TJHSST Finalist

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) Admissions

How Admitted Students are Selected:

Policy 3355.4 states that students shall undergo a comprehensive, holistic evaluation process that assesses their ability to meet the rigors of a demanding curriculum and the potential to be effective contributors to the school’s unique learning experience.  To understand more about the holistic process, please see FCPS Regulation 3355.13 (Section V).

The following components will be used in this evaluation.

  • Student Information Sheet/Essay
    • The Student Information Sheet/Essay is completed by all semifinalists.  Each is reviewed based on content, clarity, and relation to the mission of TJHSST.  Responses vary greatly and there are no particular phrases or specific response for which we look.
  • Teacher Recommendations
    • All applicants submit two teacher recommendations.  Each teacher recommendation is evaluated based on each teacher’s account of the applicant’s characteristics, talents, and potential contributions to TJHSST’s group of learners.
  • Quant Q (Math), ACT Aspire Reading and Science Scores  
  • Grade Point Averages
    • The grade point averages include a core subject GPA (marks from core subject courses taken in 7th grade and the first quarter of 8th grade) and a math/science GPA (marks from math and science courses taken in 7th grade along with the first and second quarters of 8th grade).

No other materials are considered for any applicant.

An evaluation framework (which is proprietary) developed with the assistance of an outside admissions expert is used to evaluate the semifinalists using this holistic approach.  A balanced team of highly qualified, veteran educators trained in our holistic process evaluates these components. The evaluation team is fully advised of the methodology of collecting this information.

Once all review processes are completed, the final evaluation of the components listed above are used to identify the strongest applicants (approximately 480). Those students are offered admission to TJHSST. Additionally, each year there are applicants who are placed in the Wait Pool.  For more information, see link below for Wait Pool. 

Please note that Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology administration and staff at are not involved in any way in making admissions decisions for the incoming freshman class. The TJHSST Admissions Office is tasked with the responsibility of administering the process.

Wait Pool

Appeals regarding Final Decisions:

FCPS School Board Regulation 3355.13 includes an appeals process for students applying to TJHSST.