Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a SEEDS presentation at my school?

Representatives from SEEDS visit approximately 120 schools between September and February. Presentations usually last around thirty minutes and go over the application and admissions process, as well as an overview of our programs.

If you are a family who is considering SEEDS, please contact the person at your school who has the authority to host a SEEDS presentation and ask them to email us at [email protected].

If you are a teacher, counselor, principal, or other administrator who would like to host a SEEDS visit at your school, please email us at [email protected].

How do I verify my email address so I can access my application account?

How can I use my account to complete my application, upload documents, and send recommendation requests?

What does my family's income need to be in order to apply?

For a household with up to four members, total income cannot exceed $70,000. For each additional dependent, we add $10,000 to the threshold. For example, if there are up to five members of the household, total income cannot exceed $80,000. For six members, total income cannot exceed $90,000.

You can find your household’s “total income” on the first page of your Federal Form 1040. SEEDS does not look at the New Jersey state income tax return.

Instructions for 4th, 5th, and 7th grade applicants: SEEDS requires the first two pages of your household’s 2021 Federal US 1040 tax return. Please be advised, if you are married and filing separately, you must send us both 1040 forms. We also need your Schedule C or E if this pertains to your situation.

Instructions for 11th grade applicants: You must submit the first two pages of your household’s 2020 AND 2021 Federal US 1040 tax returns. Please be advised, if you are married and filing separately, you must send us both 1040 forms. We also need your Schedule C or E if this pertains to your situation.

If no one in the applicant’s household files taxes, please email us at [email protected] and request an Income Verification Form. You will have to submit other forms to prove income that may include the following: W2s, SSI, paystubs, a letter from your employer, and other documents that prove income. In order to be eligible, families must be able to prove where their income comes from.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply?

Only the student must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply to the Young Scholars and Scholars Programs. Parent(s) and guardians DO NOT have to be. For College Scholars only, applicants can have asylum status in the U.S. and still be eligible.

Accepted documentation for proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency: 

  • Government issued birth certificate showing that he or she was born in the United States, which includes Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swain’s Island, or the Northern Mariana Islands;
  • A U.S. passport, current or expired;
  • A copy of U.S. State Department Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad), FS- 545 (Certificate of birth issued by a foreign service post), or DS- 1350 (Certification of Report of Birth);
  • A Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561), issued by USCIS to individuals who derive U.S.citizenship through a parent;
  • A Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570), issued by USCIS through a federal or state court, or through administrative naturalization after December 1990 to those who are individually naturalized; or
  • Permanent Resident Card or Resident Alien Card (Form I-551, aka Green Card).

Where do I get an application?

Scholars and Young Scholars Programs (4th, 5th, and 7th grade): The online application goes live in September. The link to the online application is emailed to eligible candidates within a week of filling out the inquiry form. The link to the online application is not sent to families who fill out the inquiry form two weeks from the Regular Decision deadline in early March.

College Scholars Program (11th grade): The online application goes live in September. The link to the online application is emailed to eligible candidates who were nominated. The link to the online application is not sent to families who are nominated too close to the application deadline on November 1.

I submitted my application. What’s next?

Once you have submitted your application, you will see that it was submitted in your account. Afterwards, you should log back into your account and complete remaining items. Any documents that you upload through your account must be deemed eligible by staff. If they are the incorrect versions of the documents, SEEDS will contact you to submit them via email, instead.

SEEDS encourages you to check back periodically to see if your recommenders have submitted their recommendation forms. Also, make sure to forward all documents to [email protected]. Or, you can upload them to your account.

When is the deadline to submit the application and supporting documents? How do I submit them?

The online application, recommendation forms, report cards/transcripts, standardized test scores, legal proof, and taxes must be submitted to SEEDS by the following application deadline in order to be considered for admission.

All documents can be sent to [email protected], or you can upload them to your account. Please do not send attachments that are over 30MB in size. If sending us a large document, we suggest breaking it up into multiple emails. If you only have physical copies of documents, we suggest using the Adobe Scan to take PDF pictures of these documents. Please allow at least three days for SEEDS to process documents. If any documents you submit to us are not the ones we asked for, we will ask you to submit the correct versions.

