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Applying to Serra involves a few important steps and many opportunities to get to know us better. Serra uses Ravenna Solutions for our online application. Please visit the Ravenna website to create an account. Once your account is created, you will view the necessary steps to complete the application process.

Join us for a neighborhood Padre Preview event to hear from parents and students about their Serra experiences. Be sure to sign up to be a Padre for a Day (our 8th grade shadow visit program), and attend our annual Open House. Our students tell us these three events were key in helping them make the decision to become a Padre. For families interested in our financial aid program, please click on the Financial Aid tab below. 

Admissions Dates to Remember

Application and Forms

Submit an inquiry or start an application

The inquiry form and the application process for incoming freshmen and transfer students is completed through Ravenna.

Please create an account in Ravenna and choose the San Francisco Bay Area region. Search for Junípero Serra High School.


Entrance exam

The HSPT is used by Catholic high schools throughout the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose Archdioceses. Applicants who take the entrance exam at another high school may request their scores be sent to Serra at the time of testing. Those testing at Serra may have their scores sent to additional schools.

The writing sample will be administrated by all schools in the San Francisco Archdiocese. Applicants who choose to take the entrance exam outside the Archdiocese of San Francisco (at a school that does not include the writing sample), will be asked to take the writing sample portion of the exam on the day he interviews at Serra.

Serra will administer the 2020 HSPT entrance exam with a writing sample on Saturday, January 11, 2020. from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Students should arrive at 8:20 a.m. in the Serra main lobby, with two number two pencils, No calculators are permitted. The testing will conclude at approximately noon.

Applicants with documented learning differences may request extended time on the HSPT test by completing the necessary paperwork. For more information, please click on the tab below.

Transcript and Confidential Teacher Recommendation Release Form

ARC Application & ARC HSPT Extended Time Form Due Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The ARC Supplementary Application and HSPT extended time form can be found in the Ravenna Hub. Parents must complete the application for the Academic Resource Center and submit the required documentation for their son to be considered for membership in the ARC. Applicants with documented learning differences may request extended time on the HSPT exam, with appropriate documentation.

For more information on Serra's Academic Resource Center, please click here.

St. Junipero Serra Scholars

Every year, Serra identifies a select group of incoming freshmen whose academic and co-curricular achievements truly stand out. These exceptional young Padres are acknowledged as St. Junípero Serra Scholars.

St. Junípero Serra Scholars receive a $6,000 scholarship, renewable each year they attend Serra and meet the criteria established for the program. Students are identified by Serra’s Admissions Committee to receive this honor.

The general profile of a scholarship recipient is a young man who has:

  • Grades of A- or better in each of the core subjects of English, math, history, and science in seventh and eighth grades
  • Outstanding recommendations from teachers for his academic achievements, moral character, and conduct
  • High School Placement Test scores in the 90th percentile or above on multiple measures
  • Standardized test scores from seventh and eighth grades that are consistent with his academic profile
  • Demonstrated initiative and/or leadership in extracurricular and community activities

Serra is proud to welcome a new cohort of St. Junípero Serra Scholars each year. If you have questions about this program, please contact the Admissions Office.

Financial Aid

We understand that the total cost of a Serra education is a significant investment. Serra's Financial Aid program is designed to help those families who, even with their sacrifices, are unable to afford full tuition. If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please click here for more information.

For answers to other questions or for more information, please contact our admissions team at 650.345.8207 ext. 6115.

The Admissions Decision FAQs

We understand that applicants and their families may have questions about the criteria our Admissions Committee considers when making admission decisions. Having those questions answered is important as you move through the application process so that your experience will be a positive one.

Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. 

How does Serra evaluate applicants for admission?

At Serra, we understand that students have many gifts that a grade point average or a number on an exam might not show us. We are interested in learning about who the student is as a person, not just a statistic. We want to learn about his goals and interests and how he can contribute to the Serra community. We make every attempt to evaluate each applicant holistically and truly focus on every aspect of the application including  grades, high school placement exam, letters of recommendation and the personal interview.

My son is much more than a test or grade. Will Serra really get to know my son?

Emphatically, yes! It is very important that we get to know each applicant’s goals, interests, and the unique gifts he possesses. We are a small community at Serra and make every effort to get to know the students as much as possible during the admission process.

The Application

The application provides an opportunity for each applicant to respond to questions that help us get to know him. Here, the student can share his strengths, successes, personal goals and extra-curricular interests. Encourage your son to take the time to provide thoughtful responses to these questions.

Student and Parent Interview

The student and parent interview personalizes the application process. We invite each applicant and his parents on campus to have a conversation with a Serra faculty or staff member. This is an opportunity for us to learn more about your son and for your family to learn more about our Serra community. 

Confidential Teacher Recommendations 

Recommendations from current teachers who know your son well provide helpful insight into who he is as a student, classmate and community member. We request confidential recommendations from both his current math and English teachers.

These can be substituted only by recommendations from other current core subject teachers, if the math or English teacher is unable to respond.

Where and when can my son take the High School Placement Test (HSPT)?

We offer all of our applicants the opportunity to take the HSPT exam on our campus on Saturday, January 11, 2020. We don’t, however, require applicants to sit for the exam at Serra, if another test site and/or test date is more convenient for your family.

When you submit your application to Serra, you’ll be immediately prompted to sign up for the HSPT at Serra or inform us if your son plans to take the test at another location.

When will I know whether my son is accepted?

Decision packets will be mailed on Thursday, March 13, 2020. Formal decisions will be available through our Ravenna system on Friday, March 14, 2020, after 4 p.m.

What happens after we receive the admissions decision from Serra?

If admission is offered to your son, you will have until March 26, 2020 to make a decision.

If the decision is to accept our admission offer, we ask that you register your son for the Class of 2024 by the March 26 deadline.

Because the San Francisco Archdiocese respects each family’s need to evaluate its son’s high school decision without distraction, we will not contact you during the week of March 14 through March 26. However, you are welcome and encouraged to reach out to us at any time during this “quiet week” with any questions.