From by Sophia Hollander:
Applying to high school in New York has become even more fraught in recent years, with increasingly competitive—and costly—private schools, a rise in test preparation for specialized public schools and a proliferation of options that can seem daunting to navigate.

Now for some New York City families there may be an additional, agonizing twist.

This year, eighth-graders won't find out whether they won a coveted spot in a top public high school until two days after the March 13 deadline for private-school tuition deposits, which can cost thousands of dollars. The Department of Education said this week they had to push the notification process back two weeks because of delays related to superstorm Sandy.

That could force parents to take a costly gamble.

The Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York initially insisted it would not change its deadline for deposits, but following inquiries from The Wall Street Journal, the group said late Friday that it would reconsider.

Still, until a decision is made, some parents and school officials bemoaned the additional layer of stress.

"It's very upsetting," said Alex Ragone, director of the middle and upper school at City and Country School in Manhattan, which runs through eighth grade. "I think that it's a really difficult decision to make when you don't have the information you need to make an educated decision."

For years, private schools have required deposits months before the city releases admissions decisions for its Gifted and Talented elementary-school program. As a result, some families are forced to pay a full year's tuition for a school their children will never attend.

"I've seen it be a real problem for families," said Cynthia Rogers, the high-school placement director at Manhattan Country School, which charges families on a sliding scale for tuition. "The more we can have these two entities in sync, the better."

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