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High School Explore

Eligibility (Where Can I Apply?)

Students can apply to attend any high school program at any school using the GoCPS online portal. Although there are no minimum eligibility requirements to apply to most schools and programs, many programs have a minimum requirement when the selection process is run. In order to see the selection criteria for specific programs, please see the school-specific profile pages.

Grades / GPA

  • Grades from the previous school year (7th-grade final grades) are used as part of the selection process for Selective Enrollment High Schools and designated high school Choice Programs.
  • The grades used for this process are the grades identified on the student’s official transcript. In order to maintain accuracy and integrity, letter grades cannot be weighted or analyzed outside of the information that is listed on that official transcript.
    • Current CPS Students - Final grades from your seventh-grade year will be used. If grades are missing, please submit official transcripts to your current school to input into ASPEN. All grades for current CPS students are pulled from ASPEN.
    • Non-CPS Students - For most schools within the city, grades will be submitted by your current school. If you do not currently attend a school that works directly with our office, please submit official transcripts from your completed 7th-grade year to

Grade Change Request

  • If there is an error in your child’s grades or test scores, contact your child’s counselor or school official, and submit official changes to the Office of Access and Enrollment.
  • Any official changes to scores or grades must be received by the Office of Access and Enrollment no later than the application deadline. Changes received after this date will not be considered in the selection process.

FAQ - Group of students smiling

Have Questions on Eligibility?


Admissions Exam

HSAT Schedule Update

Due to technical difficulties with the testing vendor, CPS has made major changes to the High School Admissions Testing (HSAT) schedule and procedures. As a result, much of the information on this page is out of date. For the most up-to-date information about testing and re-testing dates and other information for both CPS and non-CPS 8th graders, view the HSAT FAQ page.


FAQ - High School Student working on Classwork

Have Questions on the Admissions Exam?



With GoCPS, researching our schools just got a lot simpler.
Use the search function to find the right CPS school for you!


Schools and Programs

CPS is home to more than 160 high schools, and every Chicago address has one designated neighborhood high school.

Neighborhood Schools

You can find your neighborhood school by entering your address in the Search function of GoCPS.

Search View FAQ

General Education Programs

Students are guaranteed a seat in the general education program of their neighborhood school and they do not have to apply to attend. However, if you are interested in the general education program of your neighborhood school, we strongly encourage you to include it on your application and rank it along with any other choices in your true order of preference. This gives CPS the most accurate data on how families are choosing schools.

GoCPS Guaranteed Seat Icon

Neighborhood School = General Education Program Guaranteed Seat

Continuing Schools
A continuing school is a school or program that serves the eighth grade in the same building that serves grades 9-12.


Choice Programs vs. Selective Enrollment Programs

High School programs are separated into two categories.

Selective Enrollment Programs

Academic program options at the 11 selective enrollment schools:

  • Brooks
  • Hancock
  • Jones
  • Lane
  • Lindblom
  • King
  • Northside
  • Payton
  • South Shore
  • Westinghouse
  • Whitney Young

Choice Programs

All other programs are in the Choice Programs category.

  • Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • Charter
  • City Wide
  • Contract
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Neighborhood
  • Service Leadership Academies

All School & Program Types

Once you know which high school programs to which you're eligible to apply to, you can start researching those individual programs in more detail.

Program Types Program Groups

Admissions Screenings

Admissions Screenings are events that are required by some high school programs as part of the ninth-grade application process. These are auditions/portfolios for Fine & Performing Arts programs.

  • Families who apply online will schedule their admissions screening appointments via the RSVP function in their GoCPS account.
  • Families who apply via paper will follow the instructions on the paper application regarding their appointments.

FAQ - High School Students Chatting in the Hallway

Have Questions on Admissions Screenings?


Diverse Learners/Cluster Programs

Cluster programs are designed for students requiring a significantly modified curriculum with moderate to intensive support in a separate classroom from general education peers for the majority of the day.

Eighth-grade cluster students will apply to cluster programs (and other high school programs, as appropriate) through the GoCPS online portal, similar to the application process for their general education peers.

Helpful hints for enrolling in Selective Enrollment.

Cluster Assignments FAQ's

FAQ - High School Students Looking at a Phone

Have Questions on Diverse Learners/Cluster Programs?


Priority Preferences

Priority Preferences

Sibling Priority

Some programs may give a priority or preference to students who have a sibling that already attends the school to which the student is applying, and who will still be enrolled in that school in the 2024-2025 school year. See the school-specific profile pages to see if the program you are interested in offers a sibling preference.

In order for applicants to qualify for the sibling preference, they must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • The applicant must have a sibling who is currently enrolled and will remain enrolled for the 2024-2025 school year, in the school to which the applicant is applying.
  • The currently enrolled sibling and the sibling applicant must live in the same household.
  • The term “sibling” applies only to natural siblings, step-siblings, foster siblings, and adopted siblings.

FAQ - High School Students Talking

Have Questions on Staff & Sibling Preferences?



Some schools/programs select students based on their tier. Every address in the city of Chicago is assigned a tier. Tiers are based on Census data. Here is a breakdown of the categories that determine tiers.

  • Income Icon

    1. Median family income

  • Single Parent Icon

    2. Percentage of single-parent households

  • Second Language Icon

    3. Percentage of households where English is not the first language

  • House Icon

    4. Percentage of homes occupied by the homeowner

  • Education Icon

    5. The level of educational attainment

  • Achievement Icon

    6. Achievement scores from nearby elementary schools for the students who live in each census tract


Application Fraud

  • All families submitting applications should be aware that fraud will not be tolerated within the Chicago Public Schools system.
  • If you are found to have engaged in fraud in order for your child to gain entrance to a Selective Enrollment or Choice High School, your child will be subject to removal from the school.
  • Any student found to have engaged in fraud based on a falsified Selective Enrollment application will be permanently banned from attending any Selective Enrollment School or program for the life of the student’s enrollment in the Chicago Public Schools.
  • Employees of the Chicago Public Schools who commit such violations will be subjected to severe penalties, up to and including termination.


  • For families where the custody of a child is joint, apply with the address where the student spends a majority of their time.
  • Both parents have the ability to create GoCPS accounts and link the same student profile onto both accounts.

FAQ - High School Students Taking a Selfie

Have Questions on our Legal Section?


Next Phase

Use this page to access the applications for the schools and programs in which you're interested.



Connect With Us

Contact Info Office of Access & Enrollment


Chicago Public Schools
42 W. Madison St, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

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