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NYC Students Get Tool to Make Choosing the Right School a Breeze

July 2, 2015 BY The SchoolMint Collective

students try out SchoolMint on a mobile device

Students try out the Heckscher Foundation for Children’s NYC High School Application Guide, powered by SchoolMint. (Credit: Lesly Weiner Photography)

SchoolMint’s “High School Guide” Tool Helps NYC Students Choose the Best School for Them

SchoolMint believes that every child deserves access to a great education, which is why today we’re proud to announce the launch of an easy-to-use app that helps families in New York City participate in the school choice process.

In NYC, students across all five boroughs can attend any public high school as long as they apply and are accepted. With more than 400 schools and 700 programs offering specializations in everything from fashion design to robotics, this process can be daunting.

“New York City’s 75,000 eighth grade students rank their top 12 choices from among 700-plus public high school programs. Yet thousands of young teens and their families — predominantly from lower-income households — lack the support they need to identify best fits,” said Peter Sloane, CEO of the Heckscher Foundation for Children. “As a result, underserved youth are significantly more likely to select and attend schools rated lower for academics, climate, and graduation rates.”

To guide families through the process and lead to better choices, The Heckscher Foundation for Children, in partnership with SchoolMint and Neil Dorosin of IIPSC, have developed an app — the NYC High School Guide — that will launch this fall.

Available for iOS, Android, and web, the NYC High School Guide acts as a virtual guidance counselor, leading students through a series of questions on things like academic performance, sports preferences, academic interests, and more. Using this information, the High School Guide sorts through the programs and schools across NYC’s five boroughs and returns a list of those schools that are the best match.

The app has gotten tons of excitement and enthusiasm from students and schools who are eager for a comprehensive tool, and it was included in a study conducted by faculty in NYU’s Department of Sociology to understand the effect of interventional tools on the school choice process. The results of that study will be available in the coming years.