Admissions » FAQs and Waitlist Information

FAQs and Waitlist Information

To learn more about how NYC Public Schools manages high school waitlists, please visit their Waitlists webpage

Students Automatically on Waitlists

Students are automatically on the waitlist for each program listed higher on

their application than their offer. For example:

  • A student who gets an offer to their 3rd choice program is automatically on the waitlists for their 1st choice and 2nd choice programs.
  • A student who gets an offer to their 1st choice program is not automatically on any waitlists.
  • A school like Townsend Harris could have over 9,000 students on their waitlist
  • MySchools (for families) will show the programs where the child is on the waitlist.

Waitlists Information will be coming from the DOE:

Waitlists will open in early June

More Offers Than Available Seats:

When offers are released in March, the NYC DOE Enrollment office makes more offers than available seats at each program.

  • To account for expected attrition.
  • Programs will not necessarily make waitlist offers whenever a student with an offer goes elsewhere (opts out, discharged, chooses a Specialized High School offer, etc.)

It is possible that a screened school like, Townsend Harris High School will not be using their waitlist. If we do use our waitlist we will be contacting students after high school decisions are due, after May 15, ,2020. We will not be making any waitlist offers before that time.


How do I apply to Townsend Harris?
Your current school submits the NYC High School Application to the Department of Education. The Department of Education then sends your application to us. On the application, your school includes your 7th grade class grades and your 7th grade standardized Reading and Math results.

What if I am applying for a 10th grade seat?
Your current school submits 7th grade results (class grades and standardized Reading and Math scores.)  Same criteria as incoming 9th graders.
Can I transfer in to 11th or 12th grade?
We do not accept transfers after 10th grade.

Do I have to list Townsend Harris as #1 on the application form?
You do not have to put Townsend Harris first. List your school choices in your order of preference.

Do I need to take a test to get into your school?
There is no admission test for Townsend Harris.

I did not attend public school in 6th or 7th grade. What standardized exams do I submit?
Parochial schools give the Terra Nova. Private schools give tests such as the Stanford or ERB. Your school will submit these results. If your school does not give any standardized exam at all, you can be tested privately and submit the results to us.

Do scores on both standardized exams (ELA/Reading and Mathematics) have to be a minimum of 90th percentile?

All my class grades except one are above 90. Do I need a minimum grade of 90 in every subject?
No. You need an overall minimum average of 90.

What courses do you include in the average?
English, Math, Social Studies, and Science are included in the average. Language is also included if a Language class is listed on your application.

I was absent from school for an extended period of time because of illness or family issues. Will you still consider my application?
Ask your counselor to indicate “Extenuating Circumstances” on your high school application.

What types of transportation are available to reach the school?
We are accessible by NYC Transit buses. There are no private buses that bring students to our school from other boroughs.

Should I send a letter of recommendation?
No. We do not read letters of recommendation.

When is the deadline to apply?
Deadlines are set by your current school. Check with your counselor.