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 admissions@njseeds.org.

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 admissions@njseeds.org.

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 Line 7b on the Federal Form 1040 for 2019. 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 2019 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 2018 AND 2019 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 admissions@njseeds.org 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. Parent(s) and guardians DO NOT have to be.

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 receive an email from SEEDS confirming the submission. Afterwards, you should log back into your application and complete remaining action items.

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 admissions@njseeds.org.

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 admissions@njseeds.org. 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. We suggest downloading Adobe Scan on your phone (or other scanning apps) in order to submit these documents. Please allow at least three days for SEEDS to process documents. You can check the status of submitted documents by logging into your online account.

Young Scholars Program and Scholars Program:

  • Early Decision: January 15, 2021
  • Regular Decision: March 5, 2021

College Scholars Program:

  • Deadline to nominate a student: October 15, 2021
  • Application deadline: November 1, 2021

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 portal. Once the applicant receives the link to the online application portal, they will have the ability to send recommendation requests to their recommenders. Recommendation forms must be from your school counselor or principal, and from current teachers (2020-2021 school year) or last year’s teachers (2019-2020 school year).

  • 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 application home page under “Action Items.” Please follow the directions below.

1. Contact your recommenders to find out their email address. Please tell them to use the work or personal email address associated with their SEEDS account (if they have one). You will not be able to complete the online recommendation request without entering their email address.

2. Once you have your recommender’s email address, log back into your child’s application by clicking here.

3. Enter the email address and password you used to create your child’s application and click “Sign In.” If you have forgotten your password, please click the “Help: I forgot my password” on the login page.

4. Once you have logged into your account, go to Step 2: Recommendations on the home page and click “Send Request.”

5. A screen will pop up instructing you to enter the recommender’s email address. This email should be of your child’s teacher or counselor. Please note, you cannot print out this form.

6. In the box labeled “Message to Recommender,” type a message to your recommender letting them know you are applying to NJ SEEDS. Include a due date for them to complete the recommendation prior to the application deadline. Providing a due date prior to the deadline will give your recommender a chance to complete it.

7. Repeat Steps 4-6 for the additional Recommendations listed under the “Action Items.”

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

1. Log back into your application account.

2. Click “Edit Request” for the recommendation you would like to correct.

3. Read the instructions in the blue box and then click “Cancel this Request.”

4. Then click the “Submit” at the bottom of the blue box. If you do not click submit, your request will not be cancelled.

5. Click “OK.”

6. You will then be back on the application home page.

7. Click “Send Request” and enter the correct email for the person you would like to send the recommendation to. It is VERY IMPORTANT for you to double check the email address for correct spelling.

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. Mostly, it is because the recommender may have given you a different email address than the one that is associated with their SEEDS account. Ask the recommender what email address they are using to log into their recommendation account so that you can make sure they gave you the correct email address. Only ONE email address can be associated with their NJ SEEDS account. (If your teacher or counselor has questions about this, they can contact SEEDS at admissions@njseeds.org.)

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

I received a recommendation request from one of my students who is applying to SEEDS. What do I do next?

You can find step by step instructions for recommending a student for SEEDS by watching this video. If you have any other questions, please email us at admissions@njseeds.org.

Troubleshooting:

When you are not receiving the recommendation request email, it is usually one of three things:

  1. The email was entered incorrectly by the applicant family. Double check with the student that the student has your correct email address for them. Also verify the student spelled your name correctly and used the right format for the address.
  2. You already have a different email address associated with your SEEDS account. The student may have entered a different email address than the one that is already linked to your SEEDS account. Try looking for the email in your personal or work email inbox.
  3. The email may be stuck in your spam or junk folders. This mostly happens when you are using a different email address to log into your account than the one provided to the student to initiate the recommendation request. Only one email address can be linked to a SEEDS account. Try logging in (or creating a new account) using an email address you may have provided to the student, such as a personal or work address. Or, the email address may have been entered incorrectly by the applicant family. Double check with the student that the student has your correct email address for them. Also verify the student spelled your name correctly and used the right format for the address.

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 admissions@njseeds.org with the name of your child’s school, the school’s town, the date of your PTA meeting and your contact information.