Admissions FAQ

What are the eligibility requirements to apply to NJ SEEDS?

Applicants must:

  • have strong academic skills (As and Bs in core subjects);
  • meet our financial (see chart below) and geography requirements (view eligible 7th grade schools and high schools); and
  • be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents (only the applicant, not their family members).

The Federal Form 1040 tax return is required to verify income eligibility. The household where the applicant resides is the household whose 1040 we use to verify eligibility. We determine eligibility by using the “total income” line on the 1040, as well as the total number of exemptions. If a family exceeds our financial requirements, they will be notified and removed from the SEEDS admissions process.

Household Size……………………………………………….…Total Income

Up to 4 members…………………………………………….….$70,000 or below

5 ………………………………………………………………….$80,000 or below

6 ………………………………………………………………….$90,000 or below

For each additional dependent, add $10,000.

If the applicant’s family does not file taxes, you must request an income verification form by emailing us at Along with a submitted verification form, the family must submit proof of income. Examples include, but are not limited to: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) statements, employer letter, W-2(s), paystub, etc.

Who can provide recommendation forms?

Recommendations must be from your guidance counselor or principal and from current teachers. For example: 

  • Scholars: Recommendation forms must be from your 7th grade English and 7th grade Math teacher.
  • Young Scholars: Recommendation forms must be from your 4th or 5th grade English teacher, depending on if you are in 4th or 5th grade.
  • College Scholars: Recommendation forms must be from your 11th grade English and 11th grade Math teacher.

How do I send the recommendation forms to my teachers?

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

How do I submit my paperwork to admissions?

EMAIL: We prefer that all documents be emailed to

ONLINE: Documents can also be uploaded through the online application (on page 7).

FAX: 973-642-5175. Please include the applicant’s first and last name, and “Attn: Admissions.”

Attn: Admissions Office
494 Broad Street, Suite 105
Newark, NJ 07102-9981

IN PERSON: Documents can be dropped off at our office (address above) from Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please call us at 973-642-6422 ext. 2 to make sure someone is in the office to receive it.

How is a SEEDS scholar selected?

Every application receives a comprehensive review by our staff. We look at many different factors when making admission decisions (in no particular order):

  • Submitting application materials prior to the deadline
  • Responding promptly to emails and phone calls from SEEDS
  • Grades
  • Extracurricular involvement
  • Recommendation forms
  • Overall application
  • Writing prompts
  • Absences/tardies
  • Interview skills (if selected to interview)
  • Admissions exam (if selected to take the exam)

Once the initial review is completed, the Selections Committee selects the applicants they would like to proceed to the second (final) round. For Scholars and Young Scholars, the final round is a student/parent interview and admissions exam. For College Scholars, the final round is the student/parent interview. After the final round concludes, SEEDS notifies families of the final decision. Families can expect to receive one of three possible decisions: Acceptance, denial, or placement on the waitlist.

My child was placed on the waitlist. What does this mean, and when will I hear back?

Placement on the waitlist means your child’s application was strong enough to be considered for admission. However, all of the spots in the program were offered to applicants with stronger applications, and therefore, there are not enough spots in the program for us to offer them one. If a child we accepted into the program declines our offer, then we may select a child off of the waitlist to take their spot in the program.

We always attempt to contact our waitlisted families in a timely manner, but it is difficult to predict when a spot will open up. Please refer to the timeframe in your waitlist letter.  

My sibling/family member is SEEDS alum. Will that increase my chances of being accepted?

We will take note that you have had a family member in the program, but it will not be a determining factor in the selection process.

Where do I get an application?

Applications for the Scholars and Young Scholars Programs open in September and close in early March (deadlines subject to change). To complete the online application, you must first submit the inquiry form. If eligible, an email with a link to the application will be sent to the email address on file within 5-7 business days.

Applications for the College Scholars Program open in September and close November 1st. A link to the application is only emailed to eligible applicants who are nominated by their guidance counselor. If you are a high school student interested in our College Scholars Program, you can learn more here.

Paper applications are not available.

I submitted my application. What’s next?

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

What is the difference between Early Decision and Regular Decision?

This only applies to the Scholars and Young Scholars Programs. Early Decision allows highly qualified students to apply and find out their admission decision earlier than the applicants who apply though Regular Decision. The Early Decision application pool is more competitive than the Regular Decision pool. Typically, only 15% of the entire class is selected during Early Decision. Most Early Decision applicants will be rolled over to Regular Decision to be reviewed later.

I belong to the PTA at my child’s school and would like to share information about the SEEDS programs. How can I get materials to share with my parents?

Please send an email to with the name of your child’s school, the school’s town, the date of your PTA meeting and your contact information. We will respond to your request within 3-5 business days.

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

Yes. The student must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply. All applicants will be required to send proof of citizenship before an admissions decision is rendered (see a list of accepted documentation below). Accepted documentation for 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).

I need to update my contact information. How can I do this?

Please send an email to with your child’s full name, the school they attend and what information needs to be updated. Please allow 72 hours for the changes to take place.