Our Pledge To You

News

CPS high school acceptance letters released Friday: What you need to know

CPS headquarters | Mitchell Armentrout/Sun-Times

Chicago Public Schools headquarters | Mitchell Armentrout/Sun-Times

Months of excitement and anxiety for thousands of Chicago Public Schools families came to a head Friday evening with the release of high school application results.

Students and parents were glued to computer screens starting at 5 p.m. as the first round of acceptances were posted to GoCPS online accounts through midnight.

More than three-quarters of the more than 26,600 students who submitted applications likely will be pleased with the results, according to early numbers released by the school district.

Just over 81 percent of students will receive their first, second or third choice. That’s about the same as last year, when about 80 percent got a top-three choice during the rollout of GoCPS.

About 54.2 percent will receive their first choice, up from 51.8 percent last year.

In all, 92.1 percent of students received a match — just about the same percent as last year.

Students who didn’t receive a match applied, on average, to just 2.5 schools, compared to the average student district-wide, who applied to 7.1 schools.

Selective enrollment acceptance rates remained “relatively static,” according to CPS, with slight increases in students getting a top-three choice compared to last year.

About 16 percent were accepted to their first choice; 21 percent got their first or second choice; 24 percent got a first, second or third choice; and nearly 29 percent got any of their selective enrollment picks.

“We created GoCPS to make applying to high school simpler and more equitable so that all students can easily find and apply to the programs that are right for them,” CPS CEO Janice Jackson said in a statement. “Chicago families have been eager to utilize GoCPS, and we are pleased that more of our applicants are being matched to their top choices this year.”

Results were being released electronically for all incoming high school students, even if they submitted paper applications. The district opened GoCPS accounts for those paper-and-pen applicants.

The advocacy group Raise Your Hand said it was waiting to see how well the GoCPS system works out this year. In years past, students had to wait for letters to be sent through the mail, resulting in an even more agonizing wait.

“We are still paying close attention to how this newish #GoCPS system plays out & what the impact is on students and schools,” the group tweeted. “We all know that the CPS HS choice system can be very stressful for students & families, & that an equitable system means students shouldn’t have to rely on lotteries and tests to get in for the best resources.”

“It’s such an intense process,” said Northern Illinois University sociology Prof. Simón Weffer-Elizondo, whose own daughter was eagerly awaiting acceptance results Friday evening.

“You see kids breaking down because they got a B, wondering why their scores aren’t rounded up, because it feels like a life-or death thing.”

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.

Answers to common questions on the system, and the process for students who want to be reconsidered, has been posted on the GoCPS website and lso can be read here:

Elementary school acceptance offers will be posted on April 22.

Families with questions or issues are advised to contact the district at (773) 553-2060 or gocps@cps.edu.

MORE:

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson unveils 5-year vision
CPS principals get school budgets for next year
Emanuel expands universal preschool plan as mayoral clock winds down