Office of Access and Enrollment

Selective Enrollment High Schools

Selective Enrollment High Schools provide academically advanced students with a challenging and enriched college preparatory experience. Each of the Selective Enrollment High Schools offers a rigorous curriculum with mainly honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Teachers expect students to be self-driven and highly engaged with their studies. Testing is required.

The schools strive to develop students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, and promote diverse academic inquiry by bringing together students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Applicants should learn everything they can about what the competition is like at each of the Selective Enrollment High Schools so that realistic and sound decisions are made as to where to apply.

Application Information

Eligibility Requirements for Selective Enrollment High Schools

Applicants to Selective Enrollment High Schools (SEHS) must pre-qualify to take the SEHS admissions exam. Eligibility to take the exam is based on the student's reading and math scores on the NWEA. The eligibility requirements are below:

General Education Students and Students with a 504 Plan:

  • Minimum percentile of 24 in both reading and math.

Students with an IEP and Students Receiving Bilingual Education Services:

  • Minimum reading and math percentiles that equal 48 or higher.

Student Selection Process

Students are selected for Selective Enrollment High Schools based on a final point score and in accordance with the tier system outlined in the admissions policy for magnet, selective enrollment and other Options for Knowledge programs. Look below for a step-by-step example of how the selection process is conducted.

The Selective Enrollment High Schools selection process is based on a point system, with a maximum of 900 points. The final point score balances the admissions exam results with standardized test scores and final classroom grades. The score consists of:

  • The admissions exam (33 1/3% or 300 points)
  • NWEA results (33 1/3% or 300 points)
  • 7th grade reading, math, science and social studies grades (33 1/3% or 300 points)

A rubric showing how the points are allotted for each of these three areas can be found here.


Student Selection: Step-by-Step Illustration

The following provides a practical, step-by-step example of the process used for selecting students for the Selective Enrollment High Schools:

Step 1:Students will receive an offer from the highest-ranked school on their application for which they qualify. For example, let's say your daughter applies to Lindblom, King, South Shore, and Brooks. After all of the students have been tested, they are first ranked in order of their composite scores, from the highest to lowest. The selection process starts with the top-scoring student and proceeds down the list.

Step 2:When we reach your child's score on the list, the selection process will begin for her. We will look first at Lindblom, to see if your child scored high enough, either by pure rank score or within her census tract tier, to qualify for a seat at Lindblom.

Step 3:If your child's score is high enough to qualify for a seat at Lindblom, she will receive an offer from Lindblom and the selection process ends for her at that point, and we proceed to the next student on the ranked list.

Step 4:If, on the other hand, all seats at Lindblom have already been filled by higher-scoring students, we will then go to her second choice to see if she scored high enough, either by pure rank score or her score within her tier, to qualify for a seat at King. If she scored high enough to qualify for a seat, she will receive an offer from King and the selection process for your child ends there. If she did not score high enough to receive an offer from King, we then go to her third choice, and so on.

Step 5:This process continues until your child receives an offer or until her school choice list is exhausted. If your child’s list is exhausted, she will not receive an offer from any of the schools to which she applied, and we move on the next student on this list.

Note: The selection process is always conducted in order of the list of students, which is ranked according to the students’ final point scores. Therefore, for example, ranking a school first would not give a student preference over another student, in the same tier, who ranked a school third, had a higher point score, and did not get an offer from their first or second choice schools. In this scenario, the student with the higher point score, who ranked the school third, would receive an offer to that school before a student with a lower score who ranked the school as her first choice.

 

Final Points Tiebreaker

As one might imagine, when testing so many students, numerous applicants achieve the same number of total points. To differentiate between these students, tiebreakers are used that include the core percentile on the admissions exam, and the individual sections of the entrance exam (e.g., reading comprehension, vocabulary, etc.). This allows us to rank the students with identical total points from top to bottom.

