PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a topic affecting thousands of families in the Philadelphia School District. For the first time, the district held a lottery for students hoping to attend the city’s most elite schools.

The results have one local family facing a difficult decision.

READ MORE: Philadelphia Tennis Players React To Serena Williams' Retirement Announcement

“Alma and Evelyn are best friends,” Sarah Olson told CBS3

The Olson twins are part of the extended CBS3 family; their father is the station’s brand manager. Mother Sarah said her home is always lively with these two around.

These past few weeks have been more challenging now that the new Philadelphia school selection process has been finalized for magnet schools.

The policy, places all qualified applicants into a lottery-based system, with preference given to several zip codes, to increase admissions of minority students in the cities top-performing magnet schools.

Evelyn was accepted into Masterman. Alma was number 293.

“Evelyn will go to Masterman because it doesn’t seem fair that I should take it away from her,” Olson said.

She was hoping both of her girls would join their older brother at Masterman in the upcoming school year.

READ MORE: Lawsuit: 2 Wilmington Residents Claim City Illegally Towed, Scrapped Vehicles

“We are best friends, we are twins, we’re siblings,” Evelyn said. “We shouldn’t just run off this paper and a hat trick. We should actually go off grades.”

When asked if she understood or knew why she didn’t get it, Alma said, “No, I do not. I know it’s a lottery thing, but overall why?”

The district says due to the “enormous” amount of sibling requests, they cannot guarantee placement.

“We have like the strongest bond, and it’s so sad to see it taken away for hours a day,” Alma said.

But despite two practically identical school transcripts, Alma lost out on the lottery.

“They test well above their grade levels,” their mother said. “Sometimes into middle school and being in fourth grade, they are testing at a middle school reading level.”

Evelyn said they both get As and Bs. Now, Alma must wait for 293 students to give up their seat at Masterman if she wants to go to school with her twin, her best friend.

“Without Evelyn, I just feel sad. I love her,” Alma said

MORE NEWS: 2022 On Pace To Be Even Deadlier Year In Philadelphia Than Record-Setting 2021

For more coverage on the Philadelphia School District lottery, click here.

Wakisha Bailey