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About HEOP Inner-Separator
About HEOP

HEOP