- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - About half of the earliest applicants to New York City high schools have been matched to their first choice, education officials said Thursday.

And 86 percent, or more than 65,000 students, were accepted by one of their top five choices, officials said. That’s an increase of 2 percentage points over last year.

Among the high schools are nine specialized schools, such as the LaGuardia school for the arts on Manhattan’s West Side, which admits students on the basis of auditions as well as academic records. Other specialized schools include the Bronx High School of Science and Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan.

Nearly 6,000 eighth-graders received an offer to attend one of the specialized schools next school year.

The results came from the first round of applications, which were submitted in December for eighth-graders ranking up to a dozen programs of interest. About 8 percent of students did not receive a first round match - a drop from 10 percent last year.

The application deadline for a second round is March 21. Results are expected in May.

“I am pleased that we were able to offer more students one of their higher ranked choices,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.

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