The order of the tiebreaker is the following:

  • Core total
  • Math
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Language Arts

Applying to Selective Enrollment High Schools

Applying to Selective Enrollment High Schools is easy! Just follow the directions below, and contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu if you have any questions.

But first, please note the following:

  • The application period begins October 3, 2016, and ends December 9, 2016.
  • You have a choice of applying through the online application portal, or by using a paper application. (We recommend the online portal – it’s easier, faster, reduces chances for error, and provides email confirmation.)
  • Admissions testing is required for the Selective Enrollment High Schools. Students must pre-qualify to take the exam, based on their NWEA MAP scores.
  • Your child’s application notification letter will be released on March 3, 2017, to notify you whether or not your child received an offer from any of the schools to which you applied. If you apply ONLINE, your child’s letter will be accessible via the online portal. If you apply via PAPER application, your child’s letter will be mailed to your home on March 3, 2017. (Note that this is the date that the letter will be MAILED, not received.)

Next, see the step-by-step instructions below, categorized according to CPS, Charter, Contract Students, and Non-CPS Students for both the online process and the paper process. Throughout the instructions, you will also find application tips – just click the links!

ONLINE PROCESS:

CPS, Charter, and Contract Students:

Step 1:Eighth grade students will receive an Eligibility Letter through their school counselor in September. The letter will contain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that the student can use for the online process. The letter will also tell you if your child is eligible to apply for the Selective Enrollment High Schools.

Step 2:Starting October 3rd, go to the online portal, apply.cps.edu, and click “Apply Online” under Step 1. This will allow you to enter your PIN, open your account, and create your password.

Step 3:If your child is eligible to take the SEHS exam, click the SCHEDULE button for Selective Enrollment High Schools and schedule the date, time, and location for child’s Selective Enrollment exam. The exam is offered at only five sites: King, Lane, Lindblom, Westinghouse, and Whitney Young. If you need to reschedule your child’s test, you can reschedule it using the online portal.

Step 4:After your schedule the exam, click the APPLY button to select the schools to which your child is applying. You will rank the schools in order of your preference. You can apply to up to six schools.

Step 5:After you successfully schedule your child’s exam and submit your application, the online portal will show the word “Completed” under the status for both scheduling and applying. You will also receive an email confirmation for both actions. If the online portal shows “Not Completed” for either status, you have not successfully completed the action.

Non-CPS Students:

Step 1:Eighth grade students must take the NWEA MAP that is administered by the Chicago Public Schools. If you have not yet registered to take the NWEA MAP, click here.

Step 2:Only students who registered for the NWEA by September 9th will be able to apply using the online application portal. (If you register for the NWEA MAP after September 9th, you will have to submit paper applications by the December 9th deadline. See below for the paper instruction process.)

Step 3:Students who registered for the NWEA MAP by September 9th will receive a PIN along with their test notification letter. When you receive your PIN, go to the online portal, apply.cps.edu, and click “Apply Online” under Step 1. This will allow you to enter your PIN, open your account, and create your password. Approximately two weeks after your child takes the second NWEA MAP exam, you can login to the online portal to see if your child is eligible to take the SEHS exam. (You will receive a robocall and email to notify you when the NWEA MAP scores have been uploaded to the online portal.)

Step 4: If your child is eligible to take the SEHS exam, click the SCHEDULE button for Selective Enrollment High Schools and schedule the date, time, and location for child’s Selective Enrollment exam. The exam is offered at only five sites: King, Lane, Lindblom, Westinghouse and Whitney Young. If you need to reschedule your child's test, you can reschedule it using the online portal.

Step 5:After you schedule the exam, click the APPLY button, to select the schools to which your child is applying. You will rank the schools in order of your preference. You can apply to up to six schools.

Step 6:After you successfully schedule your child’s exam and submit your application, the online portal will show the word “Completed” under the status for both scheduling and applying. You will also receive an email confirmation for both actions. If the online portal shows “Not Completed” for either status, you have not successfully completed the action.


