How to Apply to CPS High Schools — Grades 7, 8 and 9
We use an online random lottery process for entrance into Cincinnati Public Schools’ high schools at grades 7, 8 and 9, which helps assure equal access for in-district students.
Round 2 begins March 10, 2020, and ends May 8, 2020.)
Who SHOULD participate in the online high school lottery?
- Current 6th-graders at CPS elementary schools that end at 6th grade
- Current 8th-graders at the following six K-8 schools (and current 6th- and 7th-graders at these schools who want to enter a 7-12 high school):
- Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies (AMIS)
- Academy of World Languages (AWL)
- Hartwell School
- Roberts Academy
- Roselawn Condon School
- Sayler Park School
- Students applying for Dater High School's Special College Preparatory Program (SCPP)
- Students in grades 6, 7 or 8 now attending a CPS school with elementary and high school grades (3-9, K-12) who want to change schools
Note: CPS students now attending schools with elementary and high school grades (3-9, K-12) may stay at those schools without participating in this application lottery.
Who SHOULD NOT participate in the online lottery?
- Current 6th-, 7th- and 8th-graders attending a non-CPS school (such as charter, private or home schools) but live within the boundaries of the Cincinnati Public School District.
- Students who live outside the boundaries of the Cincinnati Public School District. This group applies during Open Enrollment in May.
- Students applying to the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) or Walnut Hills High School.
These two schools have eligibility requirements for students, so parents must go to the schools to register and complete, or provide proof of, eligibility requirements.
Lottery Rounds and Waiting List Details
Applying Early is Important
The online High School Application lottery runs in three rounds before May 8, 2020. For current application schedule see our application calendar.
Applying during Round 1 offers students the best opportunity to enter their first-choice high school, as many CPS high schools fill up quickly.
A student may be entered in only one lottery round per school year. Additional applications for the same student will not be considered.
Round 2 and Round 3 are for parents/students who did not enter applications during Round 1. Students/parents submitting applications in Round 2 or Round 3 will have far less chance of getting into their first-choice high schools.
After Round 3 closes, students currently in 6th, 7th or 8th grade who did not apply in any lottery round should submit a paper application at their high school of choice to be added to the end of the waiting list for that school.
Waiting lists at high schools are in effect until June 30.
A student who enrolls in a high school for 2020-21 — but is on a waiting list for a higher-choice high school — will remain on that waiting list until June 30, 2020. If a space becomes available in a student’s higher-choice high school before June 30, 2020, CPS will notify the parent by letter offering the opportunity to transfer to the higher-choice high school.
After June 30, 2020, students are expected to stay in their selected high schools for the 2020-21 school year.
After the online High School Application Process ends, contact the desired high schools or the CPS' Customer Care Center for next steps.
CPS Students Applying to CPS High School — In District
CPS parents or guardians, and CPS students in grades 6, 7 and 8, submit high school online lottery applications using any computer with Internet access; students may use computers at their current schools.
Lottery Application Process
CPS students and parents/guardians enter the high school online lottery using any Internet-connected computer.
If the student information displayed is not correct, it must be corrected before the High School Online Application can be submitted.
Corrections are made using the Student Change of Information form. The completed form and required documents must be turned in to the student’s current school or at the CPS Customer Care Center, 2651 Burnet Avenue, 45219, Corryville.
All information submitted with an online application — names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses — must be correct.
If CPS cannot contact parents/guardians using the information provided, the student will lose the seat assigned in the lottery.
- If, after submitting an application, there are changes to the contact information, notify CPS by using the Student Change of Information form. The completed form and required documents should be turned in to the student’s current school or at the CPS Customer Care Center, 2651 Burnet Avenue, 45219, Corryville.
How the Lottery Works
- CPS students and parents/guardians enter the high school online lottery using any Internet-connected computer. Click on the PowerSchool. link on the top of this page. (CPS students entering the process on school computers will enter applications via a different portal; staff will assist students.) CPS students and parent/guardians may also apply through
- Select one high school as a top choice, then list up to four other high school choices in order of preference (in case the top choice is filled).
- Applications will be processed in random order via lottery by computers at CPS’ Central Office to assure that each application received during the application period has an equal chance to be assigned to first-choice schools.
- Parents will be notified regarding high school placement within approximately 30 days.
Conditions to Consider
- On the online application, students (or parents of students) in CPS Montessori and STEM elementary schools are asked if the students want to enter a high school that continues Montessori or STEM programs. If yes, a choice of these high schools will be offered.
If a high school is not selected at this point, the student or parent will continue into the lottery process to select a high school.
- Students who have passed the Special College Preparatory Program (SCPP) test are eligible for Dater High School, or may enter the lottery to select another high school to attend.
Note: Even though Walnut Hills High School also is a SCPP school, the online application is not available; applications must be submitted at Walnut Hills.
- Sibling preference applies ONLY to a student's first-choice high school. This means a student is given priority over other students to enter a sibling's high school. The sibling must currently attend the student's first-choice high school in grades 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11, and must live at the same address. Make sure to check the YES box on the online application to indicate that the student has a sibling at the first-choice high school.
- Only ONE online application per student per school year may be submitted. If a parent/guardian wants to change the online lottery application after it is submitted, the parent/guardian must go to CPS' Customer Care Center to make changes within the time frame of the same round as the original application: 2651 Burnet Avenue, 45219, Corryville. Parents/guardians must bring photo identification.
Parents of CPS students who now attend CPS high schools in grades 7-12 and who want to change (transfer) high schools should apply in person at the high schools they select.
CPS students now attending Spencer Center, schools with grades 7-12 or K-12 may stay at those schools without participating in the application process.
Parents of non-CPS students in grades 6-8 who live within the boundaries of the Cincinnati Public School District and are interested in their children entering CPS high schools are required to submit their online application from a CPS-networked computer from the Customer Help Center in the CPS Education Center located at 2651 Burnet Avenue, Corryville (45219). Learn more about non-CPS students applying to CPS High Schools.