With NYC high school round 1 results in and round 2 applications now complete, thousands of middle school families are now licking their wounds and asking themselves why they didn’t get matched to one of their preferred round 1 choices, or in some cases, why they didn't get a match at all.
Today, thousands of students will submit their round 2 applications, and for many of them the worst case scenario is unfolding: they are unhappy with their high school match, or even worse, got no match at all.
Most of these cases fit into one or more of six major categories of applications:
1. Not enough choices on the application. Generally speaking, fewer choices will reduce the chances of a match.
2. Not enough variety. This refers to variety in terms of program admissions methods or how students are considered, i.e. screened, audition, educational option, limited unscreened, etc.
3. Lack of understanding of admissions priorities. Families may choose many programs, but if they fall into lower admissions priority groups for many of those programs, there is often less chance of securing a match.
4. Misunderstood choices. In other words, choices that were made haphazardly without conducting research, fully understanding the program or school, eligibility for that school, selection criteria (what the program is looking for in its applicants), or even its location.
5. Missing easy items. Did applicants fulfill all the selection criteria the program asked for? Did the applicant attend the required audition? Did the applicant sign in at the information session and get priority? Many families will miss the easy items that can make a big difference.
6. Advice and support. Many families do not seek help and simply do not understand the process. Unfortunately, they are often missing or misunderstanding key pieces of information. Families typically do not employ a comprehensive strategy that looks at the entire selection of choices in totality, rather than just individual schools one by one. Think college admissions.
Unfortunately at this stage in the game, because of the perceived lack of choice in round 2, some students will be left without a match to one of their round 2 choices. At the end of round 2, every student will have a high school - whether they chose it or not. Then, the appeals process begins.