PAPER PROCESS:

CPS, Charter, and Contract Students:

Step 1:Eighth grade students will receive an Eligibility Letter through their school counselor in September. The letter will tell you if your child is eligible to apply for the Selective Enrollment High Schools.

Step 2:If your child is eligible to take the SEHS exam, go to the home page of this website starting October 3rd and click ‘Apply’ and ‘Paper Applications’ to download and print the Selective Enrollment High Schools application.

Step 3:Complete the application and rank the schools in order of your preference. You can apply to up to six schools. Be sure to sign the application.

Step 4:Submit the application to the Office of Access and Enrollment. Paper applications can be mailed or hand-delivered only.

Step 5:After your application is processed, the Office of Access and Enrollment will schedule your child’s SEHS exam and mail a letter to your home notifying you of the date, time, and location of the test.


Non-CPS Students:

Step 1: Eighth grade students must take the NWEA that is administered by the Chicago Public Schools. If you have not yet registered to take the NWEA, click here.

Step 2:If you registered for the NWEA MAP after September 9th, you will have to submit paper applications by the December 9th deadline.

Step 3:Go to the home page for this website starting October 3rd and click ‘Apply’ and ‘Paper Applications’ to download and print the Selective Enrollment High Schools application.

Step 4:Complete the application and rank the schools in order of your preference. You can apply to up to six schools. Be sure to sign the application.

Step 5:Submit the application to the Office of Access and Enrollment. Paper applications can be mailed or hand-delivered only.

Step 6:After your child takes the second NWEA MAP exam, the Office of Access and Enrollment will contact you via email and robocall, to inform you whether or not your child is eligible to take the SEHS admissions exam. If your child is eligible to take the SEHS exam, the robocall/email will also notify you of the date, time, and location of your child’s admissions exam. (Your child’s NWEA MAP scores will be mailed to you in spring 2017.)

The Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam will be offered on the following dates for the 2017-2018 school year:

  • December 17, 2016
  • January 21, 2017
  • January 28, 2017
  • February 4, 2017

The test will be offered at five sites: King College Preparatory High School, Lane Tech High School, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Westinghouse College Preparatory High School, and Young Magnet High School.


The Selective Enrollment Point Calculation Tool is designed to support decision-making in the Selective Enrollment High Schools application process, and aid parents and students in identifying schools that match well with students' achievement.


Rank your Selective Enrollment choices in the order of your choice. This is the order in which you will be considered. If your final point score qualifies you for a seat at your first choice school, you will receive an offer from that school -- you will not be considered for any other schools on your application. Similarly, if you do not qualify for a seat at your first-choice school, you will then be considered for your second choice school. If you qualify for a seat at that school, you will receive an offer and you will not be considered for schools ranked lower.
This is why it is VERY important for you to put your first-choice school first, your second-choice school second, and so on.
For more information, view the step-by-step illustration under the Selective Enrollment selection process.

Click here to access the Academic Honesty Statement, which provides information regarding expectations for academic honesty from students taking the Selective Enrollment High Schools exam. In addition, the document outlines the specific behaviors that will cause a student to be disqualified from the exam and the selection process.

List of Selective Enrollment High Schools

Access the Selective Enrollment High School's school websites

To view the school's profile, click on the school name.


King College Prep High School

4445 S. Drexel Blvd.

Lane Tech High School

2501 W Addison St.

FAQs


A.Yes, you have to live in Chicago to enroll and attend a Selective Enrollment High School. You don't have to live in Chicago to apply, participate in the testing process, and even be selected, but you have to provide proof of city of Chicago residency by July 1, 2017, for the 2017-2018 school year.

A.Yes -- admissions testing is required for Selective Enrollment High Schools. Your child will only take ONE Selective Enrollment exam, even if you are applying to more than one Selective Enrollment school.

