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 email@example.com.
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.
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 As a result, much of the information on this page is out of date.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.
You can find your neighborhood school by entering your address in the Search function of GoCPS.
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.
Neighborhood School = General Education Program Guaranteed Seat
Selective Enrollment Programs
Academic program options at the 11 selective enrollment schools:
- South Shore
- Whitney Young
All other programs are in the Choice Programs category.
- Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- City Wide
- International Baccalaureate (IB)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Some programs will give priority to students applying to the entry-grade level at a school where their parent/guardian is a member of the staff. Note that these seats are based on space availability after siblings are accommodated. Only 2 seats will be given to the children of CPS staff and only at the entry-level of the school.
- Note that the staff preference seats are not guaranteed; they are based on space availability. The order in which available seats are filled varies according to school/program. For example, a program may fill available seats in the following order: (1) siblings, (2) proximity, (3) staff preference, (4) general. If all seats in the program are filled by sibling applicants and applicants who live in the school’s proximity, no seats would be filled through staff preference.
- If a parent or guardian is assigned to more than one Chicago public high school, they can only apply for staff preference at one of the schools. If a parent or guardian is not staffed at any specific Chicago public school, they cannot apply for staff preference.
- If there are more than two students that apply to a program qualify for staff preference, all staff preference students will be put through a computerized lottery. After two seats are filled, all other students will only be offered a seat after the general queue has been exhausted.
Multiples (twin, triplet, etc…) that are applying in the same school year do NOT qualify for sibling preferences. Families of twins, triplets, and other higher-order multiple births have the option of linking their applications together so that the students are either admitted together or placed next to each other on the waitlist. If you choose not to indicate on the application that your children are multiples, their applications will be independently processed in the lottery and their applications will not be linked. Note: Multiples will not have their applications linked for selective enrollment or any other points-based programs.
- Proximity lotteries are for students who live within a 2.5-mile radius of a magnet high school to which they are applying (with the exception of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, which has a larger proximity boundary.)
- Proximity lotteries are not conducted for magnet schools that have an attendance boundary, or for magnet schools where at least 50% of the students reside in the neighborhood and at least 50% are of a single racial/ethnic group.
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.
1. Median family income
2. Percentage of single-parent households
3. Percentage of households where English is not the first language
4. Percentage of homes occupied by the homeowner
5. The level of educational attainment
6. Achievement scores from nearby elementary schools for the students who live in each census tract
- 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.