If you have an eighth grader, then you know fall is all about high school admissions! We know high school admissions in New York City can feel as complex as getting into college, but we are here to try to break it down as simple as possible. 

Important dates:

  • Early October: Receive a welcome letter from your 8th grader’s current school with a unique access code to create a MySchools account.
  • Oct. 6 to Nov. 4: Register for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT).
  • Oct. 11: First virtual information session. More info here.
  • Oct. 12 to Dec. 1: NYC high school application opens. Students can apply to up to 12 schools. 
  • Oct. 12 to Dec. 1: The application for LaGuardia High School opens. Auditions will be virtual, learn more here
  • Oct. 13: Second virtual information session. More info here
  • Oct. 18: Third virtual information session. More info here
  • Nov. 17, 19 or 20: SHSAT testing takes place. Your student’s test date will be on the SHSAT ticket.

Changes to admissions:

The pandemic prompted the Department of Education to switch to a lottery-based admissions system that gave more low-income students the opportunity to be accepted into some of the city’s top schools. But many folks were not happy about this and have been calling on the department to switch back to grade-based admissions. Last week, Chancellor David Banks announced that select high schools would once again be able to offer priority to top-performing students.

For the 2023-24 school year, applicants to screened high schools will be prioritized by groups—with the first group consisting of students whose final seventh grade average falls in the highest 15% of their school or citywide, and that average is at least a 90. Learn more about the additional four groups here

After community feedback, additional changes to NYC’s high school admissions process include:

  • The application has been moved up earlier in the fall so that students can receive their  offers by March—giving more time for planning. 
  • The DOE will be adding a centralized calendar to the MYSchools portal with admissions and open house events. Families will be able to add events to their personal calendar and RSVP to events. 
  • More admissions information will be shared with families i.e. how many waitlist offers have been sent out by schools to give families a better idea of their chance at admission.
  • The DOE said the virtual audition experience will be improved with clearer instructions and submission confirmation.
  • SHSAT testing will still be offered for students during the day at their current school rather than weekend test sites. 

Nicole Perrino is the founder of Bronxmama.com, a hyperlocal website for Bronx families where she use her influence to celebrate the beauty that the Bronx has to offer. In addition to her role at Bronxmama,...

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