A.The Chicago Public Schools does NOT recommend, endorse or sponsor ANY test preparation courses, study guides, or sample questions for the Selective Enrollment High Schools testing process.

The admissions exams used for the Selective Enrollment High Schools are designed to assess your child's academic capabilities or reasoning and thinking skills. The Office of Access and Enrollment has not seen any direct correlation between student acceptance rates in Selective Enrollment High Schools and their participation in courses offered by test preparation companies.

Please note that our department receives feedback each year from parents whose children participated in a test preparation course and were not selected for any of their school choices.

Let the buyer beware.

A.Rank your Selective Enrollment choices in the order of your choice. This is the order in which you will be considered. If your final point score qualifies you for a seat at your first choice school, you will receive an offer from that school -- you will not be considered for any other schools on your application.

This is why it is important for you to put your first-choice school first, your second-choice school second, and so on.

For more information, view the step-by-step illustration under the Selective Enrollment selection process.

A. When you fill out your child's application -- whether online or paper -- you must indicate your child's "primary address." The primary address is defined as your child’s regular, fixed nighttime abode. Note that you must use the address that is your primary address at the time that you apply. You cannot apply using an address where you plan to live in the future.

A. If you share joint custody and your child sleeps at night at only one residence the majority of the time, that is the child's primary address, and that is the address that must be entered on the application. In cases of joint custody where a child's residence is equally divided between two addresses, either address may be used. Note that the address of only ONE parent can be used; your child cannot be considered for schools by using more than one address, and your child cannot submit applications with different addresses. The address that is used for the application and selection process must be the same, single address. If your child submits applications with more than one address, he/she will be considered for the selection process using the address on the first application that is processed by the Office of Access and Enrollment

A.Transportation is not provided to students who attend Selective Enrollment High Schools.

A. Principal Discretion is a process that allows principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to fill a designated number of seats, outside of the regular selection process, and in strict compliance with the Principal Discretion guidelines. The Principal Discretion process takes place in March, following the first round of regular selection. Information about the process will be posted on this website in February. Principal Discretion only applies to the 11 Selective Enrollment High Schools.



A.The online procedure for Selective Enrollment High Schools is a TWO-STEP process:

  1. Schedule
  2. Apply
You will click the 'Schedule' button to schedule your child's admissions exam and the 'Apply' button to identify the schools to which you are applying. Be sure that you complete BOTH of these actions before the application deadline on December 9, 2016, at 11:59 p.m.

Once you have successfully submitted your Selective Enrollment High Schools application, three things will happen:

  1. You will see a confirmation page online that lists the schools to which you applied;
  2. You will receive a confirmation email which states that you successfully submitted your application; AND
  3. The dashboard page on the online portal will show the word "Completed" under the application status for the Selective Enrollment High Schools.

NOTE: You do NOT wait until after your child takes the admissions exam to apply. You MUST submit your application by the December 9th deadline!!!

A.No. You should apply only to those schools where you would accept an offer if your child receives one. If you don't want your child to attend a specific school, or if you feel that a school is too far from your home for your child to attend, then don't apply to it.

A. No. You cannot apply to more than six Selective Enrollment High Schools. You cannot submit a second application in order to apply to additional schools.

A.. If you apply online, you can make updates via the online portal to your address and telephone number. If you apply via paper application, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu to request a paper Contact Information Modification Form. For the purposes of determining tiers, attendance/overlay boundaries, and proximity boundaries, address changes must be submitted no later than December 9, 2016. NOTE: If you change your address and you accept an offer from a school, you will be required to provide proof of both the address on the application, and the new address, at the time of your child’s registration.

A..To correct your child’s CPS ID number, IEP/504 Plan status,current grade, or other student-related information, you will need to submit a paper Student Information Modification Form, whether you apply online or via paper application. To request the Student Information Modification Form, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu. Corrections must be submitted no later than December 9, 2016.

