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Various programs help low-income students to go through college, but for one to qualify, they have to undergo tests administered by Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Scholars program. SEO offers low-income students opportunities every year, but to get accepted to the program, one has to have a stellar grade with references from teachers.

SEO helps low-income students through college

Students who qualify for the program have to commit to the program’s full eight years, attend the weekend, after school and summer classes as well as sign up for the SEO enrichment program. Equally, students are told to take advantage of the SEO’s college application mentors, coaches, and counselors so that they can learn what they dint in middle and elementary school for them to go to college and excel.

The scholars’ program has over 90% college graduation rate, and it has other offshoots that can help low-income students secure jobs in law and finance. Since 2006 the SEO has helped several low-income students to attain degrees.

However, organizations such as SEO scholars have critics who question their holistic selection process that focuses on committed students rather than top grade earners. The process is still brutal as it relies on referrals from principals and teachers as well as supplying report cards, short essays, recommendations, and interviews. As a result, not all students who apply get a chance.

Other programs

However, there are other organizations, such as the Posse Foundation, that have been helping low-income students. The Posse Foundation has a 90% graduation rate and has been helping high school seniors to get scholarships after offering college readiness mentorship.

Equally, the New York-based Opportunity Network has a 93% six-year graduation rate. It engages students early in high school through an academic enrichment program, SAT preparation, essay writing seminars as well as college advisory support. Also, there is the Westchester County-based Yonkers Partners in Education college prep program, which enrolls its students in a six-year program beginning from ninth grade. It follows the progress of the student until the end of the sophomore year of college.