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Payton College Prep again tops list of most competitive CPS high schools

Students outside Walter Payton College Prep High School. | Sun-Times file photo

Once again, five selective enrollment high schools adjacent to downtown and on the North Side are the most competitive schools in the city, according to newly released data from Chicago Public Schools — with Walter Payton College Prep taking the title of the city’s hardest school to get into.

Payton was followed by Northside College Prep, Jones College Prep, Whitney Young Magnet High School and Lane Tech College Prep. Accepted applicants to those schools scored the highest of any students seeking admission to any of CPS’ 11 selective enrollment high schools.

RELATED: CPS high school admissions mailed to students

The students are granted admission to the schools based on their elementary school grades, standardized test scores and an admissions test. The highest possible score is 900.

Thirty percent of all applicants are granted admission based on their entrance exam scores alone. Payton, Jones, Whitney Young, Northside and Lane Tech all had applicants with perfect scores, according to CPS.

The other 70 percent of admissions are distributed equally among applicants who are grouped into four tiers. Tier 1 students live in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged parts of the city, while Tier 4 students live in wealthier areas.

Gocps Cutoff 2019 by on Scribd

Payton had the highest cutoff scores for students in every group. Tier 1 applicants’ scores ranged from 792 to 897, with Tier 4 scores spanning only from 894 to 898, according to CPS. At Jones, Tier 1 students scored from 773 to 886, while Tier 4 scores were recorded between 883 to 890.

Tier 1 applicants to Whitney Young saw their scores range from 788 to 882, while their Tier 4 counterparts scored between 871 and 883, according to CPS. Northside’s Tier 1 applicants scored between 713 and 877, with Tier 4 scores coming in between 888 and 894.

Lane Tech’s Tier 1 scores ranged from 711 to 873, with Tier 4 scores between 859 and 873.

Going into the 2018-2019 school year, the same five schools were the only ones to have applicants score a perfect 900.

The other six selective enrollment high schools in CPS — all on the South, Southwest and West sides — saw applicants score between 600 and 890, according to CPS.

CPS also released scores for “Choice” high schools, and the results showed several high-quality schools that had lower cutoff scores. Tops on the list were Lincoln Park High School’s International Baccalaureate and honors programs, which had cutoff scores of 790 and 796, respectively. Ogden’s IB program had a cutoff of 532.5, while Washington High School’s IB program’s cutoff was 637.5.

CPS released application results to families last week. More than 26,600 students applied and the majority of those — more than 81 percent — will be accepted to their first, second or third choice of schools. The average student applied to seven of the 11 selective enrollment schools.

Families have until 11:59 p.m. on April 12 to accept or decline offers. Offers will be automatically forfeited if no action is taken.

High school waitlists open April 17.