Preparing for College Success:
Evaluation of the Educational Impact of the SEO Scholars Program
Researchers from Policy Studies Associates, Inc. spent two years scrutinizing the SEO Scholars program. They tracked academic outcomes for SEO Scholars against outcomes for non-SEO students with similar backgrounds and academic profiles who attended the same public high schools.
The study shows that SEO Scholars attain higher GPAs, better SAT scores and are accepted to more selective colleges than New York City public high school students of the same socio-economic status and ethnic background.
Low-income students usually attend two-year colleges with low graduation rates. SEO Scholars changes that trajectory. Our Scholars attend four-year colleges in the top three tiers of competitiveness as ranked by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges. The comparison group in the study attends less-competitive schools with low graduation rates.
SEO Scholars has its greatest impact on low-income Black and Hispanic males who, without intervention, have poor academic outcomes relative to their female counterparts. Most SEO Scholars (80%) are Black and Hispanic, low-income and enter the program with at least a 77% GPA.
Most significantly, the performance of SEO Scholars on the SAT matched or exceeded that of all American students as reported by the College Board. Black and Hispanic SEO Scholars perform as well as, or better than, their more affluent White counterparts on the SAT. Scholars are predominantly selected from families whose income is below the poverty line. Despite this, they earn SAT scores higher than those of students from families whose average annual income is around $140,000 a year. Various studies have shown that SAT scores are strongly correlated with family income but SEO Scholars proves that this doesn’t have to be the case.
All College-Bound Seniors
Charts based on 2009 – 2012 SAT Results as per College Board’s Total Group Profile Reports 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012, and measured by Grade Point Average on a 2400 point scale.