Student Admissions

How Our Program Works

Breakthrough New York is a free program that prepares students to succeed in middle school, high school, and college. It is a ten-year program that starts the summer before 7th grade.

7th – 9th Grade: We offer summer and after-school programs for enrichment, and help students apply to excellent high schools

9th – 12th Grade: We hold workshops focused on wellness, professional skills, and applying to top colleges

College: We provide mentors to help students succeed in their academic, finances, wellness, and career readiness

We are no longer accepting applications for Breakthrough New York’s 2024 Admissions Cycle

Contact Us

Daisy Salas, Admissions Coordinator

Languages: English and Spanish



Is My Student Eligible?

Your student is eligible to apply if:

  • They are in the 6th grade during the 2023-2024 school year
  • They have an 83% or above in ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies as of their first 6th-grade report card
  • They come from a low-income household (see chart)
  • The student and at least one guardian have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 6, 2024

How to Apply

Current 6th grade applicants will follow the steps below to complete your application.

Step 1

Attend a Virtual Information Session to learn more about BTNY (sign up here)

Step 2

Submit Part 1 of your application by January 19, 2024 (contact, academic and self-reported financial information). Start an Application here

Step 3

Submit Part 2 of the application by March 1, 2024 (short-responses, essay, teacher recommendations, and proof of income)

Step 4

Participate in a student & family interview in April.

Step 5

Receive an admissions offer on May 3, 2024!

For Schools & Community Partners

Middle schools and community-based organizations can nominate 6th graders to our program. Use the resources below to refer students or schedule a partnership call!

Hear From Breakthrough Parents

What was your experience with the admissions process?

What advice would you give to other parents who want to apply?

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Information Sessions mandatory?

No, our Virtual Information Sessions are not mandatory. However, we highly encourage families and students to sign up to learn more about BTNY’s programming, commitment, admissions requirements and process, and to have the opportunity to ask questions! RSVP here.

If you missed our information sessions, feel free to watch our pre-recorded ones available in English (here) and Spanish (here). For context, our Information Sessions cover what Breakthrough New York is, the commitment/programming, eligibility requirements, and the admissions processes.

If I'm accepted, do I have to attend all ten years of programming?

Yes, students who enroll in Breakthrough New York commit to participating in our programs for ten years – from middle school through college graduation.

Does Breakthrough New York cost anything?

Breakthrough New York’s programs are completely free!

Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate?

Breakthrough New York requires vaccination for all students participating in our program starting in 2022. Both the 6th grade applicant and at least one guardian will need to be vaccinated by April 6th, 2024 to participate in our final round interviews (if selected), which will take place in-person in April 2024. In your application, you will have the option to request a medical exemption (proof from a medical provider required), but no other exemptions will be made

You can find more information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines here, and schedule your appointment to be vaccinated here.

Does Breakthrough New York provide transportation to their summer and afterschool program?

Our students attend over 100 different schools across the city, so we do not provide busing to our programs. Students are responsible for commuting to our after-school and summer programs, whether through public transportation, car pool, or parent transportation. We will provide free MetroCards during the summer and after-school program – if students don’t already have one from their school – so students can travel to program. When possible, we will connect students to others at their site so they can travel together.

Where do I attend the middle school summer and afterschool programming?

Our students attend the middle school program (summer and afterschool) at one of the following 3 sites, based on their preference:

Students must attend the same site for their summer and school year programming. In order to get to the after-school program on time, we recommend students apply to the site closest to their school.

I am not able to attend all of the program dates. Can I still participate?

Students must be able to attend 100% of our programming once they are admitted. It is important that your family can support this commitment before you choose to apply.

How do I nominate a student to apply to Breakthrough New York?

If you are a school administrator please schedule a call with the Breakthrough New York Admissions Team to learn about how to partner with us for the 2023-2024 admissions season! If you are interested in nominating a friend or family member feel free to nominate them using this form here!

I don't meet all of the requirements for Breakthrough New York. Is there another program I can apply to?

Yes. Check out this list of other out-of-school programming in New York City.

39 Broadway, Suite 820
New York, NY 10006
[email protected]
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