Discovering the Right High School for You
When it comes to applying for high school in New York City, you have a multitude of choices available to you. With over 700 programs offered at more than 400 high schools, there is a wide range of options to explore.
Three Paths to High School Admissions
There are three different paths you can take when it comes to high school admissions, and you have the flexibility to explore all three options.
- High School Application: The high school application process is the primary method for applying to most high school programs. During the application period, you have the opportunity to apply to 12 different options using your high school application. You can submit your application online or through a school counselor. Keep in mind that some programs may have additional requirements, such as auditions or assessments, and some programs make offers based on your academic records.
- Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT): If you’re interested, you can also apply to the eight specialized high schools by taking the SHSAT. Visit schools.nyc.gov/SHS to learn more about how to participate and access practice tests and other helpful materials.
- LaGuardia High School Application: LaGuardia offers six unique arts programs, and if you’re interested, you can apply to any or all of them by submitting a LaGuardia application and going through the audition process.
Keep in mind that charter schools have a separate admissions process, so it’s best to contact them directly to learn how to apply.
Resources to Guide Your Decision
Here are a few ways to explore and learn more about your high school options:
- Use MySchools: MySchools is a comprehensive platform that allows you to explore NYC public schools, discover programs that interest you, and complete your high school application all in one place. The searchable MySchools high school directory provides up-to-date, detailed information on all public high schools and programs in New York City. You can even save or print pages of your favorite programs for offline browsing and check the Events Calendar for upcoming open houses and admissions events.
- Contact Schools Directly: Reach out to the schools you’re considering to gather the most current and accurate information about their academic offerings, extracurricular activities, sports programs, and more.
- Explore Different Types of High Schools: Take the time to explore the different types of high schools and programs available to you, such as Career and Technical Education schools, Community Schools, and more.
- Learn about Diversity Initiatives: Find out which high schools in the city are participating in diversity initiatives and what efforts they are making to promote inclusivity. This will help you understand the school’s commitment to diversity and if it aligns with your values and interests.
- Stay Informed: Refer to relevant pages on the NYC High School Admissions website, including the Specialized High Schools page, for the latest information and guidance. You can also watch the NYC High School Admissions Video Series, which provides tutorials on using MySchools and guides you through the steps of applying to high school in New York City. If you’re interested in specialized high schools, there’s a dedicated video series available for you to watch as well.
How to Use the MySchools Directory
- Year-round: You can search for schools and programs in the public directory at any time.
- After Receiving Your Welcome Letter: Once you receive your welcome letter, create your MySchools account and add your child to it. This will give you a personalized search experience and allow you to save favorite programs, receive helpful tips, and start adding programs to your application.
Discover Schools Near You
Even if you’re not logged into MySchools, you can enter your home address in the “Your Child’s Address” search bar to find schools in your area. If you are logged into your account, the MySchools map will display your address with a home icon, showing the schools closest to you on both the map and in a list.
Effective Search Strategies
Use the search bar to find schools that offer specific courses, activities, or programs that align with your interests:
- To find schools offering Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, type “AB,” “IB,” or the name of a specific course like “AP Biology” into the search bar.
- If you’re interested in schools offering computer science courses, type “Computer Science,” “CS,” or the name of a specific computer science course.
- For schools with Dual Language programs, enter “Dual Language” or a more specific search term like “Spanish Dual Language.”
- If you have a passion for the arts and want to explore schools with arts courses or activities, use general terms like “painting” or “dance” in the search bar.
Refining Your Search
Utilize filters to further narrow down your search and find schools with specific features:
- Subway Filter: Use this filter to find schools located along your preferred subway lines.
- Size Filter: Search for schools based on their student population.
- Sports Filter: Find schools that offer specific sports teams, such as badminton, basketball, or swimming. You can learn more about interscholastic competitions coordinated by the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) on their website.
- More Filters: Explore additional options by using this filter. It allows you to refine your search based on specific eligibility requirements, boroughs, accessibility ratings, admissions methods, uniform policies, diversity in admissions priorities, and the availability of 10th-grade seats.