The Lowell College Counseling Center

College Center Resources

Fall is a very busy time in the College Counseling Center. Click below to learn about our upcoming events.

    Workshop: "Applying to College for First Gen/Low Income Students"

    Workshop: "Applying to College for First Gen/Low Income Students" 

    • Thursday 9/28 at 3:45pm
    • Tuesday 10/17 during Lunch A (11:20-12:00)

    Location: College Center, Room 116; Presented by Ms. Aguirre

    Workshop: "Work on your College Applications" with Ms. Aguirre

    Workshop: "Work on your College Applications" with Ms. Aguirre

    • Tuesday, October 17th, 3:30 - 5:00pm
    • Thursday, October 26th, 3:30 - 5:00pm
    • Thursday, November 2nd, 3:30 - 5:00pm

    Come work on your college applications or essays with Ms. Aguirre, Lowell's College Counselor. 

    Location: College Center, Room 116

    Drop-In Sessions: College Essay review

    The Lowell College Center has drop-in sessions to have your College Essays reviewed. Receive One-on-One help with your essay from a trained volunteer.

    September: Drop in Essay Review 

    Have an essay or just the start of an essay (or need help starting an essay)...come by the College Center any Wednesday in September for help.

    • Time: 1:00 - 3:00pm
    • Dates: Wednesday, September 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th
    • Location: College Center, Room 116; Run by the VICCI Volunteers: Edna, Jen and Victoria

    October: Drop in Essay Review 

    • Time: 2:30 - 5:00pm
    • Dates: Tuesday, October 10th and Wednesday October 25th
    • Location: College Center, Room 116; Run by the Lowell College Essay Reader Service (staffed by Lowell Alumni)

    November: Drop in Essay Review (Top tip: come early, we anticipate these sessions to be busy)

    • Time: 2:30 - 5:00pm
    • Dates: Thursday, November 9th and Tuesday, November 28th
    • Location: College Center, Room 116; Run by the Lowell College Essay Reader Service (staffed by Lowell Alumni)

    Senior Newsletter: Fall 2023

    Download a copy of the Senior, Class of 2024 Fall Newsletter HERE.

    College Newsletter


    Schedule a One-on-One appointment with a College Center Volunteer

    Looking for One-on-One help starting the College search process? Please make an appointment with one of our College Center Volunteers. 


    Volunteers can help with:

    • Working with students to help build a College List
    • Understanding the UC Application and Common App
    • Working with students on college essays (at any part in the writing process)
    • Working on formatting student Activities Lists




    College Essays: Trying to figure out where to start?

    Need a little help getting started on your Common App essay or the Personal Insight Questions for the UC applications? We recommend checking out these resources from The College Essay Guy (Author of the book College Essay Essentials) and his youtube channel

    1. How to Write Great UC Personal Insight Questions / Essays [CRASH COURSE]

    And this corresponding Blog Post: How to Write the UC Essay Prompts 2022/2023 (+ Examples)

    2. How to Write an OUTSTANDING Personal Statement for College: A Crash Course

    3. And for your Supplemental Essays How to Combine Your College Essay Prompts (To Save 20+ Writing Hours)

    4. How to Write Your UC Activities List

    And for those looking for help starting their college lists the College Center Volunteers recommend checking out CollegeVine and Cappex and of course reviewing all the admissions data on the actual websites of the schools you are considering.

    Lowell College Essay On-Line Review Service (submit your essay for review)

    During the 2022-2023 college application cycle, the Lowell College Essay Review Service read and provided feedback on over 300+ student essays. 

    How does it work? Through this service, a Lowell student submits their essay online, a reader (an adult from the Lowell Community including Alumni and Parents/Guardians of current and recently graduated students) is assigned to review the essay and provides feedback to the student. Communication between the student and the reader is primarily through comments on the essay (via Google Docs) and in email. Readers are not allowed to meet (in person or virtually) with students unless Ms. Aguirre is present.

    Sign up for the College Essay Review Service LINK HERE.

    Note: You will also be required to submit a Permission Form signed by a parent/guardian to use this service.

