Understanding the Hunter College Elementary School Admissions Process

August 9, 2016

Applying to Kindergarten in New York City is a daunting process. Business Insider has even labeled one particular school as being harder to get into than Harvard. By far one of the most selective schools in Manhattan, Hunter College Elementary School accepts only 50 new Kindergarteners each year. To make the competitive application process for the renowned institution a little less overwhelming, we’ve compiled the basic need-to-knows for you here.



What is Hunter College Elementary School?

Hunter College Elementary School is a public school offering Kindergarten through sixth grade for gifted students. “HCES’s mission is to nurture social and emotional development by encouraging students to be caring, compassionate and responsible citizens.”


Who can apply?

It is important to note that you can only apply for Kindergarten admission. Your child must be born in 2012, and it must be proven that he or she is a Manhattan resident. Siblings, twins and/or legacies are not given preference in the application process. Hunter will choose 25 girls and 25 boys, based on merit, from an applicant pool of about 2,500.


When to apply?

Admissions for the Fall 2017 Kindergarten class at HCES will open September 2 at 10 a.m. You must submit your application by November 4 at 4 p.m. to be considered.


How to apply?

To apply, you must fill out the HCES online application found here: https://admissions.hunterschools.org/


The application fee is $70, or $35 for people who demonstrate financial need. Once the application is filled out, you will have a three-week window to complete Stanford-Binet IQ testing.


There are two rounds in the application process that must be completed.


Round 1: This begins after you have submitted your application. You will then call or email ONLY ONE tester to schedule an appointment before the deadline provided. After you have scheduled your appointment, you must mail three items to the tester:

  1. A confidentiality consent form (The confidentiality consent form ensures that your child has not been tested or exposed to any test-related Stanford-Binet materials within the last year.)

  2. A check or money order of $350

  3. A self-addressed, stamped envelope


After testing is complete, the scores are sent to Hunter for evaluation of whether your child will move onto the second round.


Round 2: This round takes place over two weekends in 2017: January 14-15 and January 21-22. You must fill out the Parents’ Observation and Preschool Teacher Observation forms. You must also provide birth certificates, adoption records and 2015 NY state tax returns for proof of residency. In this round, your child will meet within a group of eight other children, with trained consultants observing children’s behaviors in individual and group tasks. After this round, the admissions director will offer placement to accepted students. You will find out via email by February 3 if your child has been accepted, and you will have until February 10 to accept or decline the offer.


For more information on the HCES admissions process, refer to http://www.hunterschools.org/es/procedures, or contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff at Bright Kids. We wish you the best of luck throughout your application process!


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