High School

In New York City, students apply to high school during their 8th grade year. Current first-time 9th grade students can also participate in high school admissions. Learn more by watching our video series, and scroll down for the latest information and updates.

Get Ready to Apply

  • Registration for Specialized High Schools admissions is now open!
  • The high school application will open the week of January 18, 2021. The deadline to apply is  February 23.
    • Create your MySchools account now so you'll be ready to apply. Need help? 
      • Watch the "How to Create Your MySchools Account" video in the playlist above or talk to your child’s school counselor.
      • If your child attends a private or parochial school or is currently homeschooled, contact a Family Welcome Center.

Need a high school now? Learn what to do on our New Students page

Attend Virtual High School Admissions Events

In January and February, we’re hosting two kinds of virtual events to share information about high school admissions in New York City. Please join us for:

  • Virtual Admissions Information Sessions. At each of these events, we’ll walk you through how to apply to high school, including any changes due to COVID-19, how to build your application, and how to participate in Specialized High Schools admissions. After the presentation, we will respond to your questions.
  • Virtual Arts High School Fairs. Interested in applying to audition programs? At these online events you can learn about audition requirements for each discipline, the audition process for this year, and how to use MySchools and the Virtual Audition Submission Tool (VAST). Additionally, this is a chance to meet representatives from NYC’s audition schools, including LaGuardia High School. Please note that schools from different boroughs will showcase their programs on different days. At the end of the event, school and DOE staff will respond to your questions. 

Register for any events here, where you can find specific dates, times, and interpretation details; this information is also listed below in the Attend Virtual Admissions Events section of this page. Please note that different events will provide supports for different languages.

Admissions Updates

Due to the current public health crisis, and as part of a larger effort to make the high school admissions process simpler and more equitable for families, we’ve made some necessary changes: 

  • Geographic (location-based) admissions priorities for high schools will be phased out over the next two years. This means that, after next year, the location of a student’s home cannot alone determine their chances of getting into a certain school.
    • District priorities for high school admissions will be permanently eliminated this year.
    • All other geographic priorities—like borough residence requirements—will be eliminated next year.
  • Screened high school programs can use the following criteria this year to rank applicants: a combination of 2018-2019 state test scores, previous years' grades, and/or other measures. You can find any program's academic screening criteria on their MySchools page, in the Admissions Factors section. 
  • All auditions (for high school arts programs that use the audition admissions method) will be virtual this year. Learn more on our High School Auditions page.
  • Sign up for our high school admissions email list, and we'll notify you when the high school application opens. You will also get updates, key date reminders, and tips throughout the admissions process.
 

What You Can Do Now

  • Set up your MySchools account: register for Specialized High Schools admissions and get ready to apply to high schoolwhen the application opens. To access your MySchools account and add your child to it, you'll need:
    • Your child's unique MySchools account creation code. You can find this code in their welcome letter. Welcome letters were mailed to all current 5th grade public DOE and charter school families earlier this month.
    • Your child's student ID number (OSIS number).
  • Keep exploring your high school options, virtually!
    • With MySchools. The searchable MySchools high school 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.
    • On schools' websites and at virtual events. High schools are encouraged to host virtual open houses and/or to post virtual tours, videos, and other admissions resources on their own websites. For a direct link to information about a school's events or other offerings, check its MySchools page.
  • Learn all about high school admissions
    • Refer to this page and schools.nyc.gov/SHS for the latest information and guidance.
    • Read the updated digital version of the NYC High School Admissions Guide for a detailed walkthrough of the admissions process, advice on building your application, and more. **Please note that all dates, locations, and formats for events, test dates, and auditions have changed from what is currently listed in the print and PDF versions of the this guide.**
    • Watch the NYC High School Admissions Video Series. Scroll to the top of this page to view—we'll walk you through the steps of applying to high school in New York City. Stay tuned: more videos are coming soon!
    • Watch our Specialized High Schools video series.  

Who Can Apply

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

  • A NYC resident (this includes students who have temporarily moved out of New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • 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.

