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News and Speeches

For Eighth Straight Year, More Than 80 Percent of Students Are Admitted To One of Their Top High School Choices


More Than 60,000 Applicants Receive a Top Five Offer

Nearly Three in Four Students Admitted to One of Their Top Three Selections

The New York City Department of Education today announced that 84 percent of applicants – or 63,658 of the 75,690 eighth-grade students – who applied for admission to New York City public high schools in 2013 have been accepted to one of their top selections. This was the eighth consecutive year that more than 80 percent of students were matched with one of their top five choices. In December, applicants ranked up to 12 programs of interest. Schools sent home acceptance letters with students this afternoon.

This year in Round 1 of high school admissions:

  • 47 percent – or 35,290 students – received their first choice

  • 74 percent – or 55,751 students – received one of their top three choices

  • 90 percent – or 68,465 students – of all applicants received a match in Round 1

The Department of Education uses a two-round process for high school admissions. In Round 2, all students may apply to programs with available seats, including those at over a dozen new high schools opening this September.

“We aim to prepare all students for college and career – and the hard work we do to place students at a school of their choice helps bring that goal to fruition. For yet another year, we were able to place over 80 percent of students in one of their preferred schools – and almost half in their top choice. It’s an exciting day for many families across the City,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “Over the last ten years, we’ve focused on giving students high quality choices – be it through more Specialized High Schools, Career and Technical Education (CTE) options, small school settings, or traditional offerings.”

Earlier this school year, Alvin Roth, a graduate from Martin Van Buren High School, won the Nobel Prize for creating the algorithm on which New York City’s public high school admissions process is based. The system has benefited thousands of students since it was first implemented in the 2003-04 school year.

Specialized High Schools

New York City also has nine Specialized High Schools, eight of which offer placement based on the results of the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). Approximately 28,000 students took the SHSAT this year. Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts is the only Specialized High School that admits students based on a rigorous audition and review of academic records.

This high school admissions season:

  • A total of 5,890 eighth graders received an offer to attend one of the City’s nine Specialized High Schools beginning in September 2013

  • 5,229 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 there, as well as an offer to one of the other Specialized High Schools. 984 students received one or more offers to LaGuardia. Of these 984 students, 323 also received an offer to one of the eight testing schools.

Other Important Information on the High School Admissions Process

  • The high school admissions process begins in the early fall for 8th graders and 9th graders who are either entering high school or wish to consider another school for 10th grade. In Round 1 of the process, students submit applications in December and rank 12 programs of interest.

  • Eight Specialized High Schools use the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test to admit students. They 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.

  • Enrollment policies and procedures can be found in our high school directories: http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/Publications

  • All high school applicants can participate in Round 2. The Department of Education will host a fair for participating students on Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7, from 11 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 participating in Round 2 have until April 12 to submit their application to guidance counselors. They will receive offers in late May.