High School

Students wearing caps and gowns and smiling at graduation

Get Ready for High School!

  • Starting High School in Fall 2019? We look forward to seeing you soon. If you don't yet have a school for this fall, we're here to help.
  • Starting High School in Fall 2020? You'll apply to high school this fall. The high school application opens in October, and the deadline to apply is December 2, 2019.

NEW - We’ve made a few updates to the high school admissions process! These updates will not change how you apply to high school, how you get an offer, or where you get an offer. Here's what's new:

  • When you get your high school offer, you’ll also receive a list of programs where you’ve been waitlisted.
  • You’ll be automatically added to the waitlist of any program that you listed higher on your application than the program where you received an offer. Learn more in the Get Your High School Offer Letter section below.

Learn How Students Get Offers

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:

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. Registration to test or audition for these schools will open in September. Students interested in applying to the eight testing high schools will take the SHSAT on one of the following dates: October 26, October 27, November 2, or November 17. Use the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook to learn more about specialized high schools admissions and to take SHSAT practice tests:
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Your High School Choices

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

  • 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.
  • NEW! 2020 NYC High School Admissions Guide. Find high schools and programs by borough. Learn how programs make offers and what makes a balanced application. Pick up a copy of this easy-to-use, easy-to-carry guide at your current middle school or a Family Welcome Center.

Charter Schools

Charter schools have a separate admissions process. Contact charter schools directly to learn how to apply:


Visit High Schools

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 and high school fair dates in the calendar below:


How to Apply

Use MySchools 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!

During the application period, 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 or visit a Family Welcome Center and ask for an interpreter.

Questions? We're here to help.

  • Make an appointment to talk to your school counselor about your application choices or get help with MySchools
  • Call us at 718-935-2009
  • Visit a Family Welcome Center—find locations and hours:

Get Your High School Offer Letter

In March, all New York City students will get a high school offer letter. This letter will include your high school offer and/or, if applicable, results from the specialized high schools admissions process, which may include a specialized high school offer or offers. Whenever possible, students will get an offer to the highest possible choice from their high school application.

NEW - Waitlists

This year, your offer letter will also include a list of programs where you’ve been waitlisted. You’ll be automatically added to the waitlist of any program that you listed higher on your application than the program where you received an offer. For example, if you get an offer to your third-choice program, you will also be waitlisted at your first-choice and second-choice programs.

  • Schools will be in touch directly if a seat opens up and they can make you an offer.
  • Waitlist offers will be made based on seat availability, admissions priorities, and admissions methods.
  • You’ll be able to check your place on the waitlist for any school, in real time.
  • You’ll also be able to 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.

Note: There will be no Round 2 application. The specialized high schools will not have waitlists.


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.
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