What Is an Application Lottery?
Application lottery is a method that many public schools of choice use to determine an applicant’s acceptance or waitlist status into a specific school or program.
There are typically more applicants than open seats of attendance for public schools of choice, so the Department of Education created random lotteries through computer-based placement processes to make the outcomes more fair and equitable for interested families.
Application lotteries are conducted by the State Regional School Choice Office (RSCO). The Connecticut Department of Education created RSCO to familiarize families with the application process for public schools of choice options in the Greater Hartford area.
Who Is Eligible To Apply for an Application Lottery?
- Any students who live in Connecticut entering pre-k through grade 12 can apply.
- Preschoolers must be three years old by December 31 of the school year in which they are applying.
What Does the Process Look Like for an Application Lottery?
- Applicants must register online and apply through the RSCO website to be entered into the lottery. There should only be one application per applicant. Please keep in mind there are also set deadlines for application submissions each academic year.
- Once the application period closes, the state runs an initial lottery, usually in the spring. RSCO then contacts applicants with their results of either being accepted into the school or waitlisted. Waitlisted applicants must confirm their status by the required deadline to preserve the possibility of placement in a school or program. RSCO then conducts additional rounds until all seats are filled.
- Applicants must then accept or decline their school or program offer by the required deadline. The response deadline can range from a few days to two weeks depending on the placement season. If the applicant does not respond to the offer in the allotted time, they will then forfeit their seat to another candidate.
- Applicants who have accepted will then complete their registration packet and required paperwork for school records, and verify their residency status within 14 days of accepting their offer.
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- Academic success that prepares students for a lifetime of achievement
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