High School Waitlists

We’ve made a few updates to the high school admissions process. These updates will not change how or when you apply to high school, how you get an offer, or where you get an offer. All high school applicants will still receive a high school offer and/or specialized high schools offer(s).

Read on to learn what's new!

Note: To see the whole high school application process at a glance, visit our web page . For a more detailed look, pick up a print copy of the 2020 NYC High School Admissions Guide at your current school or a Family Welcome Center, or read the online edition .

What's New

When you get your high school offer letter in March, it will include not only your high school offer and/or specialized high school offer(s), but also a list of programs where you have 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. Example: If you get an offer to your third-choice program, you’ll also be waitlisted at your first-choice and second-choice programs.
  • Please note that the specialized high schools will not have waitlists.
  • There will be no Round 2 application this year.

In the spring or summer, waitlist offers will be made based on seat availability, admissions priorities, and admissions methods.

  • If and when seats become available at a program, waitlist offers will be made. Schools will be in touch directly if seats open up and they can make you an offer.
  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the DOE changing this process?

We have heard feedback from families and schools that the current middle and high school processes are too long and confusing. We are simplifying each process to make admissions shorter, easier, and more transparent for you. These changes also align all admissions processes from 3-K through high school so you can focus on learning about schools, not processes.

What is a waitlist?

A school’s waitlist is a list of students who were not able to be admitted to a school because there were not enough seats for the number of applicants.

Which schools will have waitlists?

Schools that have more applicants than seats available will have waitlists.

How do students get on waitlists?

Students will be able to get on waitlists in two ways:

  • Through the Main Round Application: Students who did not get into a school through the application will automatically be added that school’s waitlist. Students will be on the waitlist for any school that was listed higher on their application than the school to which they are given an offer. For example, if a student got into their 5th choice, they would be on the waitlists of choices 1-4.
  • Post-Application: Students can add themselves to waitlists for schools that they did not apply to, but they are now interested in.

Will I be able to learn where I am on a waitlist? How?

You can learn of your position on each waitlist you are on through MySchools, P311 (718-935-2009), Family Welcome Centers, and your current school.

How are students ordered on waitlists?

Students will be automatically placed on waitlists for all schools that they list higher on their application than the school to which they are given an offer. Applicants will have a unique placement on each waitlist based on a school’s admissions method and priority structure.

  • For schools that have open admissions, students will be ordered randomly within their priority group (for instance, students with zoned priority or district priority).
  • For schools that rank students based on a screen or audition, students will be ordered based on their rank within their priority group.

How long can I be on a waitlist?

Waitlists will expire in September 2020.

Is there a limit to how many waitlists I can be on?

There is no limit to how many waitlists a student can be on.

High School Waitlist Update

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High School Waitlist FAQs

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