SEEK Program

  • The "Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge" (SEEK), is a program funded by New York state. It is a program designed to meet the needs of students who are considered to be economically disadvantaged and academically underprepared.

  • Prospective students must indicate that they wish to be considered for the SEEK program on their CUNY admission application. In general, only entering freshman are considered for this program.

  • There are two exceptions to this requirement. One exception is if a student is currently enrolled in the SEEK program and wants to transfer to another CUNY college. The second exception applies to students who are currently enrolled in either the HEOP (Higher Education Opportunity Program) or EOP (Education Opportunity Program), these students may also transfer into the City University's SEEK program.

  • Students admitted to City College as SEEK students will receive extensive support services, including tutoring and counseling when needed.
*Contingent on the availability of funds.

From a financial aid perspective:

  1. SEEK students are eligible to receive a maximum of ten (10) semesters of TAP (two extra semesters)

  2. SEEK students may receive a grant to pay their CUNY fees. *

  3. SEEK students may receive a grant for books and supplies. *

SEEK students must meet specific economic criteria to qualify for admission to the program. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for reviewing a student's family income documents to determine eligibility.  Please view images below for assistance in collecting your tax documents.

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SEEK Eligibility

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 inadmissible according to the admissions criteria established for the CUNY four-year college you want to attend;
  • be a first-time freshman or previously enrolled in College Discovery (CD) Program. an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). or Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP); and
  • have a gross family income that meets the New York State guidelines.
Number of members in Household (including head of household) Total Annual Income*
1 $23,828
2 $32,227
3 $40,626
4 $49,025
5 $57,424
6 $65,823
7 $74,222
8 $82,621

* For family units with more than eight members, add the following amount for each additional family member: $8,399.
* For the 2022-23 incoming class, the 2021 income poverty guidelines are to be used with the 2020 tax information (prior-prior) when selecting eligible students.

* If you are neither a U.S. citizen nor eligible non-citizen, you may apply for NYS administered grants and scholarships by completing the NYS DREAM Act application at New York State HESC Dream


Reference to the household income scale not be made if the student falls into one of the following categories and documentation is available:

  • The student’s family is the recipient of (1) Family Assistance Program Aid; or (2)HRA Letter (Human Resource Administration - Department of Social Services), or a county department of social services; or (3) family day-care payments through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services or a county department of social services; or
  • The student is living with foster parents who do not provide support for college, and no monies are provided from the natural parents; or
  • The student is a ward of the State or a county.

Income means all taxable and nontaxable funds that are received by the household for general use. Such funds may be derived from sources such as wages, dividends, interest, Social Security, disability pensions, veterans benefits, and unemployment benefits. For purposes of determining Special Programs eligibility, total annual income is the total received, e.g., the line for “Total Income” on Federal tax returns (IRS forms 1040) plus any other untaxed sources of income the family may have.

The following shall not constitute income: (1) Monies received specifically for educational purposes from sources such as veteran’s cost of education benefits, and education grants from the Office of Vocational Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID); (2)Social service or public assistance payments received through the Family Assistance Program, or Safety Net Assistance Program and Family Day-Care Payments.

The family income figures apply to the applicant’s income only when he/she meets the federal definition of independent. The income of any independent student (and spouse) during the base year must meet the family income scale.

Intro to Federal Aid 



Intro - Creating your Federal Student Aid ID to submit a federal aid application. "FAFSA"


Introduction to HESC NY State aid application process for both FAFSA & New York State Dreamers


Images of forms needed for Economic eligibility screening

2021 Federal 1040 Tax Form (2 pages and need to be signed by the wage earner)

1040 federal tax return page 1
1040 page 1 of 2 pages

2021 W-2 or 1099 (Year end summery of wages earned from employer)

2021 Federal Schedule 1 (Additional income - example such as "unemployment" )

Schedule 1 has 2 pages the image above is just page 1
Page 1 of 2 for schedule 1

2021 Federal Schedule 2 - (additional taxes paid - Example "self employment taxes")

schedule 2
Page 1 of 2 pages for schedule 2

2021 Federal Tax Schedule 3​ - Additional Credits (Example "education tax credits")

schedule 3
page 1 of 2 pages for schedule 3

2021 Federal Schedule C - profit Loss from a Business ( Example: Parent(s) owns a business -taxi driver)

Last Updated: 09/16/2022 16:36