We’re a proven college success program with a 90% graduation rate.

SEO Scholars provides unmatched college prep and personalized support from ninth grade through college graduation. 

Who are our Scholars? 

SEO Scholars are ~1,000 public high school students from low-income backgrounds, attending ~100 New York City schools, and ~1,100 college students enrolled at ~200 schools in 30+ states. 85% of our students are first-generation college graduates. 

During high school, Scholars demonstrate: 

Academic preparation:   

  • Rigorous academic classes  
  • 700+ hours of additional ELA and Math instruction  
  • Saturday and Summer Academies and after-school sessions during grades 9-12 


  • College Advising  
  • Application support (essays, academic advising, scholarships, and financial aid) 
  • SAT test prep 

Personal development:  

  • One-on-one with personal mentors throughout the 11th grade  
  • Enrichment Programs (studying on college campuses, interning, or traveling abroad)    

*SEO students match or outperform all college-bound seniors on the SAT (when compared by in-school GPA), effectively eliminating family income gaps on the SAT. 

  • *College Board data and three independent studies conducted by Policy Studies Associates have confirmed SEO Scholars’ effectiveness  

“SEO is different because it doesn’t just prepare you to graduate; it prepares you for life. It prepares you for your career and builds the skills you need to be successful in real life.”

Justina Bethune
Ithaca College, BA Class of 2020,
Cornell University, MA Class of 2022

Ongoing support through college  

During college, SEO Scholars work with SEO College Persistence Advisors (CPAs), professionals with backgrounds in social work, school counseling, or education, who provide psychosocial support, academic counseling, and career readiness advising. 

In college, SEO Scholars receive:  

Academic advising:   

  • Personalized advising sessions 
  • College success workshops and seminars 
  • Individual guidance on coursework, course load, and major

Personal support:

  • Nurturing lifelong learning
  • Advising on personal life adjustments
  • SAT test prep Navigating financial aid

Career development:  

  • Career exploration  
  • Internships  
  • Professional skill building 

Here’s a list of just some of the colleges and universities our SEO Scholars are currently attending. See the full list here.


Boston University Georgetown University New York University University of Michigan
Cornell University Howard University Smith College University of Pennsylvania
CUNY – Hunter College Lafayette College SUNY – Stony Brook Washington University in St. Louis
Emory University Muhlenberg College University of California – Berkeley Wesleyan University

“SEO Scholars are ready for college and they’re ready to take on the world. They’re dedicated, disciplined, and driven. SEO Scholars’ programming provides the academic enrichment and interpersonal skills that students need to be successful in college. SEO Scholars are intelligent leaders who make a positive impact on our community.”

Jonathan J. Hoster,
Associate Director for Undergraduate Admissions & Recruitment, College of Engineering and Computer Science,
Syracuse University

See our graduates in action now.

Have questions about Scholars applying to your school, want to learn more about our programming, or find out ways to partner with us today?

Email Catherine Finneran, Vice President, SEO Scholars, College, now!