Scholars Program Overview

The SEEDS Scholars Program is a tuition-free program designed to prepare 8th-grade students for 9th-grade placement at an academically rigorous, private day or boarding high school. Over a 14-month period, students take classes on Saturdays and participate in two summer residential programs.

The Scholars Program nurtures a student’s critical thinking skills, love of learning, and self-confidence. In addition, the Scholars Program seeks to ensure that each child is admitted to a selective school.

Scholars Program Curriculum Components:

  • The Summer Challenge Program (SCP) is open to approximately 125 New Jersey students from low-income communities each year and is a three-week residential program held on the campus of a boarding school. The program consists of daily classes in core subjects and electives.


  • The Leadership Retreat follows SCP and is held at the Princeton-Blairstown Center in Blairstown, New Jersey. Students engage in outdoor activities designed to promote teamwork, group cooperation, and communication skills. Activities include hiking, camping, rope courses, dam rappelling, and canoeing.


  • Scholars Academy Saturdays (SAS) is the second phase of the SEEDS Scholars Program. Approximately 95 students who have successfully completed SCP are invited to continue to SAS. These students attend Saturday classes  at private day schools in New Jersey throughout the academic year, and participate in workshops and other activities. Students also prepare for the Secondary School Admissions Test (the placement exam for private high schools), visit selective schools, and complete their applications.


  • The Capstone Experience (Capstone), held the summer after 8th grade, is a second three-week residential program held on the campus of a boarding school. Scholars take part in an intensive course of study to prepare them for the next phase of their education. Scholars participate in one of four tracks: Business & Finance; Culture & the Arts; Law & Society; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
SEEDS Scholars Program Brochure