Why Does College Fit Matter?

of all SEED graduates who start at SEED-endorsed, "green" colleges graduate. That's more than four times the rate for students who start at non-SEED-endorsed colleges.

SEED's Steps to College Success

College success has been and will always be central to SEED’s mission. It’s a journey that begins in sixth grade and extends through college graduation day and beyond.  

Step 1: College Preparation

We must provide our students with rigorous academics, exposure to appropriate colleges, a strong understanding of college affordability, and on- and off-campus opportunities to develop tenacity and educational ownership.

Step 2: College Fit

We must examine the academic, personal, and financial needs of our students and identify colleges that have a profile of success—those with high college graduation rates, strong support systems, and those that are affordable.

Step 3: College Supports

We must work closely with our students and families to identify colleges that are effectively supporting students with the academic, social, and financial transition through college, as well as show evidence of successfully graduating students within a six-year period. Support from SEED does not replace the need for quality and effective campus-based support systems. 

How Does SEED Evaluate Universities?

CTS's College Matching Tier System gives students and families a proven framework to make smart college choices. It uses criteria most critical to first-generation college student success:


high college graduation rates

High Quality Campus Supports

generous Financial Aid Packages


SEED-endorsed "green" universities have a track record of success for underrepresented students with a strong performance in all three criteria.

The Institutional Supports Evaluation

What does it mean for a university to have high quality campus supports? In order to evaluate the quality of a university's support services, which can be elusive to measure, we rely on a framework borne from over a decade of experience and external research: the Institutional Supports Evaluation (ISE). 

and asks if these supports are:

  • Available?
  • Communicated?
  • Accessible?
  • Structured?

The ISE looks at the following supports...

  • Academic Support
  • Disability Support
  • Social Engagement/Emotional Support
  • Financial Aid

CTS staff, SEED graduates, and other stakeholders evaluate colleges, and colleges evaluate themselves. The result is a 360 degree view, one which can be used to help colleges implement best practices for improving services for underrepresented students. Email Vincena Allen to learn more.