How to Build a Balanced High School Application

العربية বাংলা 中文 Français Kreyòl ayisyen 한국어 Русский / Español / اردو

Dear Families, 

Today we’re writing to share five tips for building a balanced high school application. Submitting a balanced application is your child’s best chance to get an offer to a program you want. 

A balanced application includes:

  • Tip 1. Choose 12 programs you like for your child’s application, and no less!  The more choices you include on the application, the more likely you are to get an offer to a preferred choice. Last year, 97% of students who listed 12 programs on their application got an offer to one of those programs.
  • Tip 2. Place your choices on the application in your true order of preference. This is always the best strategy: your child will be considered for their first-choice program first. If it isn’t possible to make them an offer there, they will be considered for their second-choice program next, as if it were their first choice. Schools do not know if they are your child’s first or twelfth choice.
  • Tip 3. Consider program demand. Program demand is determined by the number of applicants compared to the number of seats available. High-demand programs have at least 3 applicants for every seat. If you are applying to some high-demand programs, also apply to some programs that have 1 or 2 applicants per seat. You can see any program’s applicants per seat on its MySchools page and you can use the “Applicants Per Seat” filter to find programs with different levels of demand.
  • Tip 4. Know your priority group at each program. If the programs you’re applying to have more than one admissions priority group, be sure to apply to some programs where you are in priority group 1. You can also find this information on the programs’ MySchools pages.
  • Tip 5. Consider a balance of admissions methods. Finally, if you are applying to some programs that use a screened or audition admissions method, consider also applying to some programs that use an open or educational option (ed. opt.) admissions method. Learn more about admissions methods on our website,, in The Four Admissions Factors section.

Don’t forget to submit your balanced application by December 1. There’s no downside to submitting your application as soon as you’re ready! You can always go back and update your application any time before the deadline.

Need support with your MySchools account or your application? We’re here to help! Talk to your child’s school counselor or email us at

Best Wishes,
The High School Admissions Team
Office of Student Enrollment