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.

The deadline to apply to Lowell for 9th grade for the 2024-25 school year has passed. 

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 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 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 or PDF

Fillable PDF applications with instructions are available here:  English, Spanish, and Chinese

Paper applications with instructions are available at the Enrollment Center.

Paper and PDF applications 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?

Full details are available on the instruction page of the application. 


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.

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

The deadline to apply to Lowell for 9th grade for the 2024-25 school year has passed. 

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. 

The Lowell Admission Test dates for the 2024-2025 school year have passed. 

  • 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.

What were 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 were used can be found here: 

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

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

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

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

Those who met the requirements but listed other schools higher than Lowell will go into the student assignment process for their higher choices. If they were 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 did not meet the admissions criteria for Lowell were not negatively impacted for other school choices. They were 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 did 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 were 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.


This page was last updated on May 10, 2024