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What is “Open Enrollment"?

Amber Brandt  |  October 04, 2021

What is “Open Enrollment"? Can’t I apply anytime?

The answer is yes and no. While it’s true you can send in an application for your child to an NHA school at any time, Open Enrollment is the BEST time — and here’s why: All applications received during Open Enrollment are considered equal and eligible for being randomly drawn to fill available seats. In other words, this golden window of time gives your child the best odds of getting a seat.

How does it work?

The process of applying and getting accepted to a new school can feel overwhelming, so we wanted to simplify the answers to some of the most popular questions we’re asked about the acceptance process at NHA.

How is Open Enrollment different than a lottery?

A “lottery” is a random selection process to fill available seats for all grade levels. A lottery is only held if the number of applications received during Open Enrollment exceeds the number of seats available in any grade level (including under-subscribed grades).

Is there a lottery for every school, every year?

No, if applications received are fewer than the offered seats in each and every grade level, all eligible applicants will be accepted, and a random selection lottery process will not be conducted.

So how do I know if/when a lottery will take place?
Lottery information (how and when to watch) will be posted to the school calendar.

If I already have a child in the NHA school of my choice, does the process change?
Preference is granted to the sibling of an enrolled student who has at least one common parent/legal guardian and is living in the same household at least 50% of the time. Preference is also granted to students whose sibling has been accepted, except in Ohio. In Ohio, a student is only granted preference if their sibling has been enrolled in the school in the previous school year.

Outside of this, our lottery is entirely random. There is no interview process for our school. You can find your state’s lottery explanation video by following this link.

When is Open Enrollment for my community?

  • Michigan and Louisiana* schools: October 1, 2022 to November 30, 2022.
  • New York schools: First day of the current school year to April 3, 2023.
  • All other schools (Colorado, Georgia, Indiana**, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin): First day of the current school year to February 28, 2023.

*Open Enrollment for Willow Charter Academy is January 1, 2023 to February 28, 2023.
**Andrew J. Brown Academy follows the Open Enrollment window of Enroll Indy: Round 1: Nov. 2-Jan. 25 (results released Feb. 16), Round 2: Jan. 26-April 20 (results released May 11).

I missed Open Enrollment. Now what?

Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis for remaining openings, then placed on a waiting list according to the date and time in which they were received.

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