    Flyer for the College Essay Review Service


    *UPDATE* FAFSA Application available in Dec '23 (not Oct. 1st)

    The FAFSA Form will be available in December 2023 (not October 1st). There are major changes and improvements coming to the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. As a result, the new form will be available in December 2023, not Oct. 1.

    More information can be found here:

    The launch date will apply only for the 2024–25 FAFSA form.

    The changes to the FAFSA form for the 2024–25 aid year include

    • expanded eligibility for federal student aid and

    • a more streamlined application process.

    Work Permit Application: 2023-2024

    SFUSD NEW WORK PERMITS PROCESS  (Effective from June 1st, 2023):

    Please note we ACCEPT the PAPER WORK PERMIT APPLICATION starting from June 1st, 2023, we no longer use the online system.

    Requesting a Work permit is 4 step process:

    1. Student fills out a work permit application (CDE Form B1-1), Minor’s/School Information. 
    2. Parent/Legal Guardian fills out and signs the Parent/Guardian section.
    3. Employer fills out and signs the Employer section.
    4. The student then brings a COMPLETED work permit application to the district Transcript/Work Permit Office (20 Cook St. 1st floor Rm. 11) to apply for a student work permit. Please leave the bottom section "For authorized work permit issuer use ONLY" blank. The student has to be physically present to turn in the application.

    Please note we DO NOT accept digital signatures, the application has to be physically signed ("wet" signature) by Student, Parent/Guardian, and Employer.

    SFUSD Student Needs to Bring:

    • Completed application with signatures
    • Proof of Age - California ID, Driver’s License, Passport, or Birth Certificate
    • Proof of Enrollment - Spring 2023 Report Card or Spring Progress Report card 



    SFUSD Website Resources, College & Career Readiness

    Overview of programs in the College Center 2023-2024

    August 2023

    With nearly 700 seniors at Lowell, the College Center is one of the busiest places in the school during Fall Semester (and thanks to the generous support of the PTSA and the Alumni Assoc. one of the most beautiful spaces, too). Below is an overview of the College Center program and resources we have for students. If you are curious which schools the recent graduates of the Lowell Class of 2023 are attending click HERE (this is from the Senior Survey, as self-reported by 510 students) and a more detailed list of the UC’s, CSU and most popular majors HERE.

    Quick note for families of Juniors, our programming for Juniors begins in early January with “College 101” an in-person event focusing on the College Search and Application process. In late Spring we will host our Annual “College Kick-Off Day'' with dozens of College Reps and Lowell Alumni talking about schools, career paths, etc. (last year we had 450+ students and families attend our Saturday event and it was a great way to start the college search process). Plus, on the Saturday before Lowell starts in early August, the College Center hosts “College Essay Day” with 30+ volunteers reading college essays and providing in-person feedback (this year we had 150+ students make appointments with essay readers)

    Resources for Seniors and their families:

    The Lowell College Center webpage found HERE is regularly updated and has a ton of resources. A great resource is our Senior Timeline with key dates and links and the College Representative Visit Google calendar at the bottom of the page. Everything I describe here is also posted and linked on the Lowell College Center webpage (this can be found under the Academics/Guidance tab on the Lowell website). 

    The Lowell College Center is located on the first floor, Room 116, across from the library and down a small hallway. We are lucky at Lowell to have a full-time, dedicated College Counselor Ms. Aguirre. She does not handle a regular student caseload, but instead is 100% focused on the college application process for Seniors. Ms. Aguirre is here to support students from the beginning of the college search all the way through to the end, including reading essays, advising on college lists, analyzing financial aid packages, responding to waitlist offers, etc. Students can make an appointment with Ms. Aguirre by coming into the College Center. 

    The College Center also has updated books to research colleges, look for scholarships, and various other guides. The College Center is also where SAT & ACT financial assistance waivers can be obtained. Just outside the College Center are a number of bulletin boards that are regularly updated with information about College visits, scholarship opportunities, advice from recent Lowell grads, etc. Ms. Aguirre communicates regularly with our students through her Google Classroom (all the Seniors should have joined by now, if not, have your student drop by the College Center and get the Google Classroom Code) and direct emails to their SFUSD account. 

