Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Eligibility Requirements

S-PREP/Columbia STEP serves secondary school students all over New York State.  

Students must be:

  • Enrolled in Grades 7-12
  • A New York State Resident or a Permanent Resident residing in the state.
  • Economically disadvantaged*, or Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Alaskan Native or American Indian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; 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 2015-16 - 2018-19). 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.

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 course schedule
  • A mature personality


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