Grantee Corner  |  FY 2017 MSAP Cohort Program Admission Practices



Over the next few months, the Grantee Corner will showcase the general characteristics of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) cohort overall to help magnet leaders better understand what the cohort looks like as a whole. This month the Grantee Corner highlights the FY 2017 MSAP cohort by grantee lottery and application practices. The use of either a random or weighted lottery can be an important tool in helping MSAP schools enroll the right mix of students to meet the school’s minority group isolation targets, one of the key purposes of MSAP.

Project lottery systems. Grantees provided data on their magnet lottery systems and application practices. Nearly 41 percent (13) of the 32 grantees indicated that their MSAP schools use the same lottery system that their entire district uses, and 28 percent (9) of the grantees use the same lottery system that a larger subset of schools in the district uses. In addition, 22 percent (7) of the grantees use their lottery system for MSAP schools only, and 9 percent (3) of the grantees use a lottery system for multiple districts.

Project enrollment applications. Grantees also reported on how enrollment applications are made available to students and families. Figure 1 shows all 32 grantees make online enrollment applications available to students and families, while 78 percent (25) of the grantees use paper applications, and 91 percent (29) of the grantees use multilanguage applications.

A crosstab analysis shows that 75 percent (24) of the grantees use a combination of online, paper, and multilanguage enrollment applications; 16 percent (5) of the grantees use a combination of online and multilanguage enrollment applications; 3 percent (1) of the grantees use a combination of online and paper enrollment applications; and 6 percent (2) of the grantees use online applications only.

Figure 1

Student admissions. MSAP schools described how they admit students to the magnet programs. Nearly 57 percent (70) of the 124 schools reported that some of their students are automatically admitted to the school. Figure 2 shows that of those 70 schools, 84 percent (59) of the schools automatically admit students based on attendance zone, 49 percent (34) of the schools automatically admit students based on sibling enrollment, 39 percent (27) of the schools automatically admit students based on parents’ employment, and 3 percent (2) of the schools automatically admit students based on “other” criteria. “Other” criteria included school pathway (e.g., students who attended the STEM elementary school that feeds the STEM middle school are automatically admitted).

Figure 2

In addition, the MSAP schools described how students who are not automatically admitted to the school are selected. Nearly 64 percent (79) of the schools used a weighted lottery to select students, 20 percent (25) of the schools used a random lottery to select students, 12 percent (15) of the schools used both random and weighted lotteries to select students, and 4 percent (5) of the schools used first come, first served to select students.

Of the 94 schools that used a weighted lottery, 68 percent (64) of the schools weighted on attending siblings, 50 percent (47) of the schools weighted on attendance zone residency, 35 percent (33) of the schools weighted on “other” variables, 28 percent (26) of the schools weighted on parent/guardian place of employment, and 27 percent (25) of the schools weighted on individual students’ socioeconomic status. “Other” weights included military family status, school pathway, and ZIP code.

See MSAP Grantees Page