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What is “Open Enrollment"?

We’re often asked, “When is the best time to apply for an NHA school?” The answer: During Open Enrollment — and here’s why: All applications received during Open Enrollment are considered equal and eligible to fill available seats. If more applications are received than there are seats available, a random selection lottery is held to determine which applicants are offered an available seat, and to determine the order of the waiting list. In other words, Open Enrollment is the golden window of time gives your child the best odds of getting a seat. You can submit an application for an NHA school after Open Enrollment ends, but your child may end up on the waiting list.

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.

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 on the school's website on both the homepage and the school calendar page.

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?
For the 2024-25 school year:

  • Michigan, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana*, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin schools: October 1, 2023 to November 30, 2023.
  • New York schools**: First day of the current school year to April 3, 2024.

*Andrew J. Brown Academy in Indiana follows the Open Enrollment window of Enroll Indy.
**Buffalo United Charter Shool in New York follows the Open Enrollment window of Enroll Buffalo.

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. If your child is placed on the waiting list, don't worry. Movement is common, even after the shool year begins.

Interested in Applying for the Current School Year?
We're still accepting applications for the 2023-24 school year. You can apply any time by clicking the image below or by heading to our school finder to see which schools are near you.