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Applying to NYC High Schools: Understand the Application System

This LibGuide aims to provide information about the New York City public high school application system.



MySchools as a School Search Tool

What To Have When Logging In To MySchools


MySchools login requires quite a bit of information upfront to set up the account, and it is set up for guardians to use. To make an account you will need the following: 

Guardian first and last name 

Guardian email 

Home Address 


Please note that if you currently reside in temporary housing, you will still be expected to provide an address. You can talk to a guidance counselor or email the Department of Education to ask about how this might affect your zoned schools.

By inputting all this information, guardians will gain
 access to the MySchools dashboard and to the MySchools directory. In order to register a child and apply, you will need the applicant's Student ID Number and Account Creation Number which can found on the MySchools invitation mailed to the house or given out in school. 

A Quick Guide To MySchools

What is MySchools?

​MySchools is an online platform used by students and their families to submit their high school applications. This site can be used for researching schools, gaining access to tickets for school auditions and the SHSAT, and a place to keep track of your upcoming deadlines and documents. All parts of the application process, from school research to the final ranking of programs can be done here. 


How can I learn more about my application?


  • MySchool's Apply info page- Application webpage with tips for applying to high schools. It provides brief information on why students must rank their schools and how they can add, drop, or reorder their programs up until the deadline.

Information to Keep on Hand When Applying


Once you create your MySchools account, you will need the following information in order to apply to New York City High Schools: 


Student's 7th Grade GPA and transcript- A huge part of admission into schools is a student's previous academic records. Standardized testing scores are no longer a large part of high school admissions due to New York State law. 


Codes for schools/programs you are applying to-  Each school has a four-letter code that students must use on their application. Make sure to check the codes for the schools and programs you are interested in. 



Family Welcome Centers

Applying to high school in New York City can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the system. This is where Family Welcome Centers (formerly known as enrollment offices) come in! They are divisions of the New York City Department of Education that are in place in order to help students struggling with the high school application system. 


  • Department of Education: Family Welcome Centers- This government webpage provides information on Family Welcome Centers in all five boroughs. If you are interested in knowing more about the services these centers provide, please refer to this link.

Transferring Schools

The process of reapplying for high schools and transferring in 9th grade is a very common one. If you are interested in transferring for any reason, the first place to look is at your zoned high school (to find that, please refer to the zoning section of this guide). If your zoned school or schools have free seats, they are obligated to take you. If you wish to attend a school you aren't zoned to, you will have to fill out a MySchools application. If you're interested in applying to a specialized school, you will still be required to take the SHSAT or audition. After 9th grade, you are no longer eligible to take the SHSAT and transferring to specialized high schools becomes much more complicated.


  • Department of Education: Transfers- Government webpage which lists different reasons why someone might transfer schools, what qualifies them for a full transfer and how to go about those transfers. This is the protocol for anyone who is trying to transfer after 9th grade, and the best course of action is to go to a Family Welcome Center, preferably with some kind of documentation of the problem if it is possible.