Sooner or later, medium and high wealth Sims will demand access to education. Providing an educational system will do a lot more for your city than simply appease a few exasperated parents. An educated population benefits the entire city, reducing crime, fire risk, pollution, garbage, and sickness. Educated Sims also recycle more and consume less power and water, essential for promoting an environmentally friendly community.

Do I really need schools? They’re so expensive!

SimCity Education 1

No, schools aren’t required. But their high cost comes with some worthwhile benefits which may save your city money in the long-term. The Grade School and High School promote knowledge throughout the city, reducing water and power consumption among residential buildings. Educated Sims also produce less trash and recycle more. Schools also give kids something to do, keeping them off the streets, discouraging the creation of criminals. But you don’t necessarily need a Grade School and a High School. So once you’ve built a High School, consider shutting down your Grade School to save money. The High School generates the same level of education and can accommodate more students.

My city has no schools. Can my Sims still become educated?

SimCity Education 2

You don’t necessarily need schools in your city to educate your population. Sims will travel to other cities in the region to get their education. If a connected city has a High School, School Bus Stops are unlocked in your city’s Education menu. Simply plop School Bus Stops throughout your residential neighborhoods and schools buses will arrive every morning to pick-up students, transporting them to the connected city’s High School. Sims will also drive or take mass transit to attend Community Colleges and Universities located in connected cities. In this sense, one city can specialize in education and take on the responsibility of educating every Sim in the connected cities.

Some students in my city haven’t enrolled. What do I do?

SimCity Education 3

If only a portion of your city’s students are attending school, it’s most likely a capacity or transportation issue. First, click on a Grade School or High School to view its current capacity. If all the desks are filled, build new classroom modules to increase the number of desks available. Next, make sure your school has enough buses. Add more School Bus Lot modules to increase the number of buses dispatched. Also, check your School Bus Stop coverage, ensuring there’s a stop within walking distance of every residential building in the city. Students will only attend school if they have a way to get there. And remember School Bus Stops function independently of mass transit Bus Stops. Students will not ride a shuttle or municipal bus to school.

What’s the difference between the Community College and University?

SimCity Education 4

Both the Community College and University are higher institutions of learning capable of producing skilled workers. The presence of a Community College encourages the growth of clean industrial (tech level 2) buildings within industrial zones while the University brings high tech industrial (tech level 3) buildings.(For more information on zoning, check out the SimCity Zoning Guide article). The University can also be expanded with new schools (like the School of Law, or School of Science) to increase capacity and pursue different research projects required to construct advanced modules and other facilitates. Once a city has a University, consider shutting down your Community College to save money. If properly expanded, the University can handle the extra students.

Learn more about building a strong Infrastructure.

Do you have more questions? Post them below! For more information on education check out the SimCity: Prima Official eGuide, available now.