Which Program is Right for Me?

New Jersey SEEDS is looking for high-performing students from low-income communities who want to pursue an excellent education at the nation’s best independent day and boarding schools, and universities.

Students enrolled in SEEDS have access to exceptional educational opportunities. All of our academic programs are FREE, and provide summer sessions and classes each Saturday during the academic year. We work with our scholars upon their graduation to place them into competitive independent schools and universities with substantial financial aid packages.

In addition to the eligibility requirements below, applicants should:

  • Believe in the mission of SEEDS, and want to pursue an excellent education at the nation’s best schools
  • Have a strong record of academic achievement (Mostly A’s, strong writers, and above average standardized test scores). Applicants should also be involved in extracurricular activities.

After reviewing the information below, applicants to the Young Scholars Program and Scholars Program can begin the application process here.

Applicants to the College Scholars Program must be nominated by their school counselor or principal.

Who Can Apply

~Students in 4th or 5th grade who live in and attend school (public, charter, or parochial) in Newark, Orange, East Orange or Irvington

~Students (NOT their parents) must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents

~Satisfy our income policy: 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 1040 income tax return for 2019.

Program Description

The Young Scholars Program is a free 14-month academic program that prepares 5th and 6th grade students for placement in private, independent middle schools with substantial financial aid.

How it Works

The first phase is a five-week daily program that begins the summer after the student is admitted to SEEDS. The second phase consists of Saturday classes throughout the school year. The final phase is another five-week program that takes place during the summer before they enroll at their new school.

Who Can Apply

~Students in 7th grade who both live in and attend a traditional public or charter school in an eligible district (see the full list here). Candidates who attend a private parochial school should contact us at admissions@njseeds.org to verify their eligibility.

  ~Students (NOT their parents) must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.

~Satisfy our income policy: 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 1040 income tax return for 2019.

Program Description

The Scholars Program is a free 14-month academic program that prepares 8th grade students for placement in private, independent day and boarding high schools with substantial financial aid.

How it Works

The first phase of the Scholars Program begins the summer after 7th grade with a three week boarding school experience at The Hill School, in Pennsylvania. The second phase consists of Saturday classes throughout 8th grade at a nearby private day school. The final phase of the program is another three week boarding school experience that occurs during the summer after 8th grade, before they enroll at their new high school.

Who Can Apply

~ Students in 11th grade who rank in the top 10% of their class are eligible to be nominated by their school counselor or principal.

~ The student’s primary residence is in the same school district where they attend high school (see the full list of eligible high schools).

~ Students (NOT their parents) must be U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or have Asylee status.

~ Satisfy our income policy: 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 1040 income tax return for 2019.

Program Description

The College Scholars Program is a free 17-month education experience designed to prepare and place top-performing low-income students in highly competitive colleges and universities with sufficient financial aid.

How it Works

The first phase of the program begins in February during 11th grade, with Saturday classes at Drew University in Madison, NJ. The second phase begins the summer after 11th grade with a three week residential experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. The final phase of the program picks up again with Saturday classes throughout 12th grade.