How to Enroll in Charter Schools

Charter schools are listed in Find a School:

Open Enrollment

Charter schools must admit students of all kinds. They cannot exclude students on the basis of:

  • disability
  • race
  • creed
  • gender
  • national origin
  • religion
  • ancestry
  • intellectual ability
  • measures of achievement or aptitude
  • athletic ability

Lottery and Enrollment

Charter law states that the deadline to apply for a charter school cannot be earlier than April 1. Some charters may have a later deadline.

For information about a specific charter school and its enrollment deadline, contact the school directly.

  • If the number of students who apply to a charter school is more than the number of available seats, schools will use a random selection process, such as a lottery.
  • If you miss the charter school’s deadline, you can still apply, but your child will be placed at the bottom of the waitlist.
  • Each school has its own application form, but many use the NYC Charter School Center’s Common Application (contact the school directly for more information).

Enrollment Preferences

Charter schools give enrollment preferences to:

  • returning students
  • siblings of students already enrolled
  • students living in the same community school district as the school

Charter schools may also give preferences to the following groups (if law and the school’s authorizer allow):

  • English language learners
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students who are eligible for free or reduced price lunch
  • Single-sex charter schools are allowed
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