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Nearly 18,000 Children Entered Success Academy’s Annual Lottery


Ann Powell, 646-894-6407
[email protected]org

Will Chabot, 518-788-8685
[email protected]


14,500 are on the waiting list after Success received more than 5 applications for every open seat in grades K to 4

NEW YORK, NY – Representing all five boroughs of New York City, 17,700 children were entered into today’s Success Academy lottery for 3,288 open seats across 30 of the Big Apple’s highest-performing schools.

The sky-high demand continues to be fueled by the network’s track record of academic achievement and parent satisfaction. Unfortunately, it’s also the result of a profound and decades-long shortage of high-quality schools throughout the city. This is the fifth consecutive year that the Success waiting list has exceeded 10,000 children.

"This is a bittersweet day for Success Academy,” said Success Academy founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz. “We are about to change the lives of almost 3,300 New York City children. Yet we are profoundly sad that for every child who receives a seat, there are four others who won’t have access to the education they deserve.”

More than 6,200 families in the Bronx applied to Success. Across the borough, 1 in 4 Black and Hispanic third graders at district schools meet state math standards — and by the time they reach eighth grade, only 1 in 10 does.

Success also continues to be popular among parents seeking schools that are truly diverse, where children from all backgrounds learn together. The network received 5,600 applications for about 700 seats at seven diverse locations including Cobble Hill, Union Square, Hudson Yards, and Bensonhurst.

SA Upper West — which opened in 2011 and is one of the most diverse schools in NYC — received 22 applications for every available seat. Of current scholars, 34% are white, 33% are Hispanic, 16% are black, 11% are Asian, and 6% are multiracial.

More highlights from the lottery:

  • More than 3,100 children from Queens were entered into the lottery, including more than 1,000 from residents of both District 27 and District 29 in the southeastern part of the borough.

  • SA Hudson Yards received more than 1,000 applications, an increase of more than 20% compared to last year.

  • The network received applicants from all 32 school districts and the attendance zones of 647 district elementary schools.

  • 85% of applicants are zoned to an elementary school where a majority of students failed the state math exam last year.

  • 606 applicants are zoned to attend one of 14 Renewal elementary schools. On average, the enrollment of those schools has declined by 18% over the past three years.


Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 46 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 15,500 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 75% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 87% are children of color, 16% are children with disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. Success Academy is the size of the seventh largest school district in New York State and is number one in student achievement, outperforming affluent suburban school districts.

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