Applying to High School

Applying to High School

The District is home to over 30 public and public charter high schools (Grades 9-12). Students can apply to up to 12 high schools on the My School DC application. They also have the option of enrolling directly at their DCPS in-boundary high school, their feeder school, or applying to a school that does not participate in My School DC



  • Set up a family account
    • Tip for students: If you create a family account with your personal email address, make sure to include your guardian’s email address in Section 2 of the application.
  • Gather the information you need to complete your My School DC application.
    • Remember: Selective high schools and programs require additional information on the My School DC application. Learn about these requirements below and allow yourself enough time to gather them prior to the February 1 application deadline. You will not be able to submit the application if you do not have all required information.
  • Add the schools on your list to your My School DC application and rank them in the order you prefer.
    • The order you rank your schools lets us know the order in which you want to be matched to schools; it does not affect your chances of acceptance to a selective school nor does it affect any preferences you may qualify for such as sibling or transfer preference.
  • Submit your application by February 1.
    • You can make edits to your submitted application any time before February 1. You can update your school rankings up until March 15.



  • Make a list.
    • Use the School Finder and search for schools by address, grade and program type (such as interscholastic sports, STEM, AP classes, and more). You can also map your potential commute to school with this tool. Note: There is no guarantee of a lottery match or waitlist offer at the schools you apply to so apply to all the schools you want to attend. You can apply to up to 12!
  • Check out the high schools’ school profiles. 
    • They show basic information about each school and you can view their open house schedules. Make note of grades for which they take applications, as well as past lottery data showing the number of seats made available in a grade, the waitlist length at time of results and the waitlist movement.
  • Look for specific school requirements.
    • Some high schools have age cutoffs. Other schools require transcript reviews of credits earned for promotion to the grade you’re applying to. (For example, some schools do not give credit for classes where a “D” is earned in a class.) Work with your middle school counselor for guidance on requirements.
  • Attend EdFEST, school fairs and open houses.
  • Use your networks.
    • It is helpful to talk with people you know (e.g., neighbors, friends, school counselors) who are knowledgeable about the schools you are thinking of applying to.
  • Decide your ranking.
    • You will rank your final list of schools in the order you prefer. Ranking your list in this order is important. Here’s why.


Transcripts and Credits

All public DC high schools have minimum graduation requirements. Individual schools may have additional required courses and the threshold for a passing grade can vary (e.g., you can earn credit with a “D” at one high school, but need at least a “C” at another). Many schools do require a transcript review in order for a student to enroll and a passing grade at one school does not necessarily earn credit at another.



  • DCPS In-boundary Schools: A My School DC application is not required.
  • DCPS Out-of-boundary Schools: A My School DC application is required.
  • DCPS Citywide Schools: A My School DC application is required.
  • DCPS Selective High Schools and Programs: A My School DC application is required. Students program must complete an additional section of the My School DC application where selective high schools may require a report card, essay, and staff recommendations. See admissions processes and criteria below.
  • DCPS and Charter Feeder Schools: A My School DC application is not required. If you accept a seat at a school outside your feeder pattern, you may lose the right to that feeder pattern. Please check with your school for more information or call the My School DC Hotline at (202) 888-6336.
  • Public Charter Schools: A My School DC application is required.
  • Adult or Alternative Education Options: There are public and public charter high schools that offer alternative programming and do not participate in the My School DC lottery program. The District also has a ReEngagement Center that offers a range of services to District youth (ages 16-24) not currently in school and who don’t have a high school diploma or GED to help them reconnect to educational options and other critical services to support their attainment of a diploma or GED. Visit to learn more.