How to Apply to High School

Learn how to start the application process and when to apply to find your great high school!


Start the process 1-2 years before high school. Understand your timeline, needs and what’s important to you!


Get to know the schools you’re interested in by asking questions or attending events, even virtual ones!


Complete applications by their due dates and then check back for the results.


Check out a video on our six-step process for how to choose and apply to your great high school!

This video was produced by Big Picture Alliance


District School Selection
Friday, September 16, 2022 – Friday, November 4, 2022

There are 54 public high schools run by the School District of Philadelphia. Students can apply to a school outside of their neighborhood school. This includes:

  • Citywide schools: lottery based on space
  • Special admission schools: academic criteria-based
  • Neighborhood schools: lottery based on space

Students can apply to up to five (5) schools on the common application through the District’s portal. You can see admissions criteria for schools on their virtual booth at the virtual HS Fair, the School District’s High School portal, or each individual school’s website.

Additional Help

Application Link:
Phone Number: 215-400-4290

The Multilingual Assessment Center (MAC) provides recent immigrant, refugee, and multilingual students with assistance through the enrollment and assessment process. If you are new to the District or returning from a period abroad, the MAC can help you compile the information you need to enroll.
Phone Number: 215-400 4240

The LeGare Process supports students with a disability or English Learners (EL) with equal opportunities to apply to high schools with admission criteria. For students applying through the LeGare process, your current middle school will assist you in the application process. See more information here.

Apply Philly Charter
Friday, September 23, 2022 – Monday, January 23, 2023

Apply to most charter schools on a common application called Apply Philly Charter. There are 17 charter schools with high school grades participating in the common application. You can see a list of all schools and grades served for the next academic school here.

Application Link:
Phone Number: 800-891-3999 (9am-6pm EST)

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic Schools
Rolling Admissions
Priority Financial Aid Deadline: December 31

Apply to 17 Catholic high schools in the greater Philadelphia region, 8 of which are located within Philadelphia city limits, operated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Each school requires a separate application.

Need-based and merit-based scholarships are available for tuition assistance. Learn more information here on qualifications and how to apply. Contact the school directly for questions.

Application Link:
Phone Number: 215-587-5664

School-Specific Applications (Most Private & Select Charter Schools)
Application Timelines Vary by School

Most private schools and select charter schools not participating in a common application have independent admissions processes. Learn more about a school’s application process, requirements, and deadlines by viewing the school’s High School Fair page.

Need-based and merit-based scholarships are available for tuition assistance. Learn more about affording private school in Philadelphia or contact the individual school directly for questions.

Application Link: See the individual school’s High School Fair page for a direct link to their application.
Contact Information: Contact the individual school for more questions or help, located on the school’s High School Fair page.