Why Lowell isn’t the SFUSD highschool with highest UC admissions charge

Why Lowell isn’t the SFUSD high school with highest UC admissions rate

Lowell Excessive Faculty is usually seen because the crown jewel of San Francisco’s public excessive colleges, an academically intense place that sends college students to the very best faculties and universities. And whereas it’s true that Lowell graduates go on to a number of the nation’s prime establishments of upper studying, a unique San Francisco highschool truly sees the best admissions charge to a College of California campus among the many metropolis’s public colleges.

That honor goes to Mission Excessive, the place 90% of seniors who utilized to a UC — the highest of California’s three-tier public college system – had been admitted to not less than one, based on a Chronicle information evaluation.

Speaking to college students, it’s no shock that the admissions charge is so excessive.

“Mission Excessive Faculty actually helps college students,” mentioned senior Yixi Ou, who moved to the U.S. from China simply earlier than the ninth grade.

A new information software from the Chronicle permits readers to lookup any public highschool in California and see the proportion of scholars who apply to a UC and, of these, the proportion who get in. A Chronicle evaluation of knowledge from the software reveals that a number of colleges in San Francisco with the next share of low-income college students than Lowell have the next admissions charge to the celebrated nine-campus UC system.

As an illustration, at Mission Excessive Faculty, greater than half its college students (55%) qualify without cost or reduced-price meals — a lot greater than Lowell’s 27%. Galileo Excessive Faculty and Philip and Sala Burton Tutorial Excessive Faculty have equally excessive charges of low-income college students. But UC acceptance charges at every of the three colleges exceed Lowell’s charge: 90% of candidates from Mission are accepted, 84% at Burton and 78% at Galileo, in contrast with Lowell’s 74%.

Not solely are Mission Excessive seniors admitted to a UC college, they’re moving into essentially the most aggressive campuses at greater charges than the typical public college.

Amongst in-state residents, UCLA and Berkeley are the toughest UC campuses to get into, with acceptance charges of 10% and 17%, respectively. Lowell’s admission charges carefully match these statewide numbers, however Mission’s percentages are notably greater — 11 of the 52 college students making use of to UCLA (21%) and 23 of the 66 functions to Berkeley (35%) had been accepted for the 2021 fall semester.

Lowell, nevertheless, has much more college students making use of to the UC system than Mission. Amongst Lowell’s 719 seniors, 600 (or 83%) utilized to a UC in 2021, in contrast with 83 of 261 seniors (32%) from Mission Excessive. So whereas Mission Excessive’s college students who do apply usually tend to get in, the variety of all Lowell college students which can be accepted to a UC is way greater.

SFUSD didn’t reply to particular questions on Black and Latino college students at Lowell, as a substitute offering a press release outlining their districtwide choices to assist college students “at each stage” together with devoted school admissions counselors and a variety of faculty prep applications.

“At SFUSD we would like all of our college students to acknowledge their potential and skills, and we’re devoted to opening doorways for college kids, significantly those that may not in any other case view themselves as capable of go to varsity,” mentioned district spokesperson Laura Dudnick. “Our job as a college district is to assist college students understand their potential and their desires. We’re excited for all of our graduating seniors to pursue continued studying, whether or not in a four-year school, a local people school, a commerce, internship, job or a certificates program.”

Moreover, the UC system has a program that ensures admission to not less than one UC to the highest 9% of scholars at every taking part California highschool, and the “overwhelming majority” of excessive colleges take part. This system is supposed to acknowledge college students who profit from the alternatives accessible to them.

Nonetheless, this system doesn’t imply that if a prime pupil applies solely to UCLA, they’re assured admission to UCLA. If a pupil doesn’t get into any of the UCs they utilized to, they’re supplied a spot at one other campus the place area is out there.

Mission’s success has proven that lower-income excessive colleges can overcome alternative gaps, consultants mentioned.

“Financial disruption and inequality creates instability within the lives of younger those who create a variety of challenges,” mentioned John Rogers, the director of UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Schooling, and Entry, who has studied traits in greater training entry for years. “Low useful resource colleges can do so much to deal with a few of these challenges, however it actually takes a variety of assets.”

Yixi Ou listens in school at Mission Excessive Faculty in San Francisco.

Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

That’s the place Mission’s method is available in.

At Mission, counselors stick with a category for all 4 years, earlier than beginning again at ninth grade as soon as a category graduates. That system permits every counselor to get to know the scholars earlier than they begin making use of to schools. Whereas not essentially distinctive to Mission, counselors mentioned it helps them get to know the scholars, their households, strengths and challenges early on.

