SEEK Overview


SEEK stands for Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge. It is the higher education opportunity program at the senior (four year) CUNY colleges. It was established to provide comprehensive academic support to assist capable students who otherwise might not be able to attend college due to their educational and financial circumstances. Students are admitted without regard to age, sex, sexual orientation, race, disability, or creed.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for SEEK, you must:

  • be a legal resident of New York State for at least one year prior to entering college;
  • be a high school graduate or recipient of a state-approved equivalency diploma;
  • be a first-time freshman or previously enrolled in an HEOP or EOP program;
  • have a gross family income that meets the New York State guidelines;
  • be inadmissible according to the freshman admissions criteria established for the CUNY senior college you want to attend.

How do I apply?

You must complete the Special Programs (SEEK and College Discovery) section of the CUNY Freshman Admission Application on-line at www.cuny.edu/apply . You must also complete the Financial Aid Student Application (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be submitted in paper form or (for a faster response) electronically through the Internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov/. You should list all of the CUNY colleges you are considering in step 6 of your FAFSA. Be aware that not all eligible students are accepted to SEEK; therefore, you should submit your applications early to increase your chances of being accepted.

If I am accepted, what’s next?

Admission to SEEK is conditional until you have done the following:

  • taken the University basic skills assessment tests in reading, writing, and mathematics unless you are exempted based on your SAT and/or Regents scores;
  • attended a summer pre-freshman program if you do not meet the University requirements in all three skills;
  • provided required documents that prove your economic eligibility for SEEK; and
  • contacted the SEEK Program at the campus you will be attending to get additional requirements.

I didn’t know about SEEK when I started college, but I’m sure I was eligible, can I apply now?

No. Unfortunately, there are many cases where eligible students were not aware of the Program when they applied to college or who didn’t know that SEEK is designed for first time college students. If you’ve earned college credits since graduating high school, you are not eligible to receive SEEK support services.

Are any transfer applicants eligible?

Yes. Students who were previously enrolled in another New York State higher education opportunity program--College Discovery (at CUNY two-year colleges), HEOP (at private colleges), or EOP(at SUNY colleges)--are eligible to transfer into SEEK provided they have remaining semesters of eligibility. You will need to complete a transfer request form at your home college.

What are the benefits of being a SEEK student?

In addition to the services the college provides to regularly admitted students, SEEK offers an array of instructional, financial, and counseling support services to its students. Program activities are designed to assist students in meeting the challenges of college and to provide a supportive environment in which they will flourish.

Are there any additional responsibilities that I will have if I enter SEEK?

Yes. The Program is committed to your success and will expect you to use the services it provides to help you earn a degree. While specific program offerings differ, all campuses have requirements regarding participation in academic and counseling support activities. The overwhelming majority of Program students who excel give credit to SEEK for the academic and personal support it gives.

How can I get more information?

Each of the eleven senior CUNY campuses has a SEEK Program. Their websites can be accessed at www.cuny.edu. SEEK offices are welcoming places. Visit the SEEK Program on your campus of choice.

SEEK Logo