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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When did Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) start allowing interdistrict open enrollment (also called interdistrict transfers, or open enrollment)?

The Cincinnati Public Schools’ Board of Education voted on January 28, 2013, to allow open enrollment of students into CPS schools, starting for the 2013-14 school year.

Q: What is a request for an Interdistrict Open Enrollment transfer?

Students who live outside the boundaries of the Cincinnati Public School District, but in the state of Ohio, may request enrollment in CPS’ schools, and, if accepted, will not have to pay tuition. Other instructional fees or pay-to-participate fees may apply.

Q: Where can I find more information?

Information about open enrollment.

Q: When are open-enrollment applications accepted?

The online open-enrollment application period for Cincinnati Public Schools is the month of April (subject to change).

Q: Do CPS students have priority?

Students who live within CPS’ boundaries will have priority over out-of-district students at all CPS schools and grade levels.

Q: Will CPS provide transportation?

CPS will not provide transportation to open-enrollment students. Transportation will be the responsibility of the parent or guardian.

Q: Do I have to reapply for the Inter-District transfer each year?

If the open enrollment student would like to attend a different school building or program, an Inter-District application must be submitted online and the process for Open Enrollment will be followed.

An exception to this policy shall occur if the students enrolling grade exceeds its capacity, in which case, the student shall be required to re-apply for a seat through the Inter-District Open Enrollment process.

Space and availability at each school and grade level will be reviewed annually to ensure
compliance with state law and district contractual class-size limitations.

Q: How are students selected?

Students are selected by a random lottery process if applicants exceed the number of seats available. If the number of students applying for open enrollment exceeds the number of seat available, placement into the school will be made according to the following priorities:

  1. Students with a parent who is employed by the district and with a sibling who will be attending the same school;
  2. Students with a parent who is employed by the district and without a sibling who will be attending the same school;
  3. Students currently open-enrolled into the district without a parent who is employed by the district;
  4. Students with siblings who will be open-enrolled into the same school without a parent who is employed by the district.
  5. Students who have applied to open enroll into the district without a parent who is employed by the district.

Q: Will I automatically be accepted in a school with special entrance requirements?

No. Successful completion of an audition, entrance exam, and/ or interview may be required at several of our specialty schools. The Interdistrict Open Enrollment application PLUS these additional requirements are necessary for potential acceptance/enrollment.

Q: When will I know if my open-enrollment application has been accepted?

You will be notified by e-mail in July of each year or as soon as possible after that time. Within 10 business days of receiving notification, you must notify us of your acceptance of the interdistrict transfer offer. If you do not have an e-mail address, a letter will be sent to your home address. Please make sure that CPS has your correct contact information.

Q: Are all schools open for interdistrict transfers?

No. Participation in interdistrict open enrollment depends on a school’s space available at each grade level.

Q: Where do I apply for an interdistrict transfer?

Applications for interdistrict transfers will be accepted online only, via the CPS website.

Q: Can out-of-state (non-Ohio) residents apply for interdistrict transfers?

Yes, but they must pay tuition.

Open Enrollment FAQ

Revised: 
11/2013
11/2015
6/2016
6/2017

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