Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)
(presented by nysed.gov - click here for actual page)

What is HEOP?
The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) provides supportive services and financial aid to New York State residents attending independent colleges and universities in New York State. It is similar in nature to the SEEK, College Discovery, and EOP programs.

Who is Eligible?
To be eligible for HEOP you must meet all of the following conditions. You must:

1. Have been a resident of New York State for one year preceding your term of entry into HEOP.
2. Possess a high school diploma or a State-approved equivalency diploma (with a composite score not higher than 3100) or its equivalent. The equivalent of a general equivalency diploma is defined as being one of the following:
  1. An Armed Forces Equivalency Diploma, with a minimum score of 410 on each test section and a minimum composite score of 2250;
  2. A level of knowledge and academic ability equal to the level required for entrance to the educa-tional opportunity program at the institution to which the individual seeks admission.
3. Be educationally disadvantaged. An educationally disadvantaged student is a student who otherwise would not be accepted as a matriculated student under the institution's normal admissions standards in the degree program for which application is made. At open admissions institutions, an educationally disadvantaged student must meet one of the following criteria:
  1. Possess a high school equivalency diploma; or
  2. Possess the equivalent of a GED; or
  3. Have no high school diploma; or
  4. Meet other acceptable academic criteria, which differentiate the HEOP student from regularly admitted students (e.g., lower test scores, lower GED scores).
4. Have the potential and motivation for successful completion of college.
5. Be economically disadvantaged. (See section titled “Economic Eligibility Criteria for Opportunity Programs.)
6. Have been in an approved opportunity program (if a transfer student).

How Do I Apply?
To apply for admission to a Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), request an application from the institution that you are interested in attending. There are 58 HEOP programs throughout New York State, offering a wide variety of academic courses in major fields of study. Specific information can be obtained by writing to the HEOP program on that campus. A roster of HEOP programs is listed at the end of this brochure.

Please note: Many independent colleges require you to apply by February 1 of the year you intend to begin. This date varies at each campus. Please plan to apply as early as possible.

If I Am Accepted - What Next?
Summer Program. Entering students usually are required to take part in a prefreshman summer program. The summer program is designed to orient the student to college life, initiate a program of academic skills building, and acquaint the student with the services available through HEOP.
Supportive Services. During the summer and academic year, supportive services take many forms:
  1. Remedial and Developmental Courses. If you need additional academic assistance to prepare you for college-level work, HEOP can meet your academic needs. Before you begin your classes, the HEOP professional staff will evaluate your academic strengths and weaknesses, and design a specific academic program to help eliminate your academic deficiencies. You will have the opportunity to take noncredit and credit remedial/developmental courses. These courses provide instruction in basic skills, reading, writing, vocabulary, mathematics, and other areas of study.
  2. Tutorial Services. HEOP provides you with tutorial services to assist you with your academic courses. Tutorial services are conducted on a one-to-one basis or in groups, depending upon your needs. Some tutors are competent, experienced HEOP students and some are professional tutors.
  3. Counseling Services. Counseling services are provided by the HEOP staff on an individual or group basis to assist you with any problems that may interfere with your academic work. You will receive the following types of counseling:
  • Academic - The HEOP counselor will assist you in selecting your academic major and courses. You can take a reduced course load during your first semester. You are also given an extra year of eligibility to graduate.
  • Personal - Adjustment to college life often presents many new problems for HEOP students. Counseling helps you develop your self-confidence, identity, and a positive attitude about learning.
  • Career - Students are often undecided about what to do after graduation. The HEOP staff will assist you in making career choices. Career counseling will help you in selecting the necessary courses to prepare you for employment or postgraduate study.

Can I Afford To Attend College?
HEOP provides colleges with funds to help meet the cost of your education. You will also be eligible for other State, Federal, and institutional financial aid awards. Students are required to apply for the State's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and the Federal Pell Grant.

The amount of financial aid and the application procedures vary from campus to campus. HEOP students are expected to contribute to the cost of their education from family savings or summer earnings. Specific information can be obtained by contacting the HEOP Office or Financial Aid Office at the college you are interested in attending. For general questions about HEOP, please feel free to call or write to:

Collegiate Development Programs Unit
New York State Education Department
Room 1071 - Education Building Addition
Albany, NY 12234 - (518) 474-5313

Economic Eligibility Criteria for Opportunity Programs
Family Income Scale for the Purpose of Determining Eligibility for Supplemental Financial Assistance for First-time Students Enrolled in Opportunity Programs (similar to the EOP, SEEK, and College Discovery scale):



* Please note: Space and availability are limited in these programs, so if you qualify and would like to apply to them, make certain to apply promptly! Review specific instructions and guidelines, usually found in the application materials of participating schools.

* Links to external Websites and information are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.