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Counseling Center at Lehman College


Prospective Applicant
The Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Program

The Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Program at Lehman College provides up to five years of academic support and supplementary financial assistance to eligible New York State residents who do not meet the traditional admissions criteria but demonstrate potential for academic success.

The SEEK Program and its activities are supported, by the New York State Education Department. SEEK has been an integral part of Lehman College, City University of New York since 1968.

If you are a talented and motivated individual from a low-income background whose academic record does not reflect your full potential, the SEEK Program may be for you.

Program Eligibility

SEEK at Lehman College provides supportive services to all incoming pre-freshman, transfer and continuing students enrolled in the program. Supportive services include academic, career, financial aid, and social services counseling, tutorial services, specialized academic workshops, and a pre-freshman summer program.
In order to be eligible for benefits under SEEK, a student must:

  1. Meet both the educational and economic guidelines established by the NYSED (See Economic Eligibility Criteria below).
  2. Be a graduate of a high school approved and accredited by the NYSED, have a New York State Equivalency Diploma or its equivalent.
  3. Be a “first time” college student or qualified transfer student from EOP, HEOP, SEEK or College Discovery Opportunity Programs.
  4. Have an admissions index score that is below the cut-off point for regular admissions to a CUNY senior college.
  5. Be a New York State resident for at least 12 months prior to enrollment.
  6. Complete Lehman College Pre-Freshman Summer Program, which usually starts at the end of June and finishes in August in the year prior to enrollment.
  7. Apply online for Financial Aid through FAFSA at (In addition students must follow the link to complete your TAP application as well.)

For more information about the SEEK program and eligibility requirements, call the SEEK office at (718) 960-7979, or send us an e-mail at

Economic Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for SEEK, the applicant’s household income must fall within the ranges given by the New York State Opportunity Program Income Eligibility Criteria of the year in which applicants is planning to attend college.

For an up-to-date income chart by household size visit and view the Financial Aid and the Federal & State Grants section titled Opportunity Programs. To see this year’s income eligibility criteria chart visit:


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 Family Assistance or Safety Net payments through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance; or through a county Department of Social Services; or Family Day Care payments through the New York State Office of Children and Family Assistance;
  • The student is in foster care as established by the court;
  • The student is a ward of the state or county.

For the purposes of SEEK eligibility, income is defined as 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 1040EZ, 1040A, and 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.