Our Core Values: Inquiry, Care, Integrity, Agency, Interconnection

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san francisco university high school

College Counseling


The College Counseling program is housed under the Human Development department at UHS. The program is an extension of a UHS education, and we support students and families as they navigate this rite of passage.

Our process emphasizes balance and integrates self-discovery, research, and applying strategically. We begin in earnest during November of junior year. We assist students with all facets of the college process: self-exploration, college selection and visiting, standardized testing, essay writing, applying for financial aid, and choosing a college to attend. Click on any one of the phases below to learn more about what we do.

Self-Discovery

This phase begins in the fall of junior year in our office, but we hope this is a natural part of student's lives and experiences at UHS already. 

November: A kickoff meeting with students and parents to frame our work.

December: Juniors complete a questionnaire for our office as well as an assessment called YouScience that gives them feedback about natural aptitudes and careers that align with them. 

January: Class meetings featuring speakers and researchers on college-related topics. These meetings continue throughout the spring semester.

Research (January of Junior Year to December of Senior Year)

January - February: First 1:1 meeting between students and their counselor.

Standardized test timeline planning.

Students begin to articulate what they are looking for in a college by completing a “College Research Rubric.” 

Some families want to begin thinking about visiting colleges over February or April break.  Please contact our office if you would like help planning these trips before the college process officially begins.

February - March:

The College Research Rubric frames our first family meetings, where students discuss interests and begin intentionally developing a list with their parents/guardians and counselor.  

Many students take their first SAT or ACT test.  

April:

Students create their first, very rough college lists, and have their second mandatory meeting with their counselor.

May:

Students determine which teachers they would like to write their letters of recommendation and make those requests.

We offer a session for parents/guardians outlining general information about financial aid. 

Applications (June of Junior Year to January of Senior Year)

We offer two workshops to support students in beginning applications – an essay workshop in June and an application boot camp in August. 

We encourage students to work on essay drafts over the summer, and are available to review them and offer feedback, in person or via e-mail.

August - October

We offer a series of required class meetings and optional drop-in sessions to support all aspects of the application process.

We meet individually with students and families on an as-needed basis.

Over 100 colleges and universities visit UHS to meet with interested seniors.

In early October, students tell us if they will be submitting an early application anywhere, and also give us a refined draft of their full college list.

In October we host a nuts and bolts session on applying for financial aid.

November

Most early application deadlines are November 1 or November 15.

Students work with their counselor to finalize their regular decision lists.

December

Final regular decision college lists are due early in the month.

Students receive early application responses mid-month.

January

Most regular application deadlines are January 1 or January 15.

Choice (December of Senior Year to May of Senior Year)

December-February

Students receive decisions from schools where they applied in November. Please note that the application and choice phases overlap because of these deadlines.

April

Some students visit or re-visit schools before making a final decision about where to enroll.

May

May 1 is the common reply date – the date by which students must notify the school they have chosen and pay an enrollment deposit.

Transition programming on topics ranging from course selection, to nutrition, to housing, to laundry.