How the Department of Education Creates the Lottery Number for Admission

Several parents filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the Department of Education to release lottery numbers for student admission. The request was rejected by the DOE. They claimed that the numbers were long strings of numbers and letters. The department declined to explain how the numbers are generated.

The lottery number is a 32-character code that is used for tiebreakers in competitive funding applications. It also helps determine where a student fits in the admissions process. It is also used as a deciding factor in the Housing Lottery.

The lottery number is created by comparing left to right in an increasing order. The first 1/16th of the lottery numbers are assigned to students who start with ‘0’. The numbers are then weighted to class level. Students with good lottery numbers are more likely to be assigned to their preferred school. This algorithm has been tweaked over the years. It now includes various admission priorities such as set-asides for low-income students.

In the spring of 2022, all students will receive a computer-generated lottery number. The number is unique within the range of the total number of current residents. Instructions on how to view the number will be sent to the student’s email account. A $300 fee is required for lottery number assignments.

A common way to pick lottery numbers is to pick the numbers that are frequently drawn. This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s often effective.

Another option is to use a mathematical or random approach. However, it’s important to remember that past results don’t always predict future results.