The wait is over for 78,463 8th-graders. High school placements were sent out this week. Students will be able to see them immediately via their MySchools account. Students will also receive their letters in the mail.

The percent of students receiving their first choice increased slightly this year to 46 percent (34,797), compared to 45 percent (34,323) in 2019. Overall, 73% received one of their top three choices.

Once again, the number of Black and Latinx students receiving specialized high school offers remains dramatically low, though these figures don’t account for students who will be admitted via the summer Discovery program, which extends offers to some students who just missed the exam cut-off after they complete summer classes. Read more coverage at Chalkbeat.

Overall, roughly 27,800 students took the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and among them 4,265 received an offer to one of the eight exam-based schools based on their SHSAT scores. The number of offers extended this March is lower than in past years because this year 20 percent of the seats at the exam-based schools will be filled over the summer by students who participate in the Discovery program.

One notable change is the big drop in the number of students who received an offer to LaGuardia High School. This year 736 were given an offer as compared to 1016 in 2019.

Here are our tips for what to do next.

I don’t have a MySchools account. How do I find out my high school offer?

You can email the high school enrollment office at [email protected] to request your placement letter.

Questions about the waitlists including requests to be placed on a waitlist should be sent to [email protected].

Do not call or go to a Family Welcome Center at this time. They are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, you can reach them via email.

I’m happy with my match

Congratulations! If you were also offered a seat to a specialized high school you will need to choose which offer to accept by April 22.

I'm not happy with my match

It’s hard when you don’t get your top choice, but that doesn’t mean the school you got into isn’t good. Take a fresh look. Sometimes learning a bit more about the school will calm your concerns.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to visit your school. There will be no open houses for admitted students this spring, but you can still ask questions. You can reach out to the high school—just wait a few weeks. Schools are under a lot of pressure right now as they switch to online learning, We recommend you focus on adjusting to online instruction at home and in a few weeks shoot an email with questions to the school’s parent coordinator or principal, or even a current student at the school—if you know one.

In the meantime, let us help. Go to your school’s profile page on InsideSchools and scroll down to post questions in the Comments section that current students, parents and staff at the school can answer. We’ll keep prodding schools to respond.

Waitlists

This year, for the first time, students automatically will be placed on waitlists for schools they ranked higher than the one they're matched to. Students will also have the opportunity to add themselves to waitlists for schools that they did not apply to in the fall when the waitlists open on March 23. High schools will offer seats to students as space becomes available.

Our advice: Manage your expectations. Schools that are in high demand likely will offer few if any seats to waitlisted students.

Have questions for us? Please post them in the COMMENTS below.