Young Scholars Program and Scholars Program:

  • Early Decision: January 15, 2023
  • Regular Decision: March 5, 2023

College Scholars Program:

  • Deadline to nominate a student: October 15, 2022
  • Application deadline: November 1, 2022

What is the difference between Early Decision and Regular Decision?

The Early Decision and Regular Decision deadlines only pertain to the Scholars and Young Scholars Programs. The College Scholars Program only has one application deadline.

The Early Decision application and document deadline is in January, and the Regular Decision deadline is in early March. Early Decision is typically more competitive – only about 10% of the entire class is selected in Early Decision. Applicants who submit everything to us by the Early Decision deadline are reviewed, but most will be rolled over to the Regular Decision period to be reviewed again later.

For the Young Scholars Program, the advantage of a student being accepted Early Decision is completing the admissions process earlier than their peers.

For the Scholars Program, the advantages of being accepted Early Decision is not only that they get to complete the admissions process earlier than their peers, but they are also conditionally accepted into Scholars Academy Saturdays, when the program transitions from 125 students (Summer Challenge Program) to 95 students (Scholars Academy Saturdays).


How is a SEEDS scholar selected?

Every application receives a comprehensive review by SEEDS staff. We look at many different factors when making admission decisions. They range from how well the applicant is doing academically, their extracurricular activities, the strength of their application, recommendation forms, writing, interviews, and testing.

Only eligible applicants who submit a complete application (including supplemental documents) will have their application reviewed by SEEDS. All communication regarding progressing through the admissions process will be delivered via email.

Who can provide recommendation forms?

Recommendation forms are accessible through the applicant’s online account. Once you have access, you will have the ability to send recommendation requests to your recommenders. Recommendation forms must be from your school counselor or principal, and from current teachers.

  • Scholars Program: School counselor or principal, math teacher, and English teacher.
  • Young Scholars Program: School counselor or principal, and English teacher.
  • College Scholars Program: School counselor or principal, math teacher, and English teacher.

Optional requirement: Families may submit a letter of recommendation (not a recommendation form) from a coach, clergy member, teacher or other non-family member adult who is knowledgeable about the applicant’s character and academic ability.

How do I send the recommendation requests to my recommenders?

The recommendation forms can be found on the account home page. Please follow the directions below.

1. Contact your recommenders to find out which email address they would like the request sent to. You will not be able to complete the online recommendation request without entering their email address.

2. Enter the recommender’s email address in the field for email address, type in the applicant’s name, and write a quick message to tell them what you are applying for. Hit send.

I have sent my recommendation to the wrong teacher. How do I cancel the recommendation and send it to the right teacher?

1. Log into your account.

2. Click on the recommendation request you would like to cancel and click ‘cancel request’.

3. Read the instructions in the blue box and then click “Cancel this Request.” Type in the correct email address and hit ‘send’.


My recommender is saying they haven’t received my recommendation email. What is happening?

When a teacher or counselor is not receiving the recommendation request email, it is usually one of three things:

1. The email was entered incorrectly by the applicant family. Make sure nothing is misspelled. Then confirm with the recommender that you have the correct email address for them. 

2. Sometimes, it is because the recommender may have given you a different email address than the one that they check normally.

3. The email may be stuck in their spam or junk folders. Please ask them to check for the email there.

Is there a 'cut'?

Yes, but this only applies to the Scholars Program. SEEDS accepts approximately 125 students into the three-week Summer Challenge Program. Only approximately 95 students are asked to continue with the program when it resumes again in September (Scholars Academy Saturdays). The decision to cut students is made after the conclusion of the Summer Challenge Program, in mid-July.

Students who are accepted for Early Decision are conditionally accepted into Scholars Academy Saturdays.

I belong to the PTA at my child’s school and would like to share information about SEEDS. What can I do?

Please send an email to [email protected] with the name of your child’s school, the school’s town, the date of your PTA meeting and your contact information.

My child has a 504 Plan/IEP. Does SEEDS provide accommodations?

Over the years, students with IEPs and 504 Plans have successfully completed the program, however, SEEDS may not be able to provide for the accommodations laid out in these Plans. It is important to submit a copy of your child’s IEP and 504 Plan during the admissions process so it can be reviewed by our Staff.