A.. We encourage you to attend Open Houses and conduct any other school-related research BEFORE submitting your application, to decrease the need for changing school choices. If you apply online, you can make changes by deleting your application and submitting a new one. If you apply via paper application, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu to request a paper Application Modification Form. Changes must be submitted no later than January 20, 2017.

A.Contact the high school in which you are interested for information on transfer opportunities and guidelines. Each school establishes its own guidelines and requirements for transfer students.


A.The Selective Enrollment High Schools exam consists of two segments: achievement skills and critical thinking ​skills. Only the results from the achievement skills test in the four subject areas (reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and math word problems) will generate percentiles and point values applicable for the 2017-2018 selections.

A.Students take only one Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam, regardless of the number of schools to which they apply.

A.The Selective Enrollment High Schools exam is approximately three-and-a-half hours long.

A.The test will be offered on the following dates:
December 17, 2016
January 21, 2017
January 28, 2017
February 4, 2017

A.The Chicago Public Schools does NOT recommend, endorse, or provide study guides, test preparation courses, or sample tests/questions for the Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam. The Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam is designed to assess student ability, knowledge, and potential for success in programs for academically advanced students.

A.No. The Chicago Public Schools does not have the financial or personnel resources, or the physical capacity, to test students who are not planning to apply for the upcoming school year.



A.Yes. Scroll to the top of this page and click the ‘Eligibility’ link for more information.



A.The Selective Enrollment process is a single-offer model. If your child scores high enough to receive an offer, it will be from the highest ranked school on her application for which she qualifies.

A.No. There is no sibling preference or consideration for applicants to Selective Enrollment High Schools.

A.After the seats at each school are filled, the non-selected students will remain in an applicant pool. This is not a traditional waiting list, where students are assigned numbers – students are ranked in the applicant pool by score. If your child declines an offer or does not receive an offer, he remains in the applicant pool and has a chance to receive an offer in a later selection round for schools that still have seats remaining. Please note, however, that most schools do not have a second round selection process.

In addition, the Principal Discretion process takes place in March, following the first round of regular selection. This process allows principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to fill up to five percent of the total available seats for the coming school year, outside of the regular selection process, and in strict compliance with the CEO’s guidelines. Information about the process will be posted on this website in March. Principal Discretion only applies to the 11 Selective Enrollment High Schools. It does not apply to any other type of school.

A.A student entering a Chicago public school at the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade is considered to be a transfer student. Each high school establishes its own guidelines and requirements for transfer students. You will need to directly contact the school(s) in which you are interested for information on transfer opportunities.



A.Your child’s application notification letter will be released on March 3, 2017, to notify you whether or not your child received an offer from any of the schools to which you applied. If you apply ONLINE, your child’s letter will be accessible via the online portal. If you apply via PAPER application, your child’s letter will be mailed to your home on March 3, 2017. (Note that this is the date that the letter will be MAILED, not received.) You will receive only ONE letter from the Office of Access and Enrollment regarding the Selective Enrollment High Schools to which you applied.

A.Once you accept an offer from a Selective Enrollment High School, your child cannot receive an offer in a subsequent selection round to another Selective Enrollment High School. If you wish, your child can accept an offer from a Selective Enrollment High School and apply for a different Selective Enrollment High School through Principal Discretion. Your child does not have to decline an offer in order to apply for Principal Discretion.

However, if you wish for your child to remain in the applicant pool for a possible selection in a subsequent selection round (NOT Principal Discretion), you will have to decline the offer that your child receives. Please be aware that there is no guarantee that all, or any, schools will have more than one selection round. Subsequent selection rounds are based on remaining seats available after the first selection round. If a school does not have seats available after the first round, no subsequent rounds will be held for that school. In addition, your acceptance of an offer from a Selective Enrollment High School has no impact on any offers you might receive from magnet high schools, magnet programs, International Baccalaureate High Schools, charter schools, or any other high schools to which you apply.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, October 13, 2016