Seattle Education Access Programs
College Prep Program
Our staff works with each student to create a career and academic achievement plan tailored to his or her gifts and goals. About half of our students choose a vocational or technical track, and the other half choose an academic or professional track. We teach our students how to navigate the educational system, get federal financial aid, compete for private scholarships, make a budget, secure housing, register for classes, pick the right campus and degree program, and effectively access campus services. We provide free tutoring for the GED and the COMPASS test, study guides and testing fees. Our goal is to have each of our students start an appropriate post-secondary program of study on the right foot, with the resources and skills they need to succeed.
College Success Program
Beyond helping youth enroll in college, we continue to offer supportive services throughout their college career, as needed, until they graduate and transition successfully to the workforce. We provide retention services designed to maximize graduation rates. Access is meaningless unless it is followed by retention and graduation. Accordingly, we continue to offer free tutoring, mentoring, and advising.
SEA awards financial scholarships for tuition, textbooks, bus passes, and other basic needs to supplement financial aid so students have enough money to afford safe and stable housing. With tuition rising at state colleges and financial aid packages shrinking, gap scholarships are more important than ever.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Recently, one of our students finished her B.A. degree and started law school. She writes, “If it weren’t for SEA’s timely scholarships, my sister and I would have been out on the streets. SEA provided me with the safety net that my family couldn’t provide. My success in school is because of their help and the success I had also inspired my family to go back to school as well.”
Another of our students is an African American woman from a low income family who was born with a hearing disability. She is a senior at Tulane University. She writes:
In May I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematical Economics with a minor in Mathematics. Even without a middle school or high school education, I compete with some of the most brilliant minds from all over the world. I am so thankful that there are organizations like SEA who help young people like me overcome adversity and poverty through education. My involvement with SEA has changed who I am and how I view the world. It has changed how the world views me. Most importantly, it has changed how I view myself.
One of our current needs is funds for gap scholarships. We help each of our students apply for financial aid and scholarship, research other resources, find employment, and make a budget. However, with tuition rising and financial aid packages shrinking, many diligent and hard working students still have a gap between their income and expenses in their budget. Our scholarships fill that gap, providing bus passes, textbooks, and other necessities for academic success.