High School

High School


High School News

The Office of Student Enrollment welcomes all rising eighth grade students and first-time ninth graders applying to high school for the 2017-2018 school year!

The High School Application is now available—ask your school counselor for it. Take these steps as your build a list of programs for your application:

Tickets for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and LaGuardia High School auditions are now available through schools. Students who are registered for the SHSAT and/or LaGuardia High School auditions should see their school counselor for their tickets. Families may also visit a Family Welcome Center for a copy of the ticket. 

For students scheduled to take the SHSAT at Bronx High School of Science this Sunday, October 23: You may experience transportation delays due to scheduled road closures by the Tour de Bronx cycling event. Please plan for additional travel time for your scheduled 8am or 12:30pm arrival. Students experiencing travel delays on Sunday should continue to Bronx High School of Science—they will be able to test even if they are unable to arrive on time.

If you just moved to New York City and are not yet enrolled at a school for the 2016-2017 school year, learn how to enroll on the New Students page.

High School Admissions Overview: How Do I Participate?

New York City has more than 400 high schools and over 700 programs. Eighth grade or first-time ninth grade students and families who live in New York City complete a single High School Application for up to 12 high school programs and can participate in a separate process for Specialized High Schools.

Students with disabilities may apply to any high school program in High School Admissions and follow the same steps outlined in the NYC High School Directory and Specialized High School Students Handbook as their nondisabled peers. Students with disabilities who are recommended for and have attended a District 75 program and are considering a high school outside of District 75 should work with their IEP team to determine whether the recommendation for District 75 for high school is still appropriate.

Use the resources below to learn about your program options and understand the admissions process:

High school resources are also available in translation:

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Find a High School: How Do I Learn About Programs?

When looking for schools and programs, it is important to think about what will help you learn and grow—your interests, learning needs, and how you’d get to and from the school. Talk with your family, guidance counselor, and teachers about your application choices.

2017 New York City High School Directory: The High School Directory helps you understand the admissions process and learn more about high school programs in each borough. You can pick up a copy from your middle school, at a High School Admissions event, or Family Welcome Center.

School Search: Find high schools based on interest area, borough, school size, and more.

Admissions Events: Attend a High School Family Workshop in July, and the Citywide and Borough High School Fairs in the fall, to learn how to find programs that fit your needs, hear tips on developing your High School Application, and get to know more about the Specialized High Schools admissions process.

Information Sessions: View the calendar of high schools' information session dates and plan to visit schools of interest. 

2016-2017 Specialized High Schools Student Handbook: You may also be interested in applying to one of the nine Specialized High Schools—learn about those programs and their admissions process.

Apply to High School: What Makes a Good Application?

Applications for Round 1 of High School Admissions are due to guidance counselors on December 1, 2016.  Your goal is to receive an offer to one of your preferred programs in Round 1. Students who do not receive an offer in Round 1 can apply to programs with availability in Round 2 in March 2017.

Take these steps as you develop a list of programs:

  • Read the High School Directory. Understand how high school offers are determined. Learn the meaning of terms like admissions priorities, eligibility, seats, admissions methods, guaranteed offer, and selection criteria. 
  • List programs that you believe will help you learn and grow. Think about your interests, learning needs, and how you would get to and from school.
  • List 12 programs on your application. Listing fewer than 12 programs makes it less likely you receive an offer from your application. Listing fewer programs does not make it more likely that you will receive a top choice.
  • List programs in your true order of preference starting with your top choice as #1. High schools cannot see where you rank them and should not ask where you’ve ranked them.  Your preference order matters!
  • Include “target” or “likely-match” programs on your application. If you have a guaranteed program, you should put it on your application after other programs you prefer.

Admissions Timeline: When Do I Apply?

 Download the HS Admissions Timeline.

Diversity in High School Admissions

High schools across the city were invited to participate in a pilot to increase diversity within their schools for students applying this year to attend for the 2017-2018 school year. At these schools, students who are eligible for Free Lunch (FL) will receive admissions priority for a certain percentage in the incoming ninth and tenth grades. Read more about each school’s specific pilot:

High School FAQs: Application Period

  • Do I have to apply to high school?

    Yes, if you want to attend a NYCDOE public high school. This includes students who want to attend their zoned school and students in a grades 6-12 school who want to remain at that school for ninth grade.

    Every eighth grade student in a district or charter school receives a High School Application from their guidance counselor in the fall. New York City residents who currently attend a private or parochial school can request an Application from their school counselor or a Family Welcome Center.

  • Can I visit a high school before applying?

    Each high school has scheduled open houses or information session events when you can visit the school. To learn when these events take place, you can contact the school directly, or visit our information session calendar. School contact information is provided in the High School Directory or NYC School Finder.

    Additionally, there is a Citywide High School Fair in September and high school fairs in each borough in October. At these events, you may talk with students and educators from high schools to learn more.

