The SEO Scholars Program is a year-round, out-of-school, academically rigorous program that prepares motivated urban public high school students to earn admission and succeed at competitive colleges and universities. The Scholars Program has served students in New York City since 1963 and also launched in San Francisco in 2011.

Numerous studies confirm that rigorous academics are the single most important factor for low-income and minority students in gaining college admission and earning a degree. However, U.S. Department of Education research shows that “A” work in low-income schools equals “C” work in affluent schools. The Scholars Program adds the equivalent of 60 school days to the public school calendar for its students each year. Scholars dedicate 80% of their time at SEO to academics, with the remaining 20% spent on enrichment and leadership activities.

While attending college, Scholars continue to receive mentoring and tailored workshops focused on managing coursework, earning top grades, financial and budgeting strategies, and effective planning for careers.

All of the 69 high school seniors in the Class of 2011 were accepted to four-year colleges. Seventy-three percent were accepted to colleges in the top two tiers of competitiveness in Barron's Profiles of American Colleges. These schools include Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Mount Holyoke College, University of Michigan, Wheaton College and Skidmore College.

The Class of 2011 Scholars earned more than $1.7 million in scholarships and awards for their first year of college. Two SEO Scholars were winners of the New York Times Scholarship. Six Scholars were awarded full-four-year tuition scholarships through the Posse Foundation. One Scholar received the Ron Brown Scholarship, which awards students $10,000 per year for four years. One Scholar was a Questbridge College Match Scholarship winner.

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