News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott Announces More Than 80 Percent of Students Admitted to One of Their Top High School Choices

Higher Percentage of Students Accepted at Their Top Three and Top Five Choices

New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced that 84 percent (64,561) of the 77,137 eighth-grade students who applied for admission to New York City public high schools in 2012 have been accepted to one of their top five choices. This was the seventh consecutive year that over 80 percent of students were matched with one of their top five choices. Almost half of the applicants—49 percent (37,862)—received their first choice, 74 percent (57,215) received one of their top three choices, and 90 percent (69,746) of applicants overall received a match in Round 1. This marks an improvement from last year, when 83 percent of students were accepted at one of their top five choices, and 73 percent were accepted at one of their top three choices.

“Today is an exciting day for the tens of thousands of New York City students who find out where they are headed to high school next year,” said Chancellor Walcott. “New York City is a model for high school choice—and for the seventh straight year, more than 80 percent of students got accepted to one of their top five choices. It’s our responsibility to provide students and parents with a range of great options, and we will continue to add new high-quality schools to the more than 500 we have opened since 2002.”

This year, in an effort to streamline the process and allow many students and families to receive their results earlier, the first round of admissions was consolidated, and all first round results—including those for Specialized High School applicants—were announced simultaneously. For the majority of students, this meant receiving their offers a month earlier than students did last year.

In addition to their high school match, 5,997 eighth graders received an offer to attend one of the City’s nine Specialized High Schools beginning in September 2012. Offers to eight of the schools are based on the results of the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, a competitive exam taken by approximately 28,000 students this year. Admission to a ninth school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, is based on a rigorous audition and review of academic records. This year, Specialized High Schools offered more seats to Black and Hispanic students than they did in either 2010 or 2011.

The Specialized High Schools that admit students based on the results of the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test are: The Bronx High School of Science; The Brooklyn Latin School; Brooklyn Technical High School; High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at the City College; High School of American Studies at Lehman College; Queens High School for the Sciences at York College; Staten Island Technical High School; and Stuyvesant High School.

5,360 students received an offer to a Specialized High School based on their exam scores. Students applying to LaGuardia may receive an offer to more than one program at the school, as well as an offer to one of the other Specialized High Schools. In all, 965 students received one or more offers to LaGuardia. Of these 965 students, 328 are also receiving an offer to one of the testing schools.

In 2011, Brookings rated New York City’s school choice policies as the best in the country. That report is located here.

In Round 2 of the process this year, all students may to apply to programs with available seats, including programs at new high schools opening this September. There are nine new high schools opening in September and two schools which are expanding to include grade 9. This year, 7,391 students did not receive a match in Round 1 and will enter into Round 2.

Students participating in Round 2 have until March 15 to submit their choice forms to guidance counselors. The Department of Education will host an information and counseling fair for students who did not receive a match in Round 1. This event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus in Manhattan (122 Amsterdam Avenue, at 66th street). School representatives and admissions counselors will be available to discuss high school options with students and their families. Students in Round 2 will receive high school matches in late April.