Admission to NYC Public Schools

Midwood High School received more applications than any other New York City public high school in 2021 (photo credit: Alex Chung).

If you thought earning admission to an Ivy League school was tough, try getting into a top New York City public high school! Alright, we’re kidding a bit but, in all seriousness, some of New York City’s coveted public schools have become quite selective. Of course, unlike in the elite college admissions process, final decisions are not determined by a group of admissions officers but instead by a New York City Department of Education algorithm. The DOE algorithm essentially matches applicants up with a single high school. Applicants list up to twelve high schools in order of preference and then the rest is left up to the algorithm to select the high school for the applicant — in some ways similar to the medical residency matching system. And which New York City public high schools are the most coveted, you ask?

As Susan Edelman and Mary Kaye Linge report for The New York Post in a piece entitled “High School Guide: The numbers game of getting in,” Midwood High School leads the pack with 10,142 applicants in fall 2021. Midwood ended up extending 1,785 offers for an 18% admission rate. Next comes Townsend Harris High Scholl with 9,226 applicants, extending 513 offers for a 6% admission rate. Francis Lewis High School (8,524 applicants, 1,122 admits, 18% admission rate), Eleanor Roosevelt High School (7,984 applicants, 208 offers, 3% admission rate), Beacon School (7,784 applicants, 535 offers, 7% admission rate), Millennium High School (6,850 applicants, 215 offers, 3% admission rate), Baruch College Campus High School (6,616 applicants, 172 offers, 3% admission rate), Forest Hills High School (6,108 applicants, 846 offers, 14% admission rate), New Explorations Into Science, Technology, and Math (5,971 applicants, 204 offers, 3% admission rate), and Bayside High School (5,953 applicants, 1,248 offers, 21% admission rate) round out the top 10 most coveted New York City public high schools.

Of course, for students who hope to attend one of New York City’s specialized public high schools, including Stuyvesant High School, The Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School, among others, they need to complete the Specialized High School Admissions Test, a test outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio tried unsuccessfully to do away with during his tenure. Mayor de Blasio, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Oh we kid, we kid. Or do we?

 
 

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