Beacon mystique 2 and then some Beacon facts

There have been a bunch of Beacon questions so I thought I’d do a round up and answer them in one place.

They host 2 open houses:

Thursday, October 11, 4:30–7pm for students in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island

Tuesday, October 30, 4:30–7pm for students in the Bronx and Manhattan

That first date conflicts with the High School of American Studies open house (that’s a specialized school), but families can show up at the second date. There are no reservations or check ins at either school.

The early you get to Beacon, before the open house, the less waiting you have. People start lining up 2 or so hours before (I was online by 3 both times and got in pretty quickly. They cap at a certain point so not everyone gets in. I’ll write more about how the open house works closer to when it’s actually happening.

Admissions in general: 

Beacon does a great job of outlining everything on their website, but they do it on multiple pages so it requires a bit of digging to find stuff. Here’s their general admissions page:


Portfolio requirements:

All info about what you need to provide is here:

They can be dropped off from Monday through Friday, from 7am – 4pm from October 22, 2018 through November 16, 2018 or can be mailed in (I felt better dropping it off in person).


You should be able to sign up for an interview here—2018 dates aren’t available yet:

Here’s the deal: you sign up for an interview and drop off a portfolio first. After portfolios are reviewed by the school, they email you to let you know if an interview’s been granted. In the past it seemed that as longs as grades and test scores meet their cut offs, they interview kids. 

Here’s some hearsay: I polled families last year to ask what kids were asked at interviews, after getting some concerned feedback from parents. It seems kids are interviewed by both teachers and current students. Kids were generally interviewed in pairs or groups of 3. There were often warm up questions and while most were asked about the work in their submitted portfolios, some were only asked the warm up questions, which were things like: what flavor ice cream would you be or what would you name a TV show about yourself. 

Some more hearsay: Beacon seems to take less kids from District 2 than from other districts. That info isn’t published anywhere - it’s more self-reporting. I do know, from info parents compiled, that when my son was applying over 60 kids from Lab put Beacon first and 7 or so got offers. Meanwhile a school in Brooklyn had acceptances of over 40 kids that year.