“We’re higher capable of assist college students discover the very best match for them due to these relationships,” mentioned eleventh grade counselor Lena Rodriguez.

That additionally means counselors might help college students discover issues like management alternatives and actions which can be proper for them all through their highschool careers.

“Some college students may not take these alternatives with out a little little bit of a push,” mentioned counselor Jennifer Soliz, who presently serves the senior class.

Many college students on the college are first-generation school college students, mentioned ninth-grade counselor Maria Servellon Segovia. Some are additionally the primary technology to even go to highschool, particularly a highschool within the U.S. Meaning it’s important to get households concerned and assist them see and perceive the number of choices accessible for his or her youngsters.

“Making use of to varsity is a protracted and complex course of,” she mentioned. “Getting households concerned is a giant piece of that.”

Past that, college students are capable of drop in on the counseling workplace, often known as the Future Heart, at any time, together with throughout lunch and after college, to ask questions or get help.

For seniors, there’s a category known as AVID, particularly designed to assist college students by way of the applying and monetary help processes, mentioned Daybreak Woehl, the counselor for “newcomer” college students, or just lately arrived immigrant college students. The AVID program can be accessible at eight different SFUSD excessive colleges, together with Lowell, although at Mission, features of the AVID program are built-in into required courses for every grade along with the non-compulsory senior class.

Karen Quartz, the director of the UCLA Heart for Neighborhood Education, who research fairness in training, mentioned that many of those methods — significantly involving households — are key to serving to lower-income or first-generation college students thrive.

“It undoubtedly takes a village to get a teenager into school,” she mentioned. “It’s not one program or one reform. It’s an actual neighborhood effort.”

In line with a number of Mission college students who spoke to The Chronicle, that number of assist made an enormous distinction.

Senior William Holder-Soto, whose mother and father are each from Peru, hopes to attend UC Davis or Berkeley. He mentioned that being within the AVID class was extremely useful in holding him on prime of his 10 school functions. As well as, he mentioned, academics and counselors at all times inspired him to become involved in any exercise he was desirous about in addition to problem himself academically.

“Junior yr, (making use of to varsity) felt intimidating,” he mentioned. “However I undoubtedly felt higher about it with all the assist right here.”

His classmate Tuvana Soronzonbold agreed. He was born in South Korea and grew up in Mongolia earlier than transferring to the U.S. in 2015.

“The advisors undoubtedly made it simpler to remain organized” throughout the utility course of, he mentioned, and counselors and academics made themselves accessible for assistance on essays as a lot as they might. For him, that assist was important — he utilized to 30 faculties, together with California State College colleges, UCs and different private and non-private universities throughout the nation.

Tuvana Soronzonbold, 17, draws during art class at Mission High School in San Francisco.

Tuvana Soronzonbold, 17, attracts throughout artwork class at Mission Excessive Faculty in San Francisco.

Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

Now, he has desires of finding out political science on the College of Pennsylvania, opening his personal enterprise and in the future working for public workplace, both within the U.S. or in Mongolia.

And critically, the scholars every described how their counselors and academics helped them be taught in regards to the intricacies of the faculty admission course of — data that isn’t evenly distributed throughout social courses, Rogers famous — and strategize about how finest to face out, from deciding which courses to take, which actions to affix or begin, and the way finest to inform their very own distinctive tales.

“You’re going towards everybody within the U.S.,” Soronzonbold mentioned. “However Mission Excessive Faculty college students are particular and have nice tales, and right here we learn to inform these.”

The advisors emphasised that their function is to search out the fitting match for a pupil, which in lots of circumstances isn’t a UC. Servellon Segovia, who was the counselor for final yr’s senior class, mentioned that many college students opted to not go to a UC for quite a lot of causes, a lot of which needed to do with location or monetary feasibility.

A earlier Chronicle evaluation discovered that Black and Latino college students stay underrepresented within the variety of accepted college students who truly enroll at a UC, as a result of they usually go for extra reasonably priced Cal State colleges or selective non-public colleges that may provide extra scholarships and monetary help.

Ou mentioned that early on, she actually didn’t know her choices outdoors of the UCs, however working together with her counselors confirmed her the number of colleges accessible. Now, her best choice is Pomona Faculty, she mentioned.

“There’s numerous assist for newcomers,” she mentioned. “It helps college students be extra assured and comfy.”

Danielle Echeverria is a San Francisco Chronicle workers author. Electronic mail: danielle.echeverria@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @DanielleEchev

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