High School

Students wearing caps and gowns and smiling at graduation

Welcome to high school admissions! Keep checking this page for all the latest information and updates. Learn where, when and how to apply to high school. 

Starting High School in 2020?

Friday, July 24, was the last day schools could make waitlist offers to high school applicants if they had seats available. High school waitlists are now closed. **If you were waitlisted at a high school and did not receive an offer from that school, it is because they did not have seats available and were unable to make you an offer.**

Want to explore other options? Need a school for the fall?

Starting High School in 2021?

Here’s what you can start doing this summer, all without leaving your home: 

  1. Subscribe to our email lists to get the latest updates on high school admissions 
  2. Learn about high school admissions in our 2021 High School Admissions Guide. Now available online! You can now view and download our PDF and web accessible versions. This book is two guides in one: 
    • The High School and Specialized High School Admissions Guide includes everything you need to know about applying to high school in New York City including how to participate in Specialized High Schools admissions. 
    • The Guide to the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT), offers policy, test tips and practice exams. 
  3. Start exploring your high school options online with MySchools. The MySchools directory contains the most up-to-date, detailed information on all NYC public high schools and programs. Save or print the pages of your favorite programs to browse offline. 
  4. Watch our new video series – we'll walk you through the steps of applying to high school in New York City. 

Who Can Apply

To apply to high school, you must be both of the following:

  • A current NYC resident
  • A current eighth grade or first-time ninth grade student

All of the following students are welcome to apply: Current public district and charter school students, private or parochial school students, students with disabilities, students with accessibility needs, students learning English, students from immigrant families, students in temporary housing, LGBTQ and gender nonconforming students, and students with children.

Find High Schools

When you apply to high school in New York City, you have a wide range of choices. We offer more than 700 programs at over 400 high schools. There are two paths to high school admissions.

  • High School. You can apply to 12 high school programs with your high school application. Submit your application online or through a school counselor.
  • Specialized High Schools. The specialized high schools use a separate admissions process. Students test or audition to apply.
    • Students who registered for the test or audition took the SHSAT on one of the following dates: October 26, October 27, November 2, or November 17, 2020.
    • Use the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook to learn more about specialized high schools admissions and to take SHSAT practice tests.
  • Charter Schools. Charter schools have a separate admissions process. Contact charter schools directly to learn how to apply.

These resources can help you find schools for your high school application:

  1. MySchools. Explore NYC public schools and programs, find choices for your application, and apply—all in one place. Use MySchools or contact schools directly to find the most up-to-date information about schools' academic offerings, activities, sports, and more.
  2. 2020 NYC High School Admissions Guide. Find high schools and programs by borough. Learn how programs make offers and what makes a balanced application. Scroll to the Documents section of this page to view or download this guide.
  3. Diversity in Our Schools. Learn about pilot diversity initiatives that high schools across the city are participating in to increase diversity within their schools.

View Our Open House Calendar

*Please note that NYC public school buildings are currently closed. During this time, we encourage you to visit schools' websites to learn more about them.*

When school buildings are open, visiting a school is the best way to explore if it may be the right place for you. It’s also a great way to see how long the trip is from home. During the school year, contact schools directly to find out if they have special events or student-guided tours. In the fall, attend the high school fairs—at these events, you can meet with representatives from different schools on the same day, in the same place.

Find open house dates in the calendar below, but contact schools directly for the most recent information, such as whether they will hold virtual open houses or information sessions.

View the calendar below.

How to Apply

During the application period, this is how to apply:

  • Use MySchools to explore high school options, and talk with your school counselor to decide which 12 programs to include on your application. Applying to 12 programs, all of which you'd be happy to attend, makes it more likely that you'll get an offer to a program of your choice!
  • Submit your high school application online with MySchools.
    • Need language support? You can apply in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Russian, Arabic, Urdu, Haitian Creole, Korean, or French in MySchools. If you would like to apply using another language, call us at 718-935-2009, or contact a Family Welcome Center and ask for an interpreter.
    • Questions? We're here to help: Talk to your school counselor or contact a Family Welcome Center.

Learn How Students Get Offers

*Please note: 2019-2020 attendance and punctuality will NOT impact applications to middle or high schools for current 4th and 7th graders who will be applying to middle and high school in fall 2020 (for fall 2021 admissions).*

Watch these animations to find out why your high school application choices matter and to learn about other factors, such as admissions priorities, admissions methods, and seat availability. (Since the making of this animation, we've made some changes to improve the high school admissions process. There is now only one round of high school admissions. Learn about waitlists on our Waitlists page.)

Get Your Offer Letter

In the spring, all New York City eighth grade students (and all ninth grade applicants) get a high school offer letter. This letter includes any high school and/or Specialized High Schools offer(s) and results. Whenever possible, students will get an offer to the highest possible choice from their high school application.


Your offer letter will also include information about any programs where you have been waitlisted—learn more on our Waitlists page.

  • You are automatically on the waitlist for any program(s) listed higher on your application than the program where you received an offer.
  • You can also add yourself to waitlists. However, please note that your best chance of getting an offer to any program is to include it as a choice on your original application. 
  • You’ll be able to check your place on the waitlist for any school.
  • Waitlist offers will be made based on seat availability, admissions priorities, and admissions methods.
  • Schools will be in touch directly if a seat opens up and they can make you an offer from their waitlist. You will have one week to accept or decline a waitlist offer.

Please note that the Specialized High Schools do NOT have waitlists.

Watch this video to learn how to use MySchools to get information about your offer and waitlists, add yourself to additional waitlists, see where you are on any waitlist, accept or decline offers, and more:

Offers and Waitlists MySchools Tutorial Video

Plan for College and Careers

Learn now how to start preparing for life after high school. Use the following resources to help you on your journey to college or careers.

  • Graduation Requirements. Learn about New York State's high school graduation requirements, which may differ depending on the year you started ninth grade. If you are 16-21 years old, under-credited, and need a high school diploma, learn about other ways to graduate.
  • The College Board. Begin thinking about college now. Find step-by-step action plans for high school students.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook. Start thinking about your future work life now. Learn about the salaries, education requirements, and training opportunities for hundreds of professions, from massage therapists to lawyers to electricians.


  • 2021 High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide. Use this guide to learn more about high school and Specialized High Schools admissions and see schools listed by borough. Also read the Guide to the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test for 2021 Admissions to learn how to prepare for the SHSAT and take sample tests.
    • For an accessible experience, read the digitally accessible edition of the High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide online.
    • The MySchools directory also provides a digitally accessible experience for learning about high school programs. 
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  • Guide to The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test for 2021 Admissions. Use this guide to learn how to prepare for the SHSAT and take sample tests. Also read the 2021 High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide, which contains admissions information for all your high school options, including how to participate in Specialized High Schools admissions.
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