Attending urban public HS helpful for college admissions?

I’m in Oakland too but my kids go to private school. I don’t think it will help unless she is at the top of her class or is fgli or urm.

UC Davis has an Exercise Biology minor which is similar to a Kinesiology major.

Is her goal PT school, if so plan on at least 6 years for your college budget?

What about the many Cal states that have Kinesiology? My niece is a 2nd year at CSU Long Beach and loves their program. Cal Poly SLO was mentioned but it will be a Reach, but there is also San Diego State- Probably Low Reach, CSU Fullerton- Match, Cal Poly Pomona- Match, Sonoma State-Safety etc….


Yes, her goal is PT school. But she may change her mind in the next few years as many young people do…

Regarding the CSUs, we’re interested in schools that are not “commuter schools.” I think that many/most CSUs are. I wonder if there is a way to find that information.

Trick: To know how commuter or residential a CSU is, you look at the % freshmen who live on campus. :stuck_out_tongue:

You can also look at the dorms (nice? crowded?), email Housing to ask whether housing is guaranteed for freshmen and what % sophomores can live on campus (and/or whether there are “student villages” next to campus, then you check out their prices!)

Typically, Sonoma, Chico, SDSU, Cal Poly are considered relatively less commuter.
Chico honors has a good reputation (apply to housing as soon as admitted though because honors housing is better than the rest and thus in demand :p)

Sonoma State has nice housing, too :slight_smile:
Their “honors” program is the Hutchins program, email to ask if it’s compatible with the Kinesiology major. It’s a way to be surrounded by motivated students and have small classes.

Chico Honors would be a match and Sonoma likely a safety (perhaps match for Hutchins?)


Look in the college’s common data set (for a recent pre-COVID-19 year), section F1. In that section, check the percentage of frosh students living in campus housing. This is usually a reasonable proxy for resident (versus commuter) students. Note that upper class resident students often live nearby off-campus, so the percentage of all undergraduates living in campus housing is a less reliable proxy.

Of the CSUs, Chico, Humboldt, Monterey Bay, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and Sonoma tend to be more residential. Some others like Pomona and San Jose are about half residential half commuter.


This is an excellent resource! Thank you. I had no idea there was such a thing. SDSU shows 38% of freshmen living on campus which seems low to me. I would consider this a commuter school.

On sites like Common Data Set – Analytic Studies & Institutional Research , use a non-COVID-19 affected year (2019-2020 or earlier) to avoid COVID-19 related effects (emergency distance learning format, students choosing not to go far for college, student choosing cheaper commuting options for college) to compare how residential the colleges are.

However, there could be residual effects from COVID-19 that can make many colleges less residential than before COVID-19 (although they are likely to be more residential than in the 2020-2021 academic year).

Year % frosh in campus housing at SDSU
2018-2019 72%
2019-2020 71%
2020-2021 38%
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Also for non-local students, 2 year on-campus housing is a requirement at SDSU.

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Ah yes, good point! Thank you.

You can check out your high school’s admissions record to UCs if you don’t know it already: Admissions by source school | University of California

But at least pre-COVID the UC admissions fairly predictably went to the top kids in the class and a student in the 20-25th percentile was probably not getting into most UCs and was marginal for CalPoly (dependent on major). Private schools more explicitly picked out low income/disadvantaged kids who were near but not necessarily at the top of the class.

Do look at WUE options if you can stretch to $30K per year since many of them are comparable to or cheaper than UC prices. My outdoorsy liberal atheist D from NorCal loves Utah for example. Otherwise CalStates will be a bit cheaper.


That is useful information. It looks like Santa Cruz could be a match, but they don’t offer the major. Cal Poly is a reach for sure, but as far as I can tell, they will only be admitting by GPA, no other criteria.

I don’t know if you saw the GPA by high school tab. That is the really telling information. You’ll be able to see the average GPA — applied, admitted and enrolled— from your high school by campus.


Cal Poly SLO uses several areas of criteria in the admission review with GPA 9-11th grades as the most important. See link for their selection criteria:

Each CSU campus has determined what supplemental criteria besides GPA, they will use for their admission decisions. A list is linked below:


I’m impressed with the amount of data you are finding for me! So, if I’m reading the CSU chart correctly, coming from a school with a high percentage of free and reduced lunch students CAN help, for some CSUs, even if the applicant herself is not eligible for free and reduced lunch?

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Here is a more detailed CSU admissions document on how they will assess applicants:

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Yes coming from a school with a high percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch can help according to the matrix. If you check each schools website, there can be more detail about the supplemental factors. Again, priority/preference is a huge boost for local students in this situation since the CSU is very familiar with the local HS demographics.

See CSUF’s information on their website for example: First Year Student Eligibility Requirements - Office of Admissions | CSUF

Or CSU Stanislaus: Freshman Admission | California State University Stanislaus

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I second the recommendation of Simmons College. Also check out Mass. College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, which has a PT program. It’s located in Boston, near Simmons and Northeastern and offers merit scholarships.