Posted on August 25, 2022
Categories: equity, school selection, system trends

An ongoing series of reports examining the School District of Philadelphia’s (SDP) 2021-2022 school selection process has focused on 8th grade SDP students applying for admission to criteria-based (CB) high schools. For readers not already familiar with the District’s school selection process, those reports provide detailed descriptions of the procedures that comprise the process, and also detailed analyses of each stage of the process, from student qualifications and applications, to outcomes of school-specific lotteries, to final admission offers and student decisions.

To date, all of these reports have exclusively concerned students who were enrolled in SDP schools during the application phase of the process. However, the school selection process is open to all students in Philadelphia, including those enrolled in charter, private, and SDP schools. Similarly, the reports have focused only on 8th grade students applying to 9th grade, but students in any grade may participate in the school selection process.

This brief extends the ongoing series by summarizing the number of external and internal K-12 applicants to SDP schools, with a continued focus on 8th grade applications to 9th grade.

Key findings include:

  • Students in all grades participate in the school selection process, but about two-thirds (68.9%) of all applicants were 8th graders applying for 9th grade.
  • For students applying for 9th grade, and for all phases of the school selection process, external applicants comprised roughly one-third of the students (and two-thirds were internal applicants).
  • For applicants to 9th grade, external students constituted:
    • 34.4% of students who applied to at least one criteria-based school or program.
    • 31.9% of students entered into at least one criteria-based lottery.
    • 32.4% of students who received at least one criteria-based admission offer.
    • 32.4% of students who accepted a criteria-based admission offer.