I often get the question, “We’ve done all this work submitting public high school applications, now what happens and why does it take so long?”

The bad news is, there’s a somewhat agonizing wait for 8th grade families across the city to receive their high school results.  The good news is, there are valid reasons why

The following is a mere sampling of these activities:

    1. High schools with auditions or assessments will diligently review applicant submissions and score each candidate.  This process can take several weeks, at best, and is normally done in earnest in January.
    2. The Department of Education (DOE) works with schools to finalize the number of offers that will be made to each high school program, taking into account expected yield (i.e. number of seats that will be filled based on number of offers made).
    3. Offers to the specialized high schools, and corresponding qualifying scores, are calibrated in a time-consuming process that balances enrollment management at the schools with maximizing offers.
    4. The DOE runs its matching algorithm many times in an extensive, iterative and often excruciating process to ensure quality control.
    5. Only once the optimal number and type of matches are made can the DOE actually begin the production process.  This involves creation, quality control, production and uploading of nearly 80,000 letters.
    6. At the same time, the DOE must ensure that the online application system, MySchools, is properly prepared for sharing results, involving a quality control procedure of its own.
    7. Don’t forget, a certain percentage of students who do not match to any choices will be given a high school placement.  This is also a time-consuming process performed manually by DOE staff.
    8. Finally, the DOE must prepare for the waitlist process, including finalizing waitlist methodology and positions for every high school program (other than the specialized high schools!).

All told, when one considers all that must take place in what amounts to a 2-month+ period, it’s no wonder it takes so long for results to come out.

Unfortunately, this makes it no easier to wait.  But at least now you have some idea of why.

Interested in what happens AFTER results come out?  Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to our free newsletter so you can register for our free webinar in late February (date subject to change), “What happens after high school results are issued?”

Happy New Year!