Applying to Lowell High School

Lowell Admissions policy for 2024-25 school year

Admissions to Lowell High School is based on academic and non-academic criteria as outlined in the Lowell Admissions Policy

Lowell High School is the only high school in SFUSD with academic based admissions criteria.

San Francisco Residency Requirement

  • Students who apply to Lowell must reside in San Francisco with a parent/legal guardian at the time of application and continue to live in San Francisco while attending Lowell. Any application with falsified information will nullify the application or result in a canceled assignment.
  • Interdistrict permits are not allowed for admission to Lowell.
  • Current SFUSD students in 8th grade do not need to submit additional documents for proof of address unless the student’s address has recently changed.
  • Non-SFUSD students must submit a picture ID of their parent/ guardian, proof of birthdate and one proof of address when submitting applications.

Applying for Lowell 9th grade

Key Application Deadlines




October 20, 2023

ParentVUE/online and PDF/paper applications available

December 15, 2023

Last day to submit an application for admission into 9th grade: 

5PM online or close of business at the Enrollment Center (EC)

Week of March 18, 2024

Applicants will be notified by mail and on ParentVue of the student’s assignment for 2024-2025

How to Apply

In the online application available through ParentVUE includes the supplemental application sections for Lowell High School. 

Paper applications are available in the Enrollment Center offices, or you can print your own here: ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL | 中文 | TAGALOG | TIẾNG VIỆT | عربى | GAGANA SĀMOA

Apply Online

All SFUSD and non-SFUSD 8th grade students may apply for Lowell by listing Lowell as one of their choices on the 2024-25 SFUSD Online Enrollment Application accessible through ParentVue.

Students applying to Lowell (i.e. students who have listed Lowell as one of their choices) will be asked to submit supplemental information (answer additional questions, complete additional sections, upload supporting documents) with their Online Application.

Apply by Paper

Applicants who prefer to apply with a paper application will need to submit both the General Enrollment Application AND the Lowell Supplemental Application.

Applications are due by December 15, 2023 by 5pm (4:30pm in person at office).

In addition to Lowell, students can list any number of other SFUSD high schools on the SFUSD application. All requested schools, including Lowell, should be listed in order of preference. Lowell does not need to be the first choice.

Can I apply for Lowell before December 15 and then re-order my other high school preferences?

You can apply for Lowell by December 15th and then later add additional schools (or re-order) to your application by February 2nd.  However, you will not be able to use the Online Application to do your revision, because Lowell will no longer be an option.  You will need to use the 2024-25 Main Round Revision form available on our website and in our office.

Admissions Test

Per the Admissions Policy, Lowell applicants who have not taken the 7th grade California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), also known as SBAC, in a California public school must take the Lowell Admission Test on one of these scheduled dates:

Applicants must select one of these test dates on their Lowell application.

  • There will be no confirmation letter sent. Applicants are expected to appear on their selected date.
  • Students arriving late will not be permitted to take the test.
  • The Saturday test will be over by approx. 11:00 a.m. The Wednesday test will be over by approx. 9:00 p.m.
  • There is a 15 minute break in which refreshments are allowed but not provided.
  • Dictionaries and calculators will not be allowed. Pencils and paper will be provided.
  • Usage of mobile phones or other smart devices during the test is prohibited and may result in disqualification. Phones and other smart devices will be collected at the start of the test and returned at the end.
  • To be admitted to the test setting, all students must bring some form of picture identification.
  • Students who have taken the CAASPP(SBAC) test in the spring of the 7th grade will not be permitted to take the Lowell admission test. If a student takes the test and the Enrollment Center (EC) receives earlier scores, the earlier scores will be used and the new scores will be discarded.
  • Parents/legal guardians who wish to receive their children’s composite scores in March 2024, must indicate so on the Lowell application. The composite score is the point value derived from the applicants’ grades and test score. Detailed individual test reports will not be provided.
  • Students who receive test accommodations at their current school through an IEP, 504 plan or other documented school plan, must check the box on the application. If available, please attach documentation. If unavailable, EC will obtain it from the current school.

What are the criteria used for acceptance to Lowell?

