Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Eligibility Requirements

The purpose of S-PREP/STEP is to increase the number of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students prepared to enter college, and improve their participation rate in mathematics, science, technology, health-related fields, and the licensed professions.

Students must be:

  • Enrolled in Grades 7-12
  • A New York State Resident or a Permanent Resident residing in the state.
    • A student is considered a New York State resident if he or she resides in New York State and has lived in New York State for the last two terms of school prior to entry into the STEP program or resided in New York State for at least 12 months immediately preceding the first term for which he or she is seeking participation in the program.
  • Economically disadvantaged*, or Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Alaskan Native or American Indian; and will benefit from academic enrichment.
    • Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
    • American Indian and Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
    • Hispanics or Latinos are those people whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, or the Dominican Republic. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race.

*Economically Disadvantaged: For the purpose of STEP, a student is economically disadvantaged if he or she meets the income eligibility criteria (New York State Opportunity Programs Income Eligibility Criteria). The eligibility standards set forth apply only at the time of admission as a first-time student to a STEP program. Once admitted, a student may continue to receive supportive services as needed, even if the family income rises above the current eligibility standards.

Additional documentation of household income need not be collected to determine eligibility under economic disadvantage if the student falls into one of the following categories, and documentation is available to demonstrate:

  • the student's family is the recipient of family assistance program aid or safety net assistance through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance or a county department of social services; or is the recipient of family day-care payments through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services or a county department of social services;
  • the student is living with foster parents and no monies are provided from the natural parents; or
  • the student is a ward of the State or a county.
  • the student is eligible for free or reduced lunch at his or her secondary school based upon family income (verified by the school).

Selection Criteria

Students enrolled in S-PREP are selected on the basis of strong motivation, character, and academic credentials. Participants in S-PREP are selected according to the following criteria:

  • Maintenance of an 80% grade average particularly in math and science
  • A strong interest in medicine or STEM
  • The ability to commit to the program schedule
  • A mature personality- Conduct him/her/themselves in a manner conducive to their own learning, and to the learning of others. 


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