New York

High School Admissions: An Inside Perspective

If you rolled your eyes after reading the title of this article, you are either an 8th grader, the family of an 8th grader, or a member of a high school admissions committee. While the gut-wrenching process of deciding where to apply will soon be coming to an end for current 8th grade students — at least on the side that you actually have some control over, the process is only intensifying for those of us in high schools. When 8th graders turn their applications in to their guidance counselors in the next few weeks, it marks the beginning of a process that is as intimidating for the high schools as it is for those students awaiting the results. Over the next several weeks and months, we will continue to host tours and open houses to ensure that families that want to make changes to their applications have the information they need to do so. Simultaneously, we will begin to review applicants' responses to our online admissions activity and establish the systems and meetings dates for our admissions committee, which will begin its daunting work after the holiday break. Once middle school counselors have entered students' choices, we will be able to view the students who "applied" to our school, by listing us anywhere — from first to twelfth choice — on their application. We will never know which students put us first and really want our school, and which put us on the list as a back-up, so our only way to assess students' true interest in our school is through the online activity that we require.