The Beacon School offers an inquiry-based college preparatory program with technology and arts infused throughout the curriculum. Beacon emphasizes a rigorous well-rounded liberal arts education based on the principles of shared exploration and problem solving.

Admissions Criteria

The Beacon School is a screened school. The following is required of all students who apply to Beacon:

  • A grade of 88 or above in English, history, and science and a grade of 86 or above in math on the 7th grade June report card.
  • A score of 3 or higher on the 7th grade standardized test in English language arts and a score of 3.1 or higher on the 7th grade standardized test in math, if applying from New York City public schools (students applying from private schools must submit ERB scores or an equivalent if those tests are offered at the student's school).
  • An admissions portfolio.
  • Completion of the NYC Department of Education's High School application.

Open House

Beacon offers two Open House events in the fall. The Open House on Thursday, October 6, 2016 is for students in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. The Open House on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 is for students in the Bronx and Manhattan. Both Open House events run from 4:30PM-7:00PM. Each family will receive a 45 minute tour. No registration is needed.

Application Process

  1. If the student meets the criteria above, apply for an interview on the Beacon website between October 13, 2016 and November 10, 2016. Beacon will reply to your request once we have reviewed the student's portfolio.
  2. Turn in a portfolio to the Beacon School (see criteria and dates below).
  3. Come to an interview on the assigned date. Beacon will assign a date once we have reviewed the portfolio.
  4. Complete a NYC Department Of Education High School application with the guidance counselor at the middle school.

Student Portfolio Contents

Student work must be submitted in a letter-sized manila folder. Student's name and middle school should be written on the tab. Please do not use plastic folders, binders or page protectors. The folder must include the following 5 items:

  1. One paper or project written for an English, social studies, humanities, science or math class in 7th or 8th grade that is in-depth and exemplifies the student's best work (one paper/project total). If possible, avoid submitting worksheets. Papers or projects that show analytical thinking are suggested (for example, a critical English essay, a persuasive social studies essay, a science lab with a hypothesis, or a math project that demonstrates reasoning). Comments and/or grade from teacher must be included on the paper or project.
  2. A one-page, single-spaced typed paper, written by the student (not more than 500 words). In the paper, the student may respond to either the first or second prompt, but not both. The first prompt for the paper is: What do you do in your extracurricular life that demonstrates a commitment to learning beyond the classroom? Discuss a special dedication to, a special talent for, or interest in the arts, technology, community service, an academic subject, or sports. The second prompt is: Discuss a person or experience that changed your life. Explain the person or experience and, specifically, how the person or experience changed you.
  3. Student's 7th grade June (final) report card.
  4. 7th grade ELA test scores.
  5. 7th grade New York State math score.

The criteria for a strong portfolio are: strong analytical or critical thinking, a deep understanding of the material or content, evidence of curiosity and commitment to learning in the classroom and beyond the classroom, and grades and test scores that meet the stated guidelines above. Students with strong portfolios will be invited to an interview at Beacon to discuss their portfolios and essays. Not all students will be invited for an interview. Beacon will contact students through the parent email provided in the online request for interviews. Interviews will take place on: November 5, November 6, December 3, December 4, and December 12.

Student Portfolio Submission Process

  1. Drop off-dates for the admissions portfolios are:
    Monday through Friday, from 7:00AM-5:00PM from October 13, 2016 through November 10, 2016.
  2. Portfolios may be submitted by the student or a family member. To deliver the portfolio in person, come to the Beacon School, 522 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036.
  3. To send the portfolio by mail, send the portfolio to: Admissions, The Beacon School, 522 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036.
  4. Portfolios may NOT be submitted electronically.
  5. Portfolios will not be returned to applicants. Photocopies of original work are accepted.
  6. Rank the Beacon School on your NYC Department of Education (DOE) High School Application.

Ninth Grade Students In New York City Applying For Transfer Into Tenth Grade At Beacon

For students who attend high school in New York City and want to apply to Beacon to enter in the 10th grade, the process is as follows. The student should request a High School admissions form from her/his current guidance counselor in the fall of the ninth grade year. After the form is completed and signed by the parent, the guidance counselor will send the form to the DOE. The Beacon Admissions Team will call and set up interviews for selected, eligible students. Those students will bring in a portfolio and participate in an interview in January or February.

Transfer Students (from out-of-state, out-of-city, or NYC private schools)

For students who want to transfer from another school to Beacon, the first step is to visit the Department of Education's Enrollment Office at 333 7th Avenue, 12th Floor.

Requirements for the transfer process include:

  • Both student and parent must be present.
  • Student must have a birth certificate or a passport.
  • Student must bring an academic transcript.
  • Parent must bring proof of residence in New York City (a Con Edison or telephone bill).


For more information about the admissions process, please contact the Admissions Office at (212) 245-2807 or email at