Update: 2021-22 Enrollment & Admissions Data

Dear Education Reporter,  

Today we are providing information regarding the admissions of nearly 300,000 students across New York City who received offers to 3K, pre-K, middle school, and high school programs. 

Offers by Grade Level 2022 2021 2020 
3K 38,586 33,131 17,455 
Pre-K 58,762 57,511 61,789 
Kindergarten 54,148 55,421 62,880 
Middle School 61,771 66,516 71,134 
High School 73,696 77,627 78,463 

Family and community engagement is vital to our work and a core belief of this administration. We are continuing to gather feedback and moving forward with decisions only after hearing from our communities. We remain committed to continuing this as an iterative process, and there will continue to be opportunities to share input and ideas to improve the process for future years.  

For this year’s admissions process, our staff engaged communities in a variety of ways to gather feedback and improve the admissions process including hosting:  

·        four training sessions for hundreds of parent coordinators to learn how to engage with families 

·        four parent feedback sessions  

·        eight sessions with community and advocacy groups  

·        15 principal feedback sessions with more than 200 principals 

In addition, surveys were shared with CECs and all middle school and high school counselors.  

In response to this feedback, we are extending the middle school and high school waitlist timeline to mid-September. We also heard from families that they would like additional support if their child does not receive an offer from a school listed on their application. To that end, we are hosting information sessions specifically to address any concerns and offer support where needed, and having teams are on call to answer questions via email. We are pleased to share that more students than ever have received offers to their top choice schools and programs. 

·       For 3K, nearly 5,500 more children are receiving offers compared to last year due to the program’s expansion. 84 percent of applicants received an offer to a choice from their application compared to 81 percent last year.  

·       For pre-K, 83 percent of applicants received an offer to their top choice program compared to 77 percent last year. 97 percent of children currently enrolled in a 3-K for All program who ranked their current school as their top choice received an offer to their current school.  

·       For kindergarten, 79 percent of applicants received an offer to their first-choice school compared to 75 percent last year. 95 percent of applicants receiving an offer to any of their choices listed on their application compared to 92 percent last year.  

·       For middle school, 75 percent of applicants received an offer to their first-choice school, compared to 71 percent in 2021 and 64 percent in 2020. 91 percent of middle school applicants received an offer to one of their top three choices compared to 89 percent last year.  

·       For high school, ~50 percent of applicants received an offer to their top choice, up from 46 percent last year. 75 percent of high school applicants will receive an offer to one of their top three choices compared to 73 percent last year.  

More information about diversity in admissions can be found here.  

Quote attributable to First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg: “We are thrilled for the nearly 300,000 students who received offers to NYC public schools this admissions season, marking the next milestone in their educational journey. We are grateful to the many families who have given us feedback on how to make admissions simple, easy, and intuitive for families, are pleased we’ve been able to start making family-friendly changes such as extending high school waitlists until mid-September. This is part of our commitment to rebuilding the trust of families and reversing enrollment declines in the coming years. We see this as an opportunity to continue to innovate and tirelessly work towards ensuring our public schools are destinations for high quality learning, and a beacon for families across the country.” 

2021-2022 Demographic Snapshot 

Though the COVID-19 pandemic shifted enrollment numbers by nearly 5 percent last year, this year we are seeing a slightly less steep decline, -3.8 percent due to the significant increase in early childhood enrollment. This downward trend is present across all grade bands except for 3K, which increased by 124 percent. This increase in 3K enrollment can be attributed to the program’s recent citywide expansion. This brings New York City public school enrollment for the 2021-22 school year to 919,136. Including charter schools, 2021-22 enrollment is 1,058,888 for 2021-22. 

There are several factors impacting our enrollment numbers. In addition to the pandemic, population shifts and stalling birth rates are two major contributing factors that have affected enrollment numbers since before the COVID-19 pandemic. All community school districts saw a decline in 2021-22 except for District 21 which is seeing nearly 2 percent growth. Further data regarding 2021-22 enrollment trends can be found in the just released Demographic Snapshot

Admissions in Specialized High Schools 

For the second year in a row, the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) was offered to students at their middle school during the school day, increasing awareness of the test and helping to alleviate travel hardships for families.  

Out of 27,669 testers, 4,053 eighth grade students received an offer to a testing Specialized High School based on their exam score. 855 students will be participating in the summer Discovery program this year. Those who successfully complete the program will receive a seat at one of the eight testing Specialized High Schools. Additionally, 917 eighth grade students received an offer to LaGuardia High School.  

Demographics of Specialized High School Applicants 

 Asian Black Latinx Multi-Racial Native American White Missing Data 
Distribution of Testers by Ethnicity 31% 20.7% 25.8% 1.8% .9% 17.1% 2.8% 
Total Distribution of SHSAT Offers by Ethnicity   52.5% 3.2% 5.7% 3.9% .6% 27.8% 6.3% 

Additional data is provided in the table attached to this email, including the demographics of Discovery program participants.  

Admissions in Screened High Schools 

Admissions to the 160 screened high school programs was different this year, given limited availability of student performance due to the pandemic. Over 58,000 students applied to at least one screened program.  

Screened schools used course bucketing of students’ 7th and 8th grade course grades in core subject areas using methodology found here. Because of this shift, some high demand screened high schools became accessible to a broader pool of students who represent the diversity of the city – a significant step towards greater equity of access for academic achievement.  


·       23 percent of offers to Townsend Harris High School went to Black and Latinx students, up from 16 percent last year. 

·       43 percent of offers to Millennium Brooklyn High School went to Black and Latinx students, up from 20 percent last year. 

·       30 percent of offers to NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies went to Black and Latinx students, up from 21 percent last year. 

The percentage of offers to free or reduced-price lunch eligible students also increased at many screened schools, including Townsend Harris High School and NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies – 15 percent and 10 percent respectively.  

Community Engagement and Future Improvements to the Admissions Process

Additionally, as previously announced, we are in the midst of engaging with communities regarding admissions changes for future years. This includes gathering feedback from parents, principals, community and advocacy groups, CECs, and school counselors. We are excited to announce that, in response to feedback from families and school staff, waitlists for middle and high school admissions will close on September 16 this year, later than in previous years. This change ensures that any seats that become available at schools are filled fairly, transparently, and quickly. In the past, open seats after the start of the school year were only available to newly arriving students or students who required a transfer due to a hardship.  

Additional preliminary recommendations based on this feedback will be shared this summer. Communities will have the opportunity to review and respond to these recommendations before plans are finalized for the upcoming school year. This is an ongoing process, and we will continue to work with families and partners as we institute improvements to the admissions process. 



Nathaniel Styer

Press Secretary

New York City Department of Education