I had a phenomenal experience in my 4 years at University High, ultimately getting into Stanford as a President's scholar along with 9 of my classmates. The student body was filled with some of the smartest, most dedicated people I know who I am still close with to this day. The teachers were always top-notch, noble, and loved what they did. Could not have had a better experience and would highly recommend it.
My daughter received a well-rounded education at University High, choosing to be very involved academically, socially, and artistically. She is not Asian and earned a 4.3 GPA. She is doing great at the UC she chose; most of her friends chose UCs, NYU, and a few are at Ivy Leagues. Two of her best friends since preschool switched to private schools in 10th grade, as their parents felt the school's academic competition was not a good fit for their child. If your child has a great work ethic, outstanding study habits, can teach herself math concepts (or has a tutor), isn't bothered by competition, is confident, has strong leadership qualities, is optimistic, and outgoing, UNI will likely be a great choice where your child will thrive.
We moved from out of the area. There's been no problem whatsoever getting into AP classes, quite the opposite, thanks to the very helpful counselors. Science and Math classes are very very challenging and require a lot of work, but do prepare extremely well for college (choose those AP courses at your own risk). Humanities and Social Sciences are as difficult as at any other Blue Ribbon schools in CA, but not more difficult. The students are not as social as those at some of the other schools, so the "fun" factor is lower. Some sports are top notch (swimming, tennis), developing camaraderie and enriching experience; some sports are not run as successfully. The music program is okay, but most focus is on the marching band, not the orchestras.
My two sons go to Uni and the school is great. The school has very high standards and it is not as scary as most parents want to portray it. The staff and counselor are very helpful. If your son has good work ethics he/she will do well.
I completely agree with both previous posts. We moved from out of state and were told that my student couldn't get into the AP classes because this school was very hard. Even though came with an A+ in Honors English was not allowed to get into AP English. Teachers were not helpful most of the time, with some exceptions of course. The environment is very far from welcoming. It is fake like everything in the area. In general the experience has been bad, I hope to get a better environment for my other child.
I completely agree with previous parent. This has been disappointing. Staff have a saying they use over and over...Your child may be getting b's because this school is difficult. Wrong! Many students have tutoring outside of school and take courses to review the next year curriculum. The teachers donot need to teach the students but merely give assignments because a large majority of students do not participate in class because they go to private tutoring to actually learn the material. This also make for very talkative class rooms. There is a discrimination of white students. Look into any Honors or AP classes and you will find 1 or 2 white students. Which doesn't fit the fact that there are 25% white students at the school. If you are not asian, and you are in these classes there is question that you belong there.
We are one of those families that moved from out of state and chose our home because it was in the UNI district. That was an enormous mistake. I had two children go through this school and can honestly say it has been a terrible experience for both. The majority of the teachers could care less about the students, some answering cell phones during class or not in their classroom during office hours. The administration is not much better always assuming the students are wrong, not the teachers. The counselors are even worse because they pretend to care but have so many students, they can't even begin to know one from the other. My first child, accepted to an elite college, tells me not one semester of college comes close to how hard UNI was. My second used to be an enthusiastic learner, a straight A student until UNI. Averaging 4 hours sleep in order to get B's in high school is just not right. The kids that get A's are, and I hate to say it, Asian. They take summer prep classes in the AP subjects so when they take the class at UNI they can get an A. This is what the teachers teach to. So unless your child takes a prep class, they can forget about doing well in the AP classes.
University High School in Irvine is truly a great school, which offers high academic and sports standards to all of its students. The faculty is wonderful, and they not only teach our children. They make them think and prepare for the future.