High School

In New York City, students apply to high school during their 8th grade year. Current first-time 9th grade students can also apply to programs with 10th grade seats. Learn more by watching our video series, and scroll down for the latest information and updates.

Happening Now

The high school application and Specialized High Schools registration periods are currently closed.

  • Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) results are here. Results letters for families of students who took the SHSAT have been mailed and/or will be sent by email on April 29, 2021. Your results may include up to one offer from a testing Specialized High School. However, getting an offer to a Specialized High School is not a guarantee. Please note that these results are not currently available in MySchools. 
  • In mid-May, your high school offer letter will be available. This letter will include your high school offer, any waitlist information, and any Specialized High School results and/or offer(s), including LaGuardia High School results for students who auditioned to LaGuardia programs. Please note that all high school programs EXCEPT for the nine Specialized High Schools have waitlists.

Learn About High School Admissions

Need Support?

  • Talk to your current school counselor. They are your guide throughout the admissions process. If you attend a private or parochial school or are currently homeschooled, contact a Family Welcome Center.
  • You can also call us at 718-935-2009.
  • Need a high school now? Learn what to do on the New Students page.

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

During the application period, 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 all about high school admissions
    • Refer to this page and the Specialized High Schools page 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 previously distributed print and PDF versions of the this guide.
    • Watch the NYC High School Admissions Video Series, including tutorials on how to use MySchools on this page—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.  

2021 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, some necessary changes were made to high school admissions:

  • Geographic (location-based) admissions priorities for high schools are being phased out over two years. This means that, beginning for students entering high school in 2022, the location of a student’s home cannot alone determine their chances of getting into a certain school.
    • District priorities for high school admissions were permanently eliminated this year, for students entering high school in 2021.
    • All other geographic priorities—like borough residence requirements—will be eliminated next year, for students entering high school in 2022.
  • Screened high school programs had the option to use the following criteria for 2021 admissions 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. Criteria that can be used for 2022 admissions has not yet been determined.
  • All auditions (for high school arts programs that use the audition admissions method) were conducted virtually this year. Learn more on our High School Auditions page.

2021 Admissions Events

Earlier this year, we hosted virtual high school admissions information sessions, as well as virtual fairs for audition programs from across the city. Missed attending or want a review?

  • Watch a recording of the event presentation below.
  • For a more in-depth look at the high school admissions process, scroll up to watch our video series. For the most up-to-date information provided on applying to audition programs, please see the High School Auditions page.

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. 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.

How to Apply

During the application period, you can submit your application one of the following three ways:

Applying online? Here's how:

  • 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!
  • Check the Admissions section of each program's MySchools page to see if there is anything else you need to do to apply. For example, programs using an audition admissions method require a virtual audition: learn more on our High School Auditions page.
  • 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. For more detailed information on how offers are made to specific types of programs , we recommend the following resources:

Get Your Offer Letter

In mid-May, when high school offers are ready, all New York City eighth grade students (and all ninth grade applicants) will get high school offer letters. Whenever possible, students will get an offer to the highest possible choice from their high school application. If we cannot make a new high school offer to a ninth grade applicant, they will continue to attend their current school.

If you participated in Specialized High Schools admissions, you will also receive one or both of the following:

  • For students who took the SHSAT, you will receive your results by email and/or mail during the last week of April. These results will include your test score and may include an offer to a testing Specialized High School. If you get an offer, you don't need to do anything at this point to accept it.
  • For students who auditioned for any LaGuardia High School programs, you will receive your results along with your high school offer letter in mid-May. These results may include up to one offer to each LaGuardia program you auditioned for.

If you get more than one offer, you will be given a deadline to choose between them.


Your high school 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 from last year 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


DISCLAIMER: 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—are now outdated. Please refer to the updated digital version of the High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide instead. For timely updates, refer to this page and the Specialized High Schools page.

Back to Top