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Scholars Program FAQ

Overview  |  Eligibility  |  Placement Schools  |  How to Apply

When do students apply to SEEDS?
Students apply to the Scholars Program during the seventh grade and begin classes the summer between seventh and eighth grade.

Who is eligible to participate in the Scholars Program?
Students in the seventh grade who are at the top of their class academically may apply for admission to the Scholars Program. To participate, students must come from families with incomes of $70,000 or less (for a family of up to four members). The income cap increases by $5,000 for every additional family member. The program is open to all seventh grade students in New Jersey who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

How are students selected for the Scholars Program?
Students may apply to the program online. Students can also be nominated by their teachers, counselors and school principals. They must submit report cards, standardized test scores, personal essays and teacher recommendations. Finalists will be interviewed and take an entrance exam for the program. 

How many students participate in the Scholars Program?
Approximately 125 students are accepted into each Scholars Program class.

How long is the Scholars Program?
Scholars participate in a 14-month program that begins with a residential summer program following seventh grade, continues to meet on Saturdays during eighth grade and culminates with a second three-week residential program and overnight retreat the summer before ninth grade.

Where does the Scholars Program take place?
The Scholars Program currently takes place at The Hill School in Pottstown (Pennsylvania), the Pingry School in Basking Ridge, Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, and Seton Hall Prep in West Orange.

Is there a charge for New Jersey SEEDS Programs?
No, there is no charge for participating in any SEEDS programs. We are a nonprofit organization funded entirely by private donations.

Does SEEDS provide a scholarship to selective schools?
SEEDS works with our partner schools to obtain 90-100% in financial aid and scholarships for our families. The money comes directly from the selective schools.

How does the independent school application process work?
Our placement team works with each family to determine the best fit for each student. After months of research, families generally apply to 5-10 selective schools. Based on acceptances received, families make their final selection.

Is transportation provided?
Yes, SEEDS provides free transportation to all our students. For the Scholars Program, we provide transportation from central bus stops near the students’ homes.

Do you give out homework?
Yes. Because SEEDS is an academic program, homework is given to students during most class sessions. Teachers make themselves available during the week by phone and email to answer student questions.

What do students do on Saturdays?
The students take classes on Saturdays during the academic year. There are academic classes in English and Math. In addition to classes, students work on applications to independent schools. There are also workshops to help our students with interviews, applications, and career development. Field trips occasionally take place on Saturdays.

Do you help with college?
Once graduates are placed, our Guidance team provides annual visits, support (academic, social and college selection), and a network for professional development.