Here are a few ways to learn about your high school options:

  • Use MySchools to explore NYC public schools, find programs for your high school application, and apply —all in one place.
  • Contact schools directly to find the most up-to-date information about schools' academic offerings, activities, sports, and more.
  • Learn about the diversity initiatives that high schools across the city are participating in and which schools are involved.

Learn About Schools' Virtual Tours or Other Resources

All high schools are encouraged to offer virtual opportunities for families to learn about their schools; many are offering the following information on their own school websites:

  • Schedule and links to any live or recorded events (or links where families can register for the events
  • Videos and/or other media
  • Contact information for families who want to speak with or write to school staff.

Families can access a direct link to each high school’s virtual resources on the school page of the searchable online directory in MySchools. High schools are submitting their updated website information on a rolling basis, and we are updating their pages in MySchools over the next several weeks. If a high school has not yet posted a link to their virtual open house/admissions information, please contact the school directly to inquire about virtual events and resources: school contact information is listed on each high school’s page in MySchools.

View the calendar below.

Attend Virtual Admissions Events

This year, we’re hosting two kinds of virtual events to share information about high school admissions in New York City.

Register for any events here. All event dates and times are listed below and at the link; please note that different events will provide supports for different languages.

Please join us for:

  • Virtual Admissions Information Sessions. At each of these events, we’ll walk you through how to apply to high school, including any changes due to COVID-19, how to build your application, and how to participate in Specialized High Schools admissions; after the presentation, we'll respond to your questions:
    • January 11, 4pm to 5pm | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Mandarin, Bangla
    • January 12, 6pm to 7pm
    • January 13, 4pm to 5pm | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Mandarin, Russian
      • Webinar ID: 881 8507 4613 | Webinar Passcode: 123456
    • January 14, 5pm to 6pm
      • Webinar ID: 834 0117 7919 | Webinar Passcode: 123456
    • January 15, 1pm to 2pm
      • Webinar ID: 896 9621 4190 | Webinar Passcode: 123456
  • Virtual Arts High School Fairs. Interested in applying to audition programs? At these online events you can learn about audition requirements for each discipline, the audition process for this year, and how to use MySchools and the Virtual Audition Submission Tool (VAST). Additionally, this is a chance to meet representatives from NYC’s audition schools, including LaGuardia High School. Please note that schools from different boroughs will showcase their programs on different days. At the end of the event, school and DOE staff will respond to your questions.
    • January 21, 1pm to 3pm, featuring Manhattan and Bronx audition programs | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Mandarin
      • Webinar ID: 818 6425 7955 | Webinar Passcode: 123456
    • January 25, 5pm to 7pm, featuring Brooklyn and Staten Island audition programs | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Mandarin, Russian
      • Webinar ID: 852 6077 2698 | Webinar Passcode: 123456
    • February 2, 4pm to 6pm, featuring Queens audition programs | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Mandarin, Bangla 
      • Webinar ID: 827 0068 9631 | Webinar Passcode: 123456
    • February 4, 6pm to 8pm, featuring Manhattan and Bronx audition programs | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Bangla, French
      • Webinar ID: 891 3425 2889 | Webinar Passcode: 123456

The day before the event, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the link to the virtual event(s) you registered for—when the event starts, you'll click that link to join.

Can’t attend, or want to learn more?

  • Recorded presentations will be available with translated captioning on this website.
  • You can also watch our High School Admissions Video Series and find the most up-to-date admissions information on this page and at schools.nyc.gov/High and schools.nyc.gov/HSGuide.

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, Bangla, 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

Watch this animation to find out why your high school application choices matter and to learn about other factors, such as admissions priorities and seat availability.

Get Your Offer Letter

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

Waitlists

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

Documents

**DISCLAIMER** Please note that a number of the policies, admissions priorities, admissions methods, and selection criteria, as well as all key dates and deadlines in the admissions guides below—while accurate when published in spring 2020—have been or are being updated. Please refer to the updated digital version of the High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide  instead. For timely updates, also see this web page (above), and the Specialized High Schools page.

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