High School

In New York City, students apply to high school during their 8th grade year. Current 9th grade students (who are not repeating 9th grade) also have the option to 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

Welcome letters are in the mail to families of current 8th grade public DOE and charter school students. All 8th grade students (and first-time 9th grade students, if interested) can also get their welcome letter from their current school. This letter includes an overview of high school and Specialized High Schools admissions, including how to access your MySchools account.

For Students Entering High School in Fall 2022

  • Read this page and watch our video series to learn how to participate in high school admissions. For in-depth admissions information, read the NYC High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide. Please note that some resources will be updated this fall to reflect any changes for 2022 admissions.
  • Start exploring program options in the MySchools.nyc high school directory.
  • Sign up for our high school admissions email list: we'll send you updates on what to do, when, to apply to high school and the Specialized High Schools.
  • Your school counselor will be your guide throughout high school admissions! Make an appointment with them to discuss your high school options.

For Students Entering High School in Fall 2021

  • Waitlists for high school programs closed on August 13. If you did not receive a waitlist offer by this date, the current offer shown in your MySchools account is your final high school offer. 
  • If you need an emergency medical or safety transfer, you can contact a Family Welcome Center.

New to NYC public schools and 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
  • 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.

Attend High School Admissions Events

Applying during the 2021-2022 school year to start high school in fall 2022? Check this page again soon to find

  • A recording from this summer's virtual event on high school admissions and
  • Information about any upcoming events this fall.

Our events walk you through the process of applying to high school and participating in Specialized High Schools Admissions.

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 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 this guide reflects the admissions process for students entering high school in fall 2021. It will be updated soon to reflect any changes for fall 2022.
    • 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.

Attend Schools' Events and Visit Their Websites

All high schools are encouraged to offer virtual and in-person 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.

Know Your Chances: 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:

Please note that some policies or processes may change for 2022 admissions.

Admissions Updates

For Students Applying to High School During the 2021-2022 School Year, Entering High School in Fall 2022

  • As announced by the Chancellor in December 2020, all geographic-based admissions priorities (priority to attend a particular high school program based on where a student lives) for high school admissions have been eliminated, beginning for students applying this year and entering high school in fall 2022.
  • Sign up for our high school admissions email list to get the latest updates on admissions for fall 2022.

For Students Who Applied During the 2020-2021 School Year and Entered High School in Fall 2021

Due to the 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 for this and future years.

  • Geographic (location-based) admissions priorities for high schools were 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 for students entering high school in 2021.
    • All other geographic priorities—for example, borough residence —are eliminated 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 have not yet been determined.
  • All auditions (for high school arts programs that use the audition admissions method) were conducted virtually this year.

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.
  • 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.

Offers and Waitlists

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.

Your offer letter includes

  • Up to one offer from the high school application
  • Waitlist information, including a list of programs where you have been automatically waitlisted, if applicable
  • If you participated in Specialized High Schools admissions:
    • For students who took the SHSAT, your SHSAT score and up to one offer to a testing Specialized High School
    • For students who auditioned for any LaGuardia High School programs, up to one offer to each LaGuardia program you auditioned for.


Your high school offer letter also includes information about waitlists, including a list of 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.
  • While waitlists are open, 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 can use MySchools to check your place on any program's waitlist.
  • Any waitlist offers are 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.
  • After waitlists close (usually in late summer), your current offer is your final high school 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
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