We will formally open the 2019-20 admissions cycle for the high school class of 2026 in November 2019.
Please check back for more information.

apply to be a breakthrough silicon valley student

  • Are you doing well in school and is going to college important to you and your family?

  • Do you have hopes and dreams to achieve great things in your life?

  • Do you love to learn and have fun in the process?

If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, Breakthrough Silicon Valley may be the right program for you. We seek motivated students who are ready to work hard to achieve their dreams.


What is Breakthrough Silicon Valley?

Breakthrough Silicon Valley (BTSV) is a six-year academic and college readiness program for talented and motivated middle and high school students. From 7th through 12th grade, students participate in a variety of summer and after school activities geared towards challenging them academically and preparing them for rigorous college-prep high schools and four-year colleges.

Our classes follow a “student-teaching-students” model. Our teachers are high school or college students who are trained and supervised by professional teachers. This model is an exciting way for young people to learn from one another. Led by inspiring young teachers who are excited about academics, our students internalize the importance of their own education and take responsibility for seeking academic challenges. Learn more about our program here.


To be eligible, a student must:

  • Be a current 6th grader at a San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD) or Franklin-McKinley School District (FMSD) public school (see list of eligible schools below)

  • Be willing to commit to our six-year program

  • Perform at grade level or higher in core academic subjects (some students nearing grade level may be considered)

  • Identify as a first-generation college student

  • Demonstrate a compelling economic need for a no-cost program

  • Show motivation for learning



We have official partnerships with SJUSD and FMSD and can only accept applications from students who are enrolled in one of these two districts. To be accepted, students and families must be willing to commit to our program through 12th grade. Students MUST currently attend one of the following schools in the 6th grade to apply to BTSV:

San Jose Unified School District:
Bret Harte, Castillero, Hoover, John Muir, Ohlone, River Glen, Willow Glen

Franklin-McKinley School District
Dahl, Franklin, Hellyer, Kennedy, Lairon, McKinley, Meadows, Ramblewood, Santee, Shirakawa, Stonegate, Windmill Springs

Unfortunately, students who do not attend any of the above schools in the 6th grade are ineligible to apply.


how to apply

For the first time, BTSV will offer an online application! The 2019-20 application season for the high school class of 2026 will open in November 2019 and will be made available here. We highly encourage applications to submit their applications online. The application deadline is February 11, 2020.

We will still accept hard copies, which will be available upon request at either of our offices or with the designated liaison at your school site. Completed hard copy applications may also be delivered to either of our two offices.

When the application opens, we will also begin offering office hours at both sites (exact hours TBD) for students and families who need assistance completing their application. If you have any inquiries in the meantime, please contact Rosalind Le at rle@breakthroughsv.org.


SaMPLE ApplicationS


After the application deadline, a group of students will be invited to participate with their parents in a family interview during the second round of the application process. Not all students will be invited to interview.

Interviews will be scheduled for April 1, 2 or 4, 2020.

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Decision NOTICES

Our new class of students is selected based on the student and parent applications, recommendations, and interview.

Decision letters will be sent home the week of April 13-17, 2020.


starting the journey

Newly admitted students and families will participate in a New Family Welcome Event on May 2, 2020, which will include summer placement testing. Students will then begin their six-year journey on June 23, 2020 with the first day of our summer program!


Summary of Important Dates

All dates subject to change

  • Application Opens: November 1, 2019

  • Application Deadline: February 11, 2020

  • Interview Dates: April 1, 2, 4, 2020

  • Decision Notifications: April 13-17, 2020

  • New Family Welcome Event and Pre-Summer Testing: May 2, 2020

  • First Day of Summer: June 23, 2020


Want to learn more?

Students nominated to apply for the program will participate in information sessions during the school day at their respective schools.

Dates, times and locations for information sessions for parents will be determined at a later date. Sessions will be conducted in either English, Spanish or Vietnamese and allow parents to learn more about the program and the application process.

You can also read over this FAQ on the application process and our organization.