  • Final grades for the first and second semesters of the 7th grade in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science
  • Final grades for the first semester of the 8th grade in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science
  • For trimesters: For 7th Grade: an average of all three final trimester grades will be used as a representative of both the student’s first and second semester grade. For 8th Grade: the first trimester only will be used.
  • Test scores from either spring 7th grade CAASPP(SBAC) or the January 2024 Admission Test at Lowell
  • Information submitted on the Lowell Application (extracurricular activities demonstrating leadership skills, extenuating circumstances, demonstrated ability to overcome hardship, and family information)
  • An essay written at the applicant’s current school in January 2024 (All schools with Lowell applicants will be given instructions for administering the essay requirement in early January.)

Band Summary Documents: Additional details on how the above criteria are used can be found here: 

English  | Español | 中文 | Tiếng Việt | Tagalog | العربي | Gagana Sāmoa

How is the Lowell application process incorporated into the application process for other SFUSD high schools?

All applications received for Lowell are reviewed, and students who meet the admissions criteria are identified before the student assignment run in March.

Students who meet the admission criteria and list Lowell as their first choice will receive an assignment offer to Lowell.

Those who meet the requirements but list other schools higher than Lowell will go into the student assignment process for their higher choices. If they are assigned a higher choice, they will not receive an offer to Lowell. However, if they do not receive a higher choice, they will be assigned to Lowell.

Students who do not meet the admissions criteria for Lowell will not be negatively impacted for other school choices. They will be included in the assignment process for other school choices listed on their application.

If the applicant has an older sibling at a lower choice school, but does not qualify for Lowell, they will still retain the sibling priority for the other school in the assignment run. Due to the student assignment process, it is very important that students list their school choices in order of their preference.

Assignment offers will be mailed by March 18, 2024. There is no wait pool or appeal process for Lowell. There also is no sibling tiebreaker for Lowell, nor are the other regular high school tiebreakers applied. All students must meet the admissions criteria to enroll.


Application workshop recording and presentation slides

The Enrollment Center hosted a workshop about applying to Lowell on Thursday, Oct. 26. 

You can view the recording of the workshop:

You can also view the presentation slides: 




Have more questions about how to apply to Lowell for the 9th grade?

For additional questions, please contact the Enrollment Center at 415-241-6085 or visit the Enrollment Center in-person. See hours and locations.


Applying for Lowell Grades 10-12

How to Apply

The Lowell application process for grades 10-12 for the 2024-25 school year begins May 13, 2024.

Apply Online

Students may apply online through ParentVue using the Lowell Transfer Application.

Apply by Paper

Paper applications will also be available at the Enrollment Center (EC) and

  • The paper application must be submitted in person to EC or via email to between May 13 and June 21, 2024.

Applications submitted after the June 21, 2024 deadline, or those received by mail or fax, will not be considered.

What is the Lowell Transfer selection process?


To qualify for Lowell admission into grades 10-12, the four best grades from the five academic subjects from each semester of high school will be considered:

  • English
  • Laboratory Sciences
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Foreign Language

These classes must be listed on their official transcript. No more than one course from each of the five academic subject areas will be considered. Courses completed in summer school are not acceptable.

The grades are assigned points as follows: 

A=8 points; B=6 points; C=4 points; D=2 points; and F=0 points.  

There is no extra weight given for honors, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes.  Plusses and minuses are not factored in (for example: A+ and A- are equivalent to A).

Acceptances are based on seat availability.  Available seats are given to applicants with the highest number of points.  Usually a minimum of 60 points for each school year is needed to qualify.


Current SFUSD students do not need to submit transcripts.

Students who attend school outside of SFUSD or attend a charter school must submit their official transcripts to the Enrollment Center (EC) by July 1, 2024. Transcripts can be submitted separately from the application by the July 1, 2024 deadline. Transcripts must arrive sealed to be considered official and may be mailed or emailed directly from the applicant’s current school.

Availability for grades 10-12

Availability for grades 10-12 depends on the number of available seats at Lowell as determined in July. Notification letters will be mailed no later than July 26, 2024.

There is no wait pool or appeal process for Lowell.

There also is no sibling priority for Lowell, nor are the other regular high school tiebreakers applied.

All students must meet the admissions criteria to enroll.

Additional details will be provided in Spring 2024.

This page was last updated on October 31, 2023