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Thomas Jefferson High School Admissions Increasingly Selective

Three middle schools send the most students, admissions data for the class of 2015 shows.

This is the first article in a three-part series on admissions and student life at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

Every year, thousands of Northern Virginia eighth-graders apply for admission to the increasingly selective and highly praised Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST). In the past five years, three Fairfax County middle schools seem to consistently send the most applicants—and the most admitted students—to TJHSST.  

All students admitted to the school come from public schools in Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William Counties and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. Based on statistics from the classes of 2010-2014, the highest numbers of admitted students came from the same handful of Fairfax County Public Schools middle schools every year [see PDF at right].

According to data from the Winter Round Total Applications from FCPS, the highest number of students admitted for the class of 2015 (who will be freshmen in September) came from Carson Middle School in Herndon, Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church and Rocky Run Middle School in Chantilly with 78 students, 74 students and 48 students admitted, respectively. Sixteen students came from Frost Middle School.

For the 2009-2010 admissions year (this fall's sophomore class), Carson Middle School had the highest number of students admitted with a total of 68. Longfellow Middle School was close behind with 66 admitted that year. Rocky Run Middle School had 45 students admitted for the 2009-2010 admissions year, followed by Kilmer Middle School with 34 and Frost Middle School with 31.

Looking back, the pattern continues. In the 2005-2006 admissions year, Longfellow Middle School sent in 177 applications and had 61 students admitted; Frost Middle School sent in 149 applications and had 35 students admitted; Carson Middle School sent in 136 applications with 36 admitted; and Kilmer Middle School sent in 123 applications with 41 admitted.

All public middle schools in participating school divisions also have a TJ Liaison Counselor, who helps distribute and collect admissions material for TJHSST. Patch has requested but has not received information from the TJHSST admissions office regarding whether presentations and recruiting practices are identical across all FCPS middle schools.

More Applicants, Fewer Accepted

A total of 3,310 students applied for admission to the TJHSST class of 2015, but only 480 (14.5 percent) were offered admission during the winter round. Of the students admitted, 83 percent live in Fairfax County. The remaining 17 percent are from Arlington, the City of Falls Church, Prince William County and Loudoun County.

                                     Winter Round Admission Statistics

Class Year

Total Applied

Total Admitted

Class of 2015*

3,310

480

Class of 2014*

3,119

480

Class of 2013

2,953

480

Class of 2012

2,577

485

Class of 2011

2,800

489

Class of 2010

2,759

507

                              *Does not include the Summer Round applicants.

 

According to the admissions packet for the class of 2015, “TJHSST can admit up to the total number of students we can (480) in the winter round of admissions with the knowledge that not all of those students will decide to attend TJHSST.” The school uses the spaces that open up when students decide not to attend for their summer round of admissions, which takes place in June each year. There’s also a waitlist of 50 students who may be offered admission to the class of 2015 in July 2011 if spaces are still available.

The number of applicants to the school has increased over the past five years, but the number of admitted students has decreased due to a regulation that governs TJHSST admissions.

Female Student Applications Increase

The gap between the number of male and female applicants has also changed over the past few years. Principal Evan Glazer, who is not involved in the admissions process, said the current school’s population is likely closer to half-and-half as far as the ratio of boys and girls than in previous years.

However, based on the TJHSST admissions data from the Fairfax County Association for the Gifted website, the number of admitted female applicants has generally decreased in the past several years, even as the number of female applicants has increased. The number of accepted female students went down to 207 for the class of 2015 from 250 for the class of 2010. In the same period, female applicants increased from 1,325 to 1,529. (The classes of 2011 and 2012 had fewer female applicants before growing in more recent years.)

Of the 1,781 male applicants for the class of 2015, 273 were admitted (56.9 percent of students). Only 207 of 1,529 female applicants were admitted, making up the remaining 43.1 percent of students. The last time the ratios were closest to even was the 2009-2010 admissions year.

 

 

Gender

Total Applied

Total Admitted

 

Class of 2015 *

Male

Female

1,781

1,529

273

207

Class of 2014*

Male

Female

1,655

1,464

272

208

Class of 2013

Male

Female

1,575

1,378

271

209

Class of 2012

Male

Female

1,358

1,219

261

224

Class of 2011

Male

Female

1,529

1,271

265

224

Class of 2010

Male

Female

1,470

1,325

257

250

                              *Does not include the Summer Round applicants.

 

The school’s curriculum does include an all-girls section of computer science. According to Glazer, the recently introduced section was created to see if that would lead to an increase in interest in advanced sciences. It is too early to gauge the impact of the program.

Admissions by Race and Ethnicity

Asian students currently make up most of the class of 2015. There are 273 admitted Asian admitted students, compared to 161 white students, 27 multiracial students, 13 Hispanic students and six African-American students. In the last five years, the number of African-American, Hispanic and multiracial students has been consecutively lower than the number of white or admitted students. However, the data suggests the number of minority applicants has trended upward every year, for the most part.

 

 

Race/Ethnicity

Total Applied

Total Admitted

 

Class of 2015 *

White

Asian

Hispanic

African-American

Multiracial/Other

1,319

1,369

222

224


171

161

273

13

6


26

Class of 2014*

White

Asian

Hispanic

African-American

Multiracial/Other

1,655

1,243

225

184


190

166

276

13

4


21

Class of 2013

White

Asian

Hispanic

African-American

Multiracial/Other

1,296

1,098

188

173


198

 

175

260

6

8


31

 

Class of 2012

White

Asian

Hispanic

African-American

Multiracial/Other

1,159

975

149

139

149

 

205

219

10

3

39

Class of 2011

White

Asian

Hispanic

African-American

Multiracial/Other

1,340

975

157

166


155

254

188

13

7


27

Class of 2010

White

Asian

Hispanic

African-American

Multiracial/Other

1,338

960

186

145


159

254

192

18

10


33

                             *Does not include the Summer Round applicants.

 

For more on the admissions process, read part 2 in this series: .


Sherell Williams July 02, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Hi David, the data we received from FCPS did not break the attendance by county. Based on conversations conducted for this series, the majority of the students seem to come from Fairfax County even though students come from other counties, but we did not receive statistics to back up that conclusion. Thanks for your comment!
Dedicated Mother July 06, 2011 at 01:50 PM
Percentages are the great equalizer. Regarding the top three public schools mentioned in this article, what percentage of their graduating classes were admitted to TJ? In addition, which private schools send the most kids to TJ? Please submit percentages in addition to actual numbers. Thank you.
Sherell Williams July 06, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Hi, thanks for your comment! In the third paragraph, we list the number of students that went to TJHSST from those three schools. The PDF file we received from FCPS with that information is also included in the media with this story. We did not receive percentages, data for private school students, homeschooled students or the percentage of students from the different school divisions admitted to TJHSST.
Citizen E January 23, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Do you really believe people in NOVA should stop "worshiping education as their god?" What is more important for the future of our society than education? The problem is that there isn't enough excellence in our education system. TJ's feeder population has grown dramatically over the years; we need a larger school, or more like it.
TJ-Wanna-Be April 09, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Hey, it's fine. It's the number one high school in the country. Only a few other students are allowed, and the big source of students of TJ come from Fairfax. Only 6 students can come from Arlington!

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