Stuyvesant High School
Students who attend Stuyvesant enter a network that saturates the top echelons of every field in the world. At any one time, more students from Stuyvesant attend Yale, Harvard, MIT, or any other elite university than any other high school in the world. When President Obama introduced his initial cabinet and staff in 2009, both members who had attended high school in New York–Attorney General Eric Holder and Chief Political Strategist David Axelrod– hailed from Stuyvesant. While the school has garnered a reputation as a mecha for STEM studies, Stuyvesant is the most generalist of the specialized high schools offering an immense array of classes across the social sciences and humanities. No matter what your interests are inside or outside of school, Stuyvesant will have opportunities that exceed those offered at nearly any other school in the country. However, all of this comes at the price of an extremely fast paces learning environment that caters far more to the top quartile of students than the bottom quartile.
- Enrollment 3316
- College Matriculation 98.7%
- Graduation rate 99.4%
Extensive Class Offerings
Students often discuss classes at Stuyvesant as being largely traditional, with a heavy lecture component. Nonetheless, while the classroom management structure may be traditional, class topics are incredibly diverse even amongst specialized high schools. Students interested in English not only have the opportunity to take American Literature or a literary workshop class, but more narrow classes such as Asian American Literature or Existentialism. Students interested in Chemistry are not only offered Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Organic and Physical Chemistry but also courses more focused on advanced laboratory work such as Analytical Chemistry where students deal with more theoretical and intricate issues related to data collection and analysis.
Across the school, academic departments are given wide discretion in how they offer classes and requirements for taking classes. For example, students interested in Biology have 29 class offerings, but can only access many of the classes after declaring for a specific career program, such as the Medical Career Program or Biological Science Career. Students at Stuyvesant would likely be able to successfully complete nearly any AP class offered at any other school in NYC, but at Stuyvesant, they will have to fight for these higher end classes. While successfully completing an AP class and the AP exam is the greatest difficulty related to upper class classes at most schools, entry to these classes is by far the hardest element of Stuyvesant.
Schools often discuss their unique curricula, classroom management schemes, and technology integration. However, studies have shown again and again that the two most important factors in academic success are the strength of a school’s teachers and students. By nature of admissions and the culture surrounding academic and career trajectories in New York City, Stuyvesant has had an elite student body for it’s 100+ years of existence. No matter what class or club you are in, you can be sure that your peers will be intellectually motivated. In the annual Department of Education Survey, 93% of students said that students in their classes are trying to get good grades and 88% say that most or all of their classmates believe that paying attention in class is important. Students here care about school and create a positive learning atmosphere.
Clubs, Sports, and Internships
Students at Stuy, or Peglegs, have abundant extracurricular options. Varsity teams are available in a staggering 37 sports. There are currently 148 available clubs, including standards–such as Model UN–to less standard clubs– such as the Otamatone Club which has as its official club mission “to save the rap game”. As with all activities at Stuyvesant, students tend to be competitive with their extracurriculars. In 2014, Brandon Lin represented Stuyvesant at the national rubix cube championships where he took first!
Besides clubs and sports, Stuvesant has a widely recognized theater group, robotics team, and debate team. Each of these three groups can have over 100 students participating at anytime. The debate team and robotics team has garnered national level attention, winning competitions both within New York and elsewhere.
Is Stuy a Good Fit?
More than any other specialized high school, Stuy is not for everyone. Students at Stuyvesant are expected to thrive in a competitive and fast paced environment. For students who are self motivated and can handle the workload, Stuy is everything you could want in a High School: diverse class offerings with terrific peers and teachers. However, students who are not able to keep up have a far harder time than their peers at other specialized high schools. With grade requirements limiting class offerings, students that perform poorly can find their options severely limited compared to other schools. If reading all of this only makes you want to attend Stuy more, then it may be a perfect fit.
Students who wish to attend Stuyvesant should decide if it is their top choice early. While all specialized high schools require high SHSAT scores, Stuyvesant is far more difficult to attend than any other specialized school. While 70% on both sections of the exam will gain you entry into Brooklyn Tech or Brooklyn Latin, Stuyvesant requires 84% or higher(assuming an even score on both sections). While getting to the 500s can be done fairly quickly, reaching Stuyvesant levels on the exam is often a significant time commitment.