For the third straight year, new graduation standards for San Diego Unified High Schools are helping students stand out as they apply for colleges.
The standards, first adopted for the class of 2016, align with the UC and Cal State schools requirements for admission.
SDUSD says the new, tougher standards help prepare students for college, careers and life in the 21st century.
The UC and Cal State schools require high school applicants to have completed 4 years of English, 3 of Math, 2 of History or Social Sciences, 2 of Lab Sciences, 2 of a foreign language, 1 of a performing or visual arts and one elective.
SDUSD goes further, adding a year of both science and history, and two years of PE.
The change comes at a time when tougher standards are needed to help students stand out.
A recent study showed that GPAs are rising across the country, while SAT scores are falling. Nearly 47 percent of students are now graduating with an "A" average, up from 39% in 1998. At the same time, the average SAT score has dropped from 1026 to 1002.
With so many students having A's, colleges are looking at other ways to pick which students they should admit.
SDUSD hopes their new standards will help its students get accepted to more colleges in the state.