Apply to City Smart Scholars 5th Grade Program

Entry to the City Smart Scholars program begins in 5th grade. The program is designed for students from communities that are under-represented in New York City’s selective schools and high schools, particularly those from Black and Latino communities and those whose families cannot afford private tutoring. The program is for New York City students from moderate- and low-income families, with a particular focus on schools in Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

The program meets in Upper Manhattan on Saturdays, during the Spring Semester.

Students in the City Smart Scholars program receive intensive instruction in English Language Arts and Math to prepare them for the New York State Fifth Grade tests, as well as enrichment and creativity building programming as well as several field trips.

Students who complete the spring program will be eligible for a four-week summer program emphasizing writing and critical reading skills and math problem-solving. Those who receive high scores on their 5th grade ELA and Math tests will also be eligible for a Fall Semester program to prepare them for the Hunter College High School admissions test, which is given to 6th graders in January.

Although the main point of entry is during 5th grade, we do consider qualified applicants for 6th and 7th grade if places become available.

First, Check Your Scores!

To check your ELA and Math scores, log on at and go to the “Assessments” tab. If your family has not created your My Student account, ask your school office for help setting up a password for your account. Results will be under the “Assessments” tab.

Check your scores and contact ESPI for high-quality, free test preparation!

If you have any questions, call (212) 729-8881 or e-mail

The main point of entry for our programs is spring of 5th grade, with our next recruitment period coming in Fall 2019. To be informed of possible future openings in later grades, or to receive information when 5th grade recruitment opens, please click on the button below to complete the application.