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HS admissions: 48% get 1st choice; 10% get no match

Fewer than half of the nearly 80,000 8th-graders who applied to up to 12 high schools last fall were matched with their first choice school, and 10 percent got no match at all, the Department of Education announced today. This year's crop of 8th-graders fared worse than than last year's when 52% of got their first choice school and 8% got no match.

This year,  83% of the 78,747 applicants were matched to one of their top five choices, as compared to 86% last year; 73% got one of their top three choices this year.

In the complicated high school admissions process that begins in the fall of 8th grade, students may test or audition for nine specialized schools and apply to up to 12 schools or programs from a directory of more than 400 schools. In February, nearly 6,000 students, out of 28,000 applicants, were accepted by one of the specialized schools. The remaining 8th-graders had to wait until today to find out where -- or if -- they were accepted.

Students who didn't get a match now enter a "supplementary round" choosing from among a list of schools that still have open seats. An information session will be held on April 5 from 6-9 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr High School complex where they will have chance to meet with representatives from schools with space.

More than 200 schools still have openings --including some popular neighborhood schools in Queens; and a few of the newer selective schools such as Millennium Brooklyn, Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, and the Cinema School in the Bronx.

Here's a  list of schools that have space for 9th or 10th graders in the supplementary round. No word yet of how many seats there are available in each. We'll do a rundown of some of the best options tomorrow.

And, please share your information below. Did everything go smoothly at your school?  Were there any surprises or glitches?

The results sent by the DOE after the jump:

Of the 78,747 students who participated in this year’s process, 83 percent (65,082) have been matched to one of their top five choices.  This is the second, or “main,” round of the high school admissions process, which begins after students apply for up to 12 high school programs in order of preference. The following are additional details that stand out in this year’s results:

  • Nearly half of applicants – 48 percent (37,822 students) – received their first choice, and 73 percent (57,210) received one of their top three choices. In all, 90 percent of applicants (70,508 students) were matched with one of their choices.
  • This is the sixth consecutive year in which more than 80 percent of high school applicants received one of their top five choices.
  • Based on parent feedback, and in order to inform student choice, for the first time we included each school’s graduation rate in this year’s High school Directory. As a result, students are voting with their feet: student demand fell dramatically (24%) at schools with graduation rates below 70%, and jumped (12%) at schools with graduation rates above 70%. See box below:
2008-2009 Graduation Rate # of Programs Average Inc/Dec in Applicants Average of % Inc/Dec in Applicants
90% - 100% 52 431 30%
80% - 90% 88 176 18%
70% - 80% 107 -34 -1%
60% - 70% 103 -149 -15%
50% - 60% 102 -165 -29%
Less than 50% 52 -130 -34%
N/A 96 33 33%
Total 600 -2 0%
  • 19, 713 students (25 percent of all applicants) listed a new small school as their first choice, and 11,755 of those students were matched to that school.

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