    Visiting a high school or the school’s table at any of the fairs gives you priority to that school in the admissions process if the school has a Limited Unscreened Admissions Method. 

  • What information will be on my High School Application?

    Your application will include:

    • Your biographical information, including name and address.
    • Your academic information from seventh grade, including your course grades, days absent, days late, and NY State ELA and math test scores.
    • Your eligibility for bilingual services, if applicable.
    • Your eligibility for seats for students with disabilities, if applicable.
    • Information on whether there is a continuing school or zoned school for which you have priority or a guaranteed seat if you apply.  

  • What is the difference between a school and a program?

    You can think about programs as “doorways” through which they accept students. There can be multiple programs offered by one school and eligible students may apply to one program, or more than one program at that school. Programs often focus on specific interest area. Programs at the same school may have different Admissions Priorities and Admissions Methods. You may decide to apply to one program over another based on its admissions and its interest area.

  • How do different schools evaluate my High School Application?

    Programs evaluate students through their Admissions Methods.  An Admissions Method is the way a school program matches with applicants. Students are first grouped by Admissions Priority (see next question) and then considered by Admissions Method. You can read more about Admissions Methods in the High School Directory. Programs with a Zoned, Unscreened, Limited Unscreened, or Screened for Language Admissions Method do not see an applicant’s school records. Programs with a Screened, Audition, or Educational Option Admissions Method do see an applicant’s school record.  

  • What is an Admissions Priority and how much does it matter?

    Admissions Priorities determine the order in which applicants are considered for placement. Programs accept applicants from the first Admissions Priority group before accepting applicants from the next Admissions Priority group. It is important to keep track of the priorities for the programs to which you’re applying.

  • Can I go to the school that my older sibling attends?

    You may apply to a school your sibling attends, but there is no guarantee that you will get an offer to that school. There is no sibling priority in High School Admissions. 

  • Does the admissions process change if I am a student with a disability?

    No. Students with disabilities may apply to the same programs listed in the High School Directory as students without disabilities. Your IEP or 504 Plan testing accommodations are provided during the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test or any school-based admissions audition or assessment. If you are a student in a District 75 program considering a community high school, you should work with your District 75 school to participate in High School Admissions. Please read A Guide for Families of Students with Disabilities to learn more.   

  • Does the admissions process change if I am an English Language Learner?

    No, English Language Learner students receive supports in all New York City high schools. All eighth grade students may participate in high school admissions no matter their knowledge of English. If you are interested in a program designed for students who are English Language Learners, you may consider programs that use a Screened: Language admissions method. The High School Directory indicates which of the ELL program models (Dual Language, Transitional Bilingual Education, or English as a New Language) are currently offered in each high school. Families can learn more about these programs here.

  • What are zoned programs and how can I find one in my neighborhood?

    Zoned programs give either priority or a guaranteed offer to students who apply and live in the geographic zoned area of that high school. Not every student has a school with a zoned program. Find out if you have a zoned school by checking the back of your High School Application, or type your address into School Search. You may place your zoned school’s program code anywhere on your application list and still have priority.

  • What are screened schools and how do I apply?

    Schools with Screened programs evaluate applicants based on school record, which may be one or more of the following: course grades, NY State ELA and math test proficiency ratings, attendance and punctuality. Some Screened programs may also request writing samples, interviews, group activities, diagnostic tests, academic portfolios, or online activities. The requirements to apply to screened programs are listed under each program’s “Selection Criteria” in the High School Directory or NYC School Finder.

  • Are there any programs that have a performing arts focus?

    Many schools and programs focus on different areas of the performing arts, including visual arts, drama, music, and dance. Many performing arts schools require that students audition or share a portfolio as part of their application; some programs do not require an audition. If you are interest in an audition program that requires pre-registration, meet with your school counselor in early fall for next steps. Learn more about these programs in the High School Directory or NYC School Finder. Refer to the Visual and Performing Arts High Schools: Preparing for Your Audition/Arts Portfolio handout to prepare for specific auditions. 

  • What do Career and Technical Education programs offer?

    Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and schools provide students with rigorous academic coursework and a sequence of applied skills in a career pathway. To find out if a school offers a CTE program, refer to the Academics section of a school's page in the High School Directory or NYC School Finder. See a comprehensive list of CTE programs or ask schools directly whether they offer any CTE programs. You may also visit www.cte.nyc for additional information.

  • I am not eligible for High School Admissions. Can I still transfer from my high school to another high school?

    You may request a transfer if you are experiencing a documented hardship. A documented hardship includes if your travel to school is more than 75 minutes, or if you have a documented medical or safety issue. Please review the Transfers page and discuss with your current school counselor to find out whether you can request to transfer schools.

  • I am moving to New York City next year. Can I submit a High School Application this year?

    No. Only current New York City residents can participate in High School Admissions. You cannot submit a High School Application or take the SHSAT until after you have established residency in New York City. Learn more about the process for students new to New York City.