If you’re considering attending a college in San Jose, then it’s useful to know a little bit about the city. The following not only includes additional information about colleges and universities in San Jose, but also information about the climate, cost of living, crime, economy, and transportation – all things you’ll want to know about if you plan on moving to San Jose to attend college.
San Jose is California’s third largest city as well as the tenth largest in the United States. It is also the Santa Clara County seat. Silicon Valley is a big part of the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Jose is its largest city with the biggest population in Northern California. San Jose is nicknamed the Capital of Silicon Valley because of its place in the area’s enormous technology industry. It is a global city, the largest in the Bay Area in industry, land area, and population, with an estimated 971,372 residents at the beginning of 2012.
Most of the bay area is classified as “Subtropical Mediterranean,” and San Jose is no different. The temperature averages about 73 degrees Fahrenheit, and the city is sunny more than 300 days a year. Unlike San Francisco, San Jose is inland and does not touch the Pacific Ocean. Instead, the city is surrounded by mountains, which help shelter it from the rain and makes it feel drier. San Jose gets an average of 14.4 inches of rain a year, while other parts of the Bay Area can get three times as much.
Because there is so little rain, the sun shines on San Jose 300 days out of the year. What rainfall there is mainly occurs between the months of November and May, about 58 days a year. There aren’t many turning leaves in San Jose. During winter and spring, the fields become green with vegetation, which dies in the hot, dry summer. The dead grass turns the hills gold and frequently causes wildfires.
Silicon Valley got its name from the large amount of high-technology companies in the area, and San Jose, being the largest city, is often called the “capital of Silicon Valley.” Universities in the area, such as Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, San Jose State University, University of California, Santa Cruz, California State University, East Bay, Santa Clara University, and San Francisco State University, keep the economy supplied with graduates in fields of technology and computer science.
San Jose has one of the highest costs of living in the Country. This is mainly due to housing, but living cost is higher than the national average in all areas. In spite of this, the city boasts the highest disposable income in the United States, out of all cities with a population higher than 500 thousand.
Compared to other big cities in America, San Jose has very little crime. In 2009, Honolulu was the only city with more than 500 thousand people that had a lower rate of violent crime than San Jose.
There are several railways that serve San Jose. Amtrak covers the Sacramento-San Jose Capitol Corridor and the Seattle-Los Angeles Coast Starlight. Commuters use Caltrain to get from Gilroy to San Francisco, or ACE between Stockton and Pleasonton. The VTA, or Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, also maintains a light-rail that connects Almaden Valley, Campbell, Milpitas, and Mountain View to downtown. On holidays, quaint streetcars run along the line from History Park. Eventually, the plan is to extend Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to Santa Clara by way of Milpitas and San Jose, but progress has been slow because of the recession. Construction started in the summer of 2012, and service should reach to the terminal in northeastern San Jose by 2018. When the California High Speed Rail is completed, San Jose will be a significant stop between San Francisco and Los Angeles. All of the commuter rail systems in the area meet at Diridon Station, which the Southern Pacific Railroad built in 1935.
Two miles to the northwest of downtown San Jose lies the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC, KSJC, SJC). In eastern San Jose is the general aviation airport, Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County (KRHV, RHV). People who live in San Jose also take advantage of the San Francisco International Airport (SFO, KSFO, SFO), which is a prominent point for international travel, as well as Oakland International Airport (OAK, KOAK, OAK), which is also significant internationally and lies 35 miles to the north. Three popular freeways are near the airport as well, namely Interstate 880, U.S. Route 101, and State Route 87.
There is a significant network of freeways in the San Jose area, which includes a U.S. Route and three Interstates. San Jose happens to be America’s largest city that doesn’t have a primary Interstate, because the city’s quick growth happened after the planning of the Interstate Highway Network during the 1950s.
The U.S. 101 runs north to south around the east side of San Francisco to Los Angeles, while I-280 runs along the west of the San Francisco Peninsula. I-880 runs north toward Oakland, along San Francisco Bay at the southeastern shore. I-680 runs alongside I-880, but turns to the northeast at Fremont to serve the Bay Area’s eastern cities.
San Jose residents also use a number of state highways, namely SR 237, SR 87, SR 85, and SR 17. There are also a number of county expressways, including Capitol Expressway, Almaden Expressway, Lawrence Expressway, and San Tomas Expressway.
Most of the water rights are privately owned by the San Jose Water Company, with a few by the Great Oaks Water Company. The public San Jose Municipal Water system provides the remaining 10%. Well water is the only type of water provided by Great Oaks, but the other two take water from a variety of sources.
San Jose’s Environmental Services Department administrates the garbage and recycling for the city, as well as the treatment of wastewater. Recycling in San Jose is exceptional. The service accepts much longer list of materials than average and doesn’t require that they be sorted, which helps the city recycle a remarkable 64% of its waste.
Electricity and natural gas are supplied by PG&E, with AT&T providing most of the phone service. Comcast is the city’s cable provider. AT&T and Comcast supply most of the Internet service, though there are a few other companies as well.
Education and Colleges in San Jose
San Jose only had one high school to choose from, San Jose High, until Lincoln High School opened in 1943. The city’s public education system includes 4 high school districts and 14 elementary, with 4 “unified” districts, which include both.
There are a lot of universities and colleges in San Jose. San Jose State University is the city’s biggest school. National Hispanic University caters mostly to Hispanic students as its name implies, and offers teaching credentials, associate degrees, and bachelor’s programs to its 600 students. San Jose is also home to CALMAT, the California University of Management and Technology, which, because of its location in Silicon Valley, has a lot of its students already working professionally in technical fields. There are also two law schools, University of Silicon Valley Law School and Lincoln Law School of San Jose, which are both highly attended by working professionals. San Jose also has campuses for National University and Golden Gate University. The city also has several community colleges for students looking to get associate degrees, credits that will transfer to CSU and UC institutions, or simply to continue their education. There is also a campus of Palmer College of Chiropractic, as well as WestMed College for paramedic training and nursing programs.
A lot of San Jose residents take advantage of some larger universities in the area but outside of San Jose. Among them are Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University, and the University of California, Berkeley.
National Hispanic University
14271 Story Road
San Jose, CA 95127
main phone: (408) 254-6900
admission phone: (408) 273-2696
admission fax: (408) 254-1369
National Hispanic University has a total enrollment of 500+ students and offers Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs.
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0011
main phone: (408) 283-7500
San Jose State University has a total enrollment of 32,600+ students and offers Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs.