DREAM Program

DREAM stands for:

  • Determination
  • Resiliency
  • Enthusiasm
  • Ambition, and
  • Motivation

DREAM is a Saturday and summer academic program that prepares eligible seventh-grade New York City public school students to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) in the eighth grade.

DREAM in the 2019-20 School Year

As of 2019, DREAM’s two programs, the DREAM-Specialized High School Institute, and the DREAM-Summer/Fall Intensive, will merge into one program, DREAM-SHSI. The program will begin in February of a student’s seventh grade year.

If a student is accepted, they must commit to participate in the entire program.

This program runs:

  • February–June of seventh grade, Saturdays only
  • July and August after seventh grade, Monday–Thursday for five weeks
  • September–October of eighth grade, Saturdays only

DREAM-SHSI Application and Enrollment Process

  • Letters to eligible students will be sent to their homes and schools in November, with instructions on how to apply. Applications must be completed by December 13.
  • Families apply by following the enrollment instructions in their letters.
  • If there are more applications than available seats, a random selection will be conducted, and a waitlist will be created.
  • Offer letters will be mailed to families and schools in December or early January.
  • Classes will start on Saturday, February 1, 2020.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for DREAM-SHSI students must meet all of the criteria in Part A, and one of the criteria in Part B:

Part A

Students must:

  • Be a current NYC resident
  • Be enrolled in the seventh grade in a DOE public or charter school
  • Score a minimum of:
    • 3.2 on the 2019 grade six English Language Arts, and
    • 4.0 on the 2019 grade six Mathematics NY State tests

Part B

Students must EITHER:

  • Meet income requirements based on federal guidelines, as informed by the family income inquiry form, regardless of district of residence.


  • Live or attend school in NYC school district 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, or 32.

For questions, please email SHSI@schools.nyc.gov.

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