    College Representative Visits. Last year we had 150+ Colleges visit Lowell in-person and a few via Zoom. Colleges will start visiting in early September (in 2023 we had 55 Colleges visit in September alone!). The College Rep. Google calendar is regularly updated HERE (scroll to the bottom of the webpage) or view it as a Google Doc HERE.

    The VICCI (Volunteers In the College Center Information) Volunteers are a team of parents that have successfully gone through the college search process with their own students and have offered to continue sharing their information with current Lowell Seniors. The VICCI Volunteers can be found in the College Center every single day from Lunch Block A through the end of the school day. They provide the following services:

    • General Drop-in Help. Every year the VICCI Volunteers answer hundreds of questions from students on a drop-in basis. If a volunteer doesn’t know the answer…they will find it and get back to the student.

    • One on One Appointments. Your student can make an appointment to meet One on One with a VICCI Volunteer to talk about their college list, review an essay, prepare for a College Interview, etc. Appointments can be made HERE

    College Essay On-line Review Service. Information HERE. This service is yet another great way to get feedback on your college essays. Run with mostly Lowell Alumni, you submit your essay via Google Doc and receive written feedback (they have had training in the essay process). Many of our essay readers were at our most recent College Essay Day event. 

    Workshops and Programs. The College Center offers a number of in-person workshops throughout the year. All are listed on our College Center Workshop Calendar HERE (scroll to the bottom of the webpage). 

    • In the early fall we will be running After School Drop-In Essay Reader events (dates to be announced for 2023). 

    • In October, look-out for “Cash for College” (this includes updated information on applying for FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

    • In January CCSF (City College of San Francisco) will have an evening presentation including help with the application process. 

    Last but not least, the Lowell PTSA also organizes monthly “Coffee & College Chat” Zoom calls on Sunday mornings. Here, we cover topics from “Understanding the UCs” to “Let’s talk about College Financial Aid.” These Zoom sessions are all recorded and you can find the links and passwords on our dedicated PTSA website HERE (note: the Lowell PTSA website is separate from the Lowell High School website) as a reminder, there is also a link to the PTSA website from the College Center page. Lowell is also a member of the Parents Coalition of Bay Area High Schools and you can find links to all of their Zoom presentations including “Understanding the New Normal in College Admissions” on our PTSA page.

    Make sure to follow up on Instagram to stay up to date: @LowellCollegeCenter

    Lowell College Center Calendars

    College Rep. Visit Calendar

    College Center Workshops

    Archived Resources from Past Presentations

    You can review information from past Lowell College Center presentations and events at the links below.

    Archived Resource: Spring 2023: Lowell College Center Programs

    All programs are held in the College Counseling Center.

    Starting your College List: 

    Wondering how to start planning for college? Just a few criteria can help jumpstart your brainstorming, so you can build a list to research over the summer.

    • Tuesday 4/11, 12:20pm (B lunch)
    • Wednesday 4/12, 2:30pm (after school)
    • Tuesday 4/18,  12:20pm (B lunch)
    • Monday 4/24, 11:45am (A lunch)
    • Tuesday 5/2, 12:20pm (B lunch)
    • Monday 5/9, 11:45am (A lunch) 

    Starting your Common App: 

    No college list yet? No problem. Learn to navigate the Common App portal to help manage your timelines, finances (application fees), supplemental essays, and more. 

    • Wednesday 4/19, 2:30PM  (after school)

    Getting started on your College Essays: 

    Session 1: Your first look at the UC Personal Insight Questions and Common App Essay prompts. 

    • A Peek at the Prompts, A Brainstorming Session: Wednesday, 4/26, 2:30PM (after school) 

    Session 2: An opportunity to review questions, discuss topics, and read sample essays.

    • A Peek at the Prompts, Part 2: Wednesday, May 3, 2:30PM (after school) 

    Archived Resource: College Essay Day! In-person event, August 12, 2023

    The Lowell College Center is offering their first summer, in-person College Essay Day! event for rising Seniors. Need help starting an essay? Want a second or third opinion?

    Can't figure out an ending? This is the event for you! RSVP today and let us know you are coming!

    What to expect: One-on-one essay feedback with our experienced and trained volunteers, brainstorming workshops led by the Lowell College Center plus general essay support.

