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The Single Application

An easy guide to Chicago's proposed single application system. 

Quick Facts  How It Works


Chicago Public Schools has proposed a single application for high schools.
You may have seen information about this in the news or at your school. It is sometimes also called "universal enrollment."

What is the single application and how is it different?

Under the proposed new process, families can apply to any of their public-school options in one place. This includes traditional neighborhood, magnet, military, and participating charter schools, as well as special programs like IB and CTE. Each of these school types and programs currently has their own applications with varying requirements and deadlines.

The single application system would be available in one, easy-to-use online portal.

When will the single application take effect?

The Chicago Board of Education voted to approve the policy updates necessary to support a single application system on April 26, 2017.

Chicago Public Schools will begin implementing the new process immediately for 8th graders entering high school in the 2018-2019 school year.

Will selective enrollment schools also be included on the single application?

Selective enrollment high schools will be included in the same online system but will be considered separately from other school types. Selection criteria will remain the same and families have the opportunity to rank up to six choices to receive one offer to their highest match school if their student is eligible to apply to selective enrollment options.

How many schools may I apply to?

Students may apply to up to 20 non-selective high schools and up to 6 selective schools. 


  1. Parents and students research school options.
  2. Choose up to 20 non-selective schools and programs, and up to 6 selective schools.
  3. Rank them in order of preference on the application.
  4. The system will match students to their highest ranked choice that has available seats.
  5. The student will be accepted to one non-selective option, plus one selective option, if eligible.

We encourage you to preview this video from Washington D.C., which is a great example of how the system could also work in Chicago.  


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