Founded in 1992, New Jersey SEEDS is a privately funded, statewide, nonprofit organization. We change the lives of motivated, high-achieving students from low-income families by transforming their educational opportunities. We ensure that our students have the knowledge, skills, access and support to thrive at the nation’s finest schools and colleges. (Click here to learn more about our impact and our students’ perspectives.)
SEEDS identifies and selects scholars at different points along their educational trajectory and has developed distinct academic programs to meet their needs. Each program – Scholars, Young Scholars, College Preparatory and College Scholars – is designed to rapidly build the critical thinking skills and knowledge base that will allow students to thrive in far more challenging school environments than those from which they come.
Young Scholars participate in a 14-month program that begins with a summer program following fourth or fifth grade, meets on Saturdays during fifth or sixth grade and culminates with a three-week summer program the summer before sixth or seventh grade. The Young Scholars Program is open to students in Greater Newark (Newark, Irvington, Orange or East Orange).
The Scholars Program takes place over a 14-month period, beginning in the summer after seventh grade with a three-week residential experience, continuing Saturdays during the eighth grade year, and culminating in a second three-week residential experience during the summer between eighth and ninth grade. The Scholars Program is open to students who live in the state of New Jersey.
College Preparatory Program students participate in a three-year program that begins the summer prior to tenth grade. The College Preparatory Program is only open to students who are enrolled in SEEDS’ partner high schools.
College Scholars participate in a 17-month immersion experience designed to prepare and place top-performing, low-income students from public high schools in highly competitive colleges with excellent preparation and sufficient financial aid. The College Scholars Program is open to high-achieving high school students in eligible high schools.
New Jersey students who demonstrate strong academic skills and potential, as well as financial need (see chart below), are eligible to participate in SEEDS’ programs.
Household Size Annual Income
Up to 4 …………………………………..$70,000 or below
5 ………………………………………… $75,000 or below
6 ………………………………………….$80,000 or below
For each additional dependent, add $5,000.
To apply, students must have strong academic skills, meet our financial guidelines and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents residing in the state of New Jersey. (A social security number or alien registration number will be required for verification of citizenship status at the time of application.)
Students apply to the Young Scholars Program during the fourth and fifth grades, and begin classes in the fall of their fifth or sixth grade years. Students apply to the Scholars Program during the seventh grade and begin classes the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Applications open each fall. Please complete an inquiry form to receive a link to the application when it opens.
College Scholars applicants in the 10th grade may currently inquire about admission. Students begin class with SEEDS in the spring of their 11th grade year, participate in a three-week summer residency, and continue academic classes with SEEDS Saturdays during senior year.
Students may apply to the program online. Students may also be nominated by their teachers, counselors and/or school principals. They must submit report cards, standardized test scores, personal essays and teacher recommendation forms. Finalists in all programs must participate in family and individual interviews, and take an entrance exam. The SEEDS Admissions Committee reviews all student records, and makes admissions decisions based upon a student’s potential for success in the independent school or college setting.
Each Young Scholars Program class has approximately 25 students. Approximately 125 students are accepted into each Scholars class. For the College Scholars Program, SEEDS will select 20 students for admission.
The Young Scholars Program currently takes place at Newark Academy in Livingston and Far Brook School in Short Hills. The Scholars Program currently takes place at The Hill School in Pottstown (Pennsylvania), The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, the Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood and Seton Hall Prep in West Orange. The College Preparatory Program and College Scholars Program both take place each Saturday at Drew University in Madison and Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY) over the summer..