    • Date: Saturday, August 12, 2023, RSVP required
    • Download the event flyer HERE
    • Time: 10:30am - 1pm (the event starts promptly at 10:30am)
    • Location: Lowell High School library
    • Snacks and Lunch will be provided for all attendees courtesy of the LPTSA
    • This event is organized by the Lowell College Counseling Center, the Lowell VICCI Volunteers with financial support provided by Lowell PTSA.
    • RSVP via the Google Form HERE

    Ask any recent Lowell graduate and they will tell you getting a jumpstart on your college essays the summer before your Senior year is the single smartest thing you can do to help minimize stress during the College Application process.

    This event is for Lowell Seniors only. Wherever you are in the writing process, there is support here for you.

    thumbnail of flyer for essay day


    Archived Resource: City College of San Francisco Webinar, Registration Process

    Complete your application & orientation, assessment/placement, and a counseling appointment to get priority registration!

    Parent's Night, March 15, 2022

    Learn why CCSF is an excellent option for one's educational goals. Learn steps to register and transfer to a university and hear from Lowell alumni, current CCSF students in the process of transferring.

    Application & Orientation Workshop, April 7, 2022

    Where: Lowell College Center, room 116
    When: Wednesday,  April 7, 2022, from  3 - 4pm & 4 - 5pm.

    Get help completing Summer '22 and Fall '22 term new applications. Students who have attended CCSF are required to apply again. 
    **Expect CCSF ID# withinin 48 hours (begins with "@" or "W").

    Virtual help counter offered every Wednesday from 3pm-5pm via Zoom:


    English/math placements are based on high school data entered on your application.  Higher placements may be given via SAT/ACT/AP scores

    Counseling Appointments, April 21, 22 & 25, 2022

    Where: Lowell College Center, room 116
    When: April 21, 22, & 25, 2022

    Meet with a CCSF counselor to discuss your schedule for summer or FALL. This step is required to register.   
    Sign up at

    • Late sign-ups are accepted, but appointments are given only if there are spaces.
    • Application and orientation must be completed before your appointment.
    • Have unofficial copies (pdf) of SAT, ACT, and/or AP scores (may be needed).
    • Counseling will also be available during FRISCO Week: May 3 - May 6.

    Archived Resource: Cash for College Workshop 2022

    California Student Aid Commission presented a workshop on "Cash for College" which included information about the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and California Dream Act applications for the 2023-2024 school year.

    LINK to the Slide deck is HERE.

    Archived Resource: April 15, 2023: Lowell College Kick-Off Day

    Please join us at Lowell College Kick-Off Day 2023! We are thrilled to have so many College Representatives and Lowell Alumni presenting. 

    LINK to the Event Program with Presenters and Room Numbers

    LINK to the Alumni Bio page

    LINK to "20 questions to Ask a College Rep" page

    LINK to download a copy of the flyer

    Thank you to the Lowell PTSA and Lowell Alumni Association for sponsoring our event. Additional thanks to our many volunteers including our college counselor Maria Aguirre, event organizers Cece Kaufman and Jen Wana, the Shield and Scroll Honor and Service Society, and the amazing Lowell parents.

    Remember to check the Lowell College Counseling Center webpage starting in early September 2023 for the schedule of College Representative visits. (Scroll down the page for the College Rep Visit Google calendar.)


    Flyer for the College Kick-Off Day 2023

    Archived Resource: College Admissions Panel Event, Spring 2022

    March 3, 2022:  Virtual event featuring college admission counselors from UCLA, SF State University, University of San Francisco and City College of San Francisco

    Watch the webinar recording using the following timestamps:

    • Introductions:  9:00
    • College System Introductions:  16:26
    • College Presentations:  19:25
    • Lowell Alumni Speakers:  1:23:10

    Information for College Reps wishing to visit Lowell

    ​​​​​​We are happy to announce that we will be hosting in-person as well as virtual college visits during the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.

    We are continuing to use the SCOIR platform to book in-person and virtual visits. Please use this registration link to choose a time slot from those made available on our SCOIR calendar. If you do not have access to SCOIR, please join the platform. It’s free and only takes a few seconds to register.

    Learn more at the link here.

    Contact information for the Lowell HS College and Career Center:

    This page was last updated on October 11, 2023