Overview: New York City High School Choice

Students in New York City must apply to high school. Start here to find the best school for you!

It’s fall in New York City, the loveliest time of year--unless you are an eighth grade student or parent. In that case, you are deep in the throws of the highly complex high school application process.

New York City is home to the country’s largest public school district, often called a “district of choice” by the city’s Department of Education (DOE). Each of the city’s roughly 80,000 eighth grade students must apply to high school, which requires a lot of research and many visits to different schools. Students apply by listing up to 12 high schools they want to attend, and DOE matches each student to a school using a unique (and top secret) process designed by Nobel Prize winner Alvin E. Roth. The lists are due to middle school guidance counselors on December 2, 2014.

New Yorkers have constant access to all types of food, shopping, art, and the variety of choices is no different when it comes to high schools. In the fall of their eighth grade year, students receive a copy of the NYC High School Directory, an annual publication by the DOE that lists the more than 400 high schools in the city. Finding the right choice from a directory the size of a phone book is daunting, and that’s why we created Noodle.

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