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NYC High School Application Guide, a free mobile app and website

OLAYEMI ODESANYA | 10/19/2017, 2:09 p.m.
The NYC High School Application Guide, a free mobile app and website, is now available for middle school students.
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The NYC High School Application Guide, a free mobile app and website, is now available for middle school students. The product of a partnership between the Heckscher Foundation for Children and New York University, and part of a study conducted by researchers from NYU, Princeton, Columbia and Seton Hall, the guide took more than five years to develop. The notion behind the guide is to give NYC students an easier way to decide where they want to attend high school throughout the five boroughs. Students in low-income communities often attend schools that are in their neighborhoods without knowing what other options are available. This app allows the students to personalize their own list of schools, along with an estimation of their commute time from school to home via Google Maps. It would also provide information about academic and extracurricular programs at some of the best-performing schools in the city.

“We saw the need for a customized tool to better inform students who may lack a strong support network of their options, and to help them identify schools which would be a better ‘fit’ for them—while steering them away from lower-performing high schools with a graduation rate of below 65 percent,” said Peter Sloane, CEO of the Heckscher Foundation for Children. “We received positive responses from fellow philanthropists and business leaders who recognize, with us, that by helping all students make informed choices, we’re not only addressing inequities in the high school application process but, ultimately, impacting students’ college readiness and success.”

The Heckscher Foundation for Children is a New York-based organization founded in 1921 to promote educational opportunities for underserved children in low-income communities. The organization also provides access to social services and entrepreneurship opportunities. 

“Tens of thousands of students will now have a simple, interactive tool to identify best-fit high schools with strong graduation rates,” said Sloane. “We view this high school choice app as unique and as an example of our inflection point funding philosophy. Some of the inflection point funding opportunities we are considering include alleviating library fines for low-income youth and investing in college emergency grants programs.”

The NYC High School Application Guide is available at no cost. The guide will be translated into Spanish later this year.  For more information, visit nychighschoolapp.org.