Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many Magnet Schools are there?
    Hillsborough County Public Schools features 38 national and global award-winning Magnet Schools that boast 70+ programs for students.

    How long is the app window?
    The window opens July 26 @ 5 PM and closes July 30 @ 11:59 PM.

    When are results released?
    Results should be made available to families in late-April 2021.

    Does it matter how early I apply?
    It does not matter when your application is submitted.

    Can I change my application?
    Yes, you can make changes to schools on your application in the next Application Window.

    Is it all a lottery?
    The lottery selection process is used for Elementary and Middle Magnet Schools; the high school process is criteria-based.

    For high school criteria, since there was no testing last year, how do you figure out the test score piece?
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of FSA and all other standardized assessments this past Spring throughout the nation, HCPS will utilize the most recent FSA/Standardized test results for academic criteria (most likely Spring of 2019 for majority of students).  GPA info will apply like previously.

    How many schools can I put on my application?
    You can apply up to:

    • 3 Elementary Magnet Schools
    • 5 Middle Magnet Schools
    • 5 High School Magnet Programs

    On any level, you may only apply to up to 2 International Baccalaureate (IB) Magnet programs.

    Can I apply to a Charter School?
    Charter Schools are not part of the Hillsborough County Public Schools application process nor are they part of the Magnet School community.

    Can I apply to both a Magnet School and a Choice Attractor Program at the same time? How many offers can I get?
    You may apply to both a Magnet and a non-Magnet (Choice Attractor) school option.  You may receive (an) offer(s) to both, one, or neither option depending on the application process (lottery, criteria).

    Are the schools I put on my application ranked?
    Magnet Schools are not ranked on the application—you can receive an offer to any school (or no school) listed on your application.

    What if I cannot find a Magnet School/Program or non-Magnet school on the application?
    If you are applying to a Magnet School or non-Magnet school and it is not listed on the application, that means that the school is full and no longer has seats available for applications.

    Explain the transportation situation for Magnet and non-Magnet.
    For the most part, Magnet Schools receive transportation; non-Magnet schools on the application do not—unless it is your attendance area (neighborhood) school.  More information on the level of transportation available for a school will be found when you apply and your address is identified by the application.

    How does the transportation situation apply to IB?
    You may apply to up to 2 IB Magnet Programs.  Only one IB program is associated with your address, however.  That one IB program would be the only IB that would provide transportation.  It is your choice to include that IB program on your application or not.

    Do you have events after this?
    You can find a list of all virtual Magnet events at

    How can I get help with my application?
    You can call the Magnet/Choice Helpline at 813-272-4692.  Experts will assist you from 7:00-4:30 Monday-Friday.

    If my child has an IEP, does this affect his/her application?
    Every student is unique, so in cases such as these it is best to call the Choice Helpline at 813-272-4692.  Experts will assist you from 7:00-4:30 Monday-Friday.

    Can Magnet students take virtual school classes?
    Yes, virtual school coursework can be taken while a student is enrolled in a Magnet School.

    Can I apply to a Magnet School or non-Magnet school if I don't live in Hillsborough County?
    Yes, but transportation is not provided by the school district.

    Is there a sibling guarantee?
    An additional weighting is provided to the applications of siblings on the elementary and middle school levels only.  The sibling must be applying to a school where his/her brother/sister is enrolled for the application year.  This additional weight does not provide a guarantee.