About the program


The national SEO Scholars program is a free, eight-year academic program that gets public high school students to and through college – with a 90% college graduation rate. SEO Scholars are committed to their personal growth, building successful futures and creating a more equitable society for generations to come. 

shift_ed piloted the first program outside NYC or San Francisco in 2022-23, bringing this rigorous academic and college preparation program to the Triad in a hybrid format. The third cohort of ninth graders will be chosen in fall 2024.  

Need more info before applying?

If you’d like to speak to a shift_ed SEO Scholars staff member about whether the program is right for you, complete an interest form and one of our advisors will reach out to you.




College Graduation Rate


College Acceptance Rate



There are two stages in the selection process: applications and interviews. Applications are open now for the Class of 2027. Click here to apply.

September 1 – Application Opens

November 17 – Priority Deadline

December 8 – Application Closes

A complete application includes:

  • Parent/family information
  • Three short, written responses
  • Most recent ninth-grade report card
  • Family income information
  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, coach or someone else that knows the student well but is not a family member

After the application deadline, top candidates will be invited to interview with the SEO team and take a diagnostic test. Students selected for the program will be notified via email.

Be sure to check out our events calendar for application workshops and interview prep sessions. Sign up for the shift_ed newsletter to learn about these opportunities as soon as they are scheduled.

The SEO Experience


From ninth grade through college graduation, we provide rigorous academic instruction, quality mentorship and individualized advising to ensure that SEO Scholars are admitted to competitive colleges and universities and experience a rich and rewarding college education.



How much do I have to pay to become a SEO Scholar?

Nothing! Our program is free of charge. To become an SEO Scholar you must complete an application and follow the steps listed here

What grade do I have to be in to become a SEO Scholar?

There is only one entry point into our program –  ninth (9th) grade. Applications open in the fall of ninth grade year and our program and classes start in the spring of ninth grade. 

Can SEO do a presentation at my school or community organization?

We’d love to connect with your school or community organization! To have SEO do an information presentation, have a staff member from your school or community organization fill out this form. 

How do I learn more about your program?

To learn more about our program, you can complete our Interest Form, email us at seoscholar@shift-ed.org, or call us at (336) 814-2233. You can also visit our events calendar to learn about our upcoming information sessions and events. 

What does bichronous, asynchronous, and synchronous mean?

Bichronous– A fully online academic learning program that contains asynchronous and synchronous components.

Asynchronous Learning that allows students to view instructional materials each week at any time they choose and does not include a live video lecture component.

Synchronous Learning where students are required to log in and participate in an online class at a specific time each week with SEO instructors. 

How many hours will SEO Scholars be expected to be online a week during high school?

Students can expect to do an average of 10 hours online per week. 

Can I participate in team sports, clubs, or any other extracurricular activities while being a part of the SEO program?

The SEO Scholars Guilford County hybrid program is a major time commitment and an eight-year investment for our students. We recommend potential SEO Scholars consult with their families, high school staff and the SEO Scholars team to see how they might be able to balance being a full-time high school student, an SEO Scholar and joining extracurricular activities throughout the high school career. 

The application will ask students to list out expected time commitments for at least the ninth grade and our SEO Scholars Advisors work with Scholars throughout each year in high school to assist with time management.

SEO Scholars have the opportunity to participate in Summer Enrichment Programs during the summer after 11th grade and before senior year of high school begins. Click here to review the High School Program Overview.

Where can I learn more about the SEO program?

You can learn all about SEO by visiting the national site at www.seo-usa.org/scholars/

How many SEO Scholars get accepted into college?

100% of SEO Scholars are accepted into four-year colleges. Click here to learn more about our programming.