The Application Process

The High School Directory, application process, and timeline for applying to high schools are available on the NYC Department of Education Website. Every student must fill out a standardized application listing their high school choices. Some schools will administer their own admissions exam while others may require standardized test score, attendance records, portfolios and essays as part of their selection process.

A student can apply to a maximum of 12 high schools (some high schools have more than one program to which eighth graders may apply). If a student wishes to attend his or her zoned high school, that school is considered one of the 12 choices. All students must submit their high school applications by the deadline.

There are three rounds in the high school admissions process; specialized admissions, main, and supplementary.

Specialized Admissions Round

Students who wish to attend one of the Specialized High Schools must take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test or audition for Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School to be eligible for admission. Students who do not receive an offer are automatically entered into the main round.

Main Round

This round is for all students including those who did not receive an offer to a specialized high school. Students will be notified about the program to which they have been matched.

Supplementary Round

If a student does not receive a match in the main round, he/she has another opportunity to select up to 12 new choices during the supplementary round. The process works in the same manner as the main round in that it tries to match every applicant into his/her highest ranked school/program that also ranked them. All students receive a high school match by the end of the supplementary round.


Parents who want to appeal their child's high school match should meet with their child's guidance counselor to discuss the situation. The guidance counselor will provide and enter an appeal form.