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How does SimCity 4 handle schools in the game.

For a long time, I used to build high schools right by elementary schools and made sure that each type of school's radius covered the entire city.


Is this necessary?

Do I really need both high schools and elementary schools? or is the larger high schools sufficient enough to keep sims happy?


And does the radius need to cover the entire city, including commercial zoned areas?

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  • Original Poster
  • I see the graphs and everything but she does not recap her findings or provide a conclusion. AKA I do not know what the graphs means nor does it answer my question. still confused.

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    Essentially you can use libraries and museums to keep your population educated at the expense of uneducated children, if you don't want to bother with that element. The game's settings on Sim education mean that libraries and museums and Opera Houses automatically raise the education level of adult sims whether or not they went to school as children.

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    On 9/28/2017 at 8:56 AM, ReshiramLover said:

    ... she does not recap her findings or provide a conclusion.

    Yeah, silly me. I felt this part was an appropriate conclusion for the specific tests I was running:

    On 7/30/2017 at 3:33 PM, CorinaMarie said:

    So, to me, the most interesting part is that one can get slightly above 160 EQ with a single museum and good health coverage. In other tests I spread out the population so only a few Sims were reincarnating per year and that smoothed out the peaks and valleys in the EQ graph. 195 EQ is achievable without ever building a City College or University if that fits one's story line.

    I hadn't planned for it to be the perfect answer to every possible question about education. *;)


    1 hour ago, ReshiramLover said:

    My question was about high schools, elementary schools, and private schools; do I need all three or do I need just one of a kind?

    It depends on what level of education you'd like for your Sims to have. In other words, what average EQ do you want it that particular city tile? For instance in my most recent play tile I have:

    • 10 elementary schools
    • 1 high school
    • 3 local branch libraries
    • 1 city museum

    Here's how the coverage looks with the Education Data View:

    Tile C2 Ed View Yr 540.jpg


    The area is scattered small towns within an overall average EQ fluctuating between about 120 and 130 over a 30 year time frame. Now that is with almost no fluctuation in population. In other words I have my workforce perfectly in balance with jobs available and so my older Sims stay and no new (EQ 20) Sims move in. You will notice a lot of the homes are shown green for high education yet they are not within a displayed educational facility's radius. Those correspond to where my average age is very high and that's the effect of the museum's education.

    If your city is in constant growth from new zoning the museum trick will not work since the incoming Sims really drag down the overall EQ. So, it basically comes down to two things. How much is your population changing and what overall EQ do you want?

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    1 minute ago, ReshiramLover said:

    What I mean is do Elementary Schools, High Schools, and Private Schools, serve different purposes? or do I just need one and not the others? How is people not getting this?

    Ah. It could be we assumed you'd already read this part in the linked thread:

    On 7/30/2017 at 5:08 PM, mattb325 said:

    All schools (elementary, high school and college) give an EQ boost of 24 over varying age groups.

    A library boost EQ by just 0.3 over all age groups.

    A museum boosts EQ by 40 but only in elderly groups

    The elementary school has the following effectiveness for these age groups: 20 year olds (5), 30yo (5), 40yo (0.5) 50-80yo (0)

    The high school has the following effectiveness for these age groups: 20yo (0) 30yo (0.5), 40yo (5), 50yo (2.5), 60-80yo (0)

    The college has the following effectiveness for these age groups: 20yo (0) 30yo (0.5), 40yo (1.5), 50yo (5), 60yo (2.5), 70yo (0.5), 80 yo (0)

    The library has the following effectiveness for these age groups:  20-60yo (30), 70yo (25), 80yo (20)

    The museum has the following effectiveness for these age groups: 20yo (0) 30-50yo (0.3), 60yo (0.75), 70yo (1.5), 80yo (3)



    And I believe the private school has the same characteristics as the elementary school. The only difference being you need not pay for the funding of it.

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    24 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

    I believe the private school has the same characteristics as the elementary school.

    I read elsewhere that the private school supplies both elementary and high-school level gains, but only for R$$$ sims. I think it also drives R$$$ development (or lifts its cap).

    Someday, somebody should make a mod ordinance that subsidizes sending R$ and R$$ sims to private schools so we don't need to build elementary or high schools.

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    2 minutes ago, jeffryfisher said:

    I read elsewhere ...

    Good catch. That prompted me to actually look this up. Here's the key parts from that article:


    There are three variants of the Private School which are notable for being completely free to place and requires no maintenance. They also include a built-in Park Effect, the strength of which varies between the three versions, to attempt to draw high-wealth citizens to it by increasing local desirability; provide an inherently higher EQ boost; and cover the entire Grade spectrum. They are also the only service in the game that discriminates according to Wealth by providing no effect at all to low-wealth citizens.

    Then looking at the tables it shows it does work for R$$ and R$$$, but not for R$.

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    I've made a new post here with a new experiment. What you will see there is that the elementary school covers just those residential homes and the high school covers them with a bit extra outside of the residential neighborhood. You'll also see the college and museum can be anywhere due to their 256 tile radius coverage. Maybe that will better illustrate the answer you are seeking. Keep in mind that this test was done with a nearly perfectly stable population. If the Sims are moving in and out of the city then they bring in their base 20 EQ and that will affect the average EQ.

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    1 minute ago, ReshiramLover said:

    You just linked to some guy's two line comment that is completely unrelated :(

    I checked and the linky itself is ok. Seems like the amount of pictures in the thread makes it jump to the wrong place. Scroll up from there to find my most recent post.

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    55 minutes ago, licoricebomb said:

    vanilla farms to grow in irregular shapes

    That might be a feature of PEG-SPAM. I've had it for so long that I take it for granted that whatever Z-zone I paint can be filled (as long as there are enough squares covered).

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    54 minutes ago, licoricebomb said:

    @CorinaMarie how do you get your vanilla farms to grow in irregular shapes like that?!

    Just zone a big rectangle and then snip out the parts along the hill ridge line with the de-zoning tool. I pause if it's touching an existing road so it doesn't grow too soon, but if I haven't a road nearby yet I just let it run in normal speed while I clip out the part I don't want zoned as farm ground. (You might also notice I never have dirt farms grow now. I made a little mod for that. *;) )

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    What SPAM does is allow for smaller farms to grow, along with optional diagonal filler pieces to give a nice edge to the diagonals. In essence just making it easier and nicer to have diagonal farms. However, the base functionality is just a result of the ability to remove any of the farm squares (excluding the farm building), without destroying the entire lot.

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