (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and offers some of the best courses in the state in these fields of study. Located in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood, students at The College Preparatory School are well equipped with the community, faculty, and resources to become productive and positive citizens ready to take on college and the world.  

  1. Oakland, CA
  2. Tuition $46,000
  3. Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 21%
  4. Acceptance Rate: 84%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 7:1
  6. Average SAT: 1470
  7. Average ACT: 34
  8. Number of students: 364

Several students transition to their next class in the College Preparatory School

Lynbrook High School

Lynbrook High School is another top-rated, public school and is located in San Jose, CA. Teaching grades 9-12, Lynbrook is known as one of the best high schools in the bay area, and in the State of California, especially when it comes to STEM schools. With a student-teacher ratio of 23 to 1 and an AP enrollment at an even greater rate of 86%, students from  Lynbrook become some of the ablest and college-ready graduates in the Bay Area. 

  1. Location: San Jose, CA
  2. Average SAT: 1450
  3. Average ACT: 33
  4. AP Participation: 90%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 25:1
  6. Number of students: 2041

Monta Vista High School Union Building

Monta Vista High School

Monta Vista is a public high school in Cupertino, CA, and is also known for its top STEM program. Located in the Silicon Valley area of Cupertino, this high school has been known as one of the best high schools in the nation and its students have consistently been placed in the top 1% of all schools in California for overall test scores. Minority enrollment at this school is higher than the California state average and comes in at 87% alongside an AP enrollment at the same number of 87%.

  1. Location: Cupertino, CA
  2. Average SAT: 1440
  3. Average ACT: 33
  4. AP Enrollment: 87%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 25:1
  6. Number of students: 2370

A view of the library of Monta Vista High School

Saratoga High School 

Saratoga high school is a public school located in Saratoga, CA, and is well-known for its math, music, and MAP programs (Measures of Academic Progress). Like many of the other schools on this list, Saratoga High has one of the most competitive STEM programs in the state of California and is a great option for students that are interested in those academic fields of study. With a high rate of AP participation at 75%, Saratoga High School is well-known for preparing its students for college, with 98% of students enrolling in a 4-year university after graduation.

  1. Location: Saratoga, CA
  2. Average SAT: 1420
  3. Average ACT: 32
  4. AP Participation: 75%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 19:1
  6. Number of students: 1354

The front parking lot and view of Saratoga High school

Menlo High School

Menlo High School is a private school located in Atherton, CA and like many other of the top schools in the Bay Area, this school is known for its top-rated STEM programs. Teaching grades 6-12, this middle school and high school is also known for prepping its students for college as 99% of the graduates from Menlo go on to attend a 4-year college. Students at Menlo are also well-equipped with many options for extra-curricular clubs with over 25 clubs offered in the middle school and 50 in the high school. 

  1. Atherton, CA
  2. Tuition $49,110
  3. Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 22%
  4. Acceptance Rate: 86%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 7:1
  6. Average SAT: 1410
  7. Average ACT: 33
  8. Number of students: 795

A view from inside the Menlo High School

Bellarmine College Preparatory

Bellarmine College Preparatory is a top-rated college that is not only the Bay Area but also the nation. This private, all-boys, Catholic school located in San Jose, CA teaches grades 9-12 and as the name implies, this school well equips each and every student for college. With 98% of its students going on to attend a 4-year college after graduation, this school is known as the best all-boys schools in the state of California. With a curriculum founded on Catholicism, Bellarmine is focused on challenging each of its student’s personal, intellectual and spiritual growth. 

  1. Location: San Jose, CA
  2. Tuition: $22,230
  3. Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 25%
  4. Acceptance Rate: 86%
  5. Average SAT: 1340
  6. Average ACT: 31
  7. Teacher to Student Ratio: 14:1
  8. Number of students: 1643

A view of Bellarmine College Preparatory and their school pool

Castilleja School

Castilleja School is a top-rated, private, all-girls school located in Palo Alto, CA, and is known as one of the best private all-girl schools in the United States. Teaching grades 6-12, students at this high school are well-equipped for college and 100% of its students go on to attend a 4-year college after graduation. Average financial aid for this high school is around $31,200, making it not only a great option educationally, but also financially. 

  1. Palo Alto, CA
  2. Tuition $47,970
  3. Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 21%
  4. Acceptance Rate: 84%
  5.  to Student Ratio: 8:1
  6. Average SAT: 1460
  7. Average ACT: 33
  8. Number of students: 434

Castilleja School

St. Francis High School

St. Francis High School is a top-rated all-boys private Catholic high school located in La Canada Flintridge, CA. This college preparatory school founded is 1946 teaches grades 9-12 and offers a rigorous curriculum for all of its students as well as a highly competitive athletic program. Incoming freshman at St. Francis are also given the opportunity to apply for a merit-based scholarship and also need-based scholarships, which are given to approximately 30% of its students. 

  1. La Canada Flintridge, CA
  2. Tuition $16,900
  3. Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 30%
  4. Acceptance Rate: 88%
  5.  to Student Ratio: 13:1
  6. Average SAT: 1260
  7. Average ACT: 29
  8. Number of students: 662

St. Francis High School

Palo Alto High School

Palo Alto High School is a public school located in Palo Alto, CA, and is known as one of the top high schools in California and is also the rival school of the previously mentioned Gunn High School. Locally known as “Paly” this Palo Alto-based high school placed in the top 5% of all U.S. high schools for overall test scores. With one of the lower teacher to student ratios in the public school system, students at Palo Alto High are well prepared for college and are also proud to say that they have a 76% AP participation rate. Paly is widely known for being one of the best college prep public schools in the state of California. 

  1. Location: Palo Alto, CA
  2. Average SAT: 1380
  3. Average ACT: 31
  4. AP Participation: 76%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 16:1
  6. Number of students: 2072

Palo Alto High School

Cupertino High School

Cupertino High School, locally known as “Tino,” is a top-rated, public school located in Cupertino, CA. With a high rate of 73% of its students participating in AP courses, Cupertino High is known as a top school for preparing its students for college, with 86% of its students enrolling in college after graduation. Offering 21 different sports s 55 different athletic teams, Cupertino high is also known for its competitive athletic department. The Cupertino community is widely known for its emphasis on student education and Cupertino High is no exception with a curriculum that fosters academic excellence and embraces diversity. 

  1.  Location: Cupertino, CA
  2. Average SAT: 1380
  3. Average ACT: 31
  4. AP Enrollment: 73%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 24:1
  6. Number of students: 2295

Cupertino High School

 

Los Altos High School

Los Altos High School is a public school located in Los Altos, CA, and ranks as one of the top public high schools in California for its college preparatory curriculum. With 69% of its students participating in AP courses, students at Los Altos are well equipped with the option of taking many college-level courses in the public school setting. Los Altos High School also has one of the best athletic departments in the Bay Area as well as a top-rated performing arts department and many student-run clubs to get involved in.

  1. Location: Los Altos, CA
  2. Average SAT: 1340
  3. Average ACT: 31
  4. AP Participation: 69%
  5. Teacher to Student Ratio: 20:1
  6. Number of students: 2234

Los Altos Best Bay Area High School

When it comes to high school in the Bay Area, students have plenty of great options as the Bay Area is the home so some of the best public and private schools in the state of California and in the United States as a whole. With a number of these schools ranking as some of the nation’s best schools on the web, all of them leave students well prepared for college with nearly all of the students going on to attend a 4-year college after graduation. 

While this list is entirely subjective, at IvyCollegeAdmit, we believe that these are the best high schools in the Bay Area-based on the criteria that we’ve presented as well as the end goal in mind of getting into the best colleges in the country. 

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