UC San Diego News Center


Preuss School UCSD Ranked Among Top 10 Schools in State by U.S. News & World Report

Charter school on the campus of UC San Diego receives Gold Award designation


Preuss students come from more than 41 zip codes throughout San Diego County. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

The Preuss School UCSD—a charter middle and high school for low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college—is ranked among the top 10 high schools in the State of California by U.S. News & World Report, which just released its annual list of “Best High Schools.” Located on the campus of the University of California San Diego, The Preuss School also received a Gold Award designation, based on performance on state assessments, graduation rates and college preparation.

“The Preuss School is a source of great pride for UC San Diego and we are pleased that the school has been named among the nation’s best high schools,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Consistent with the campus’ service-oriented mission, The Preuss School offers a transformational pathway to college for students from underserved regions throughout San Diego County.”

The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 21,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to U.S. News, a comprehensive rankings methodology was used to determine the nation’s “Best High Schools,” comprising a four-step process. The first three steps looked at how well schools served all of their students, using as benchmarks performance on math and reading portions of state proficiency tests and graduation rates. For those schools that made it past the first three steps, a fourth step assessed the degree to which students were prepared for college-level work.

“We are honored to be named one of the best schools in California,” said Scott Barton, principal of The Preuss School UCSD. “This national recognition is a testament to The Preuss School’s education model, as well as to the tireless dedication of our teachers, administrators and staff. This ranking also reflects the hard work and dedication of our remarkable students.”

Ranked 9th in the state, Preuss was the only school in the top 10 that requires that all prospective students must be from a low-income family and have no parent or guardian who has graduated from a four-year college. Among the top 10 California high schools, Preuss had the highest number—95 percent—of students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, The Preuss School was ranked as one of the top 100 high schools nationally (#98) and among the top 50 charter schools in the nation (#34).

The Preuss School is chartered by the San Diego Unified School District and operated by UC San Diego. More than 800 students come from throughout San Diego County to participate in a single-track college preparatory curriculum and take advantage of an array of academic supports including tutoring, mentoring and counseling. A key tenet of the Preuss model is its commitment to longer learning time. Preuss students are in school longer each day and for 18 more days a year than the typical student in California, which adds up to almost an entire extra academic year over the course of their middle and high school careers. The cost of these extra days of instruction is not covered by the state and is funded, in part, by private support.

For more information on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools” visit For more information on The Preuss School and how you can help support longer learning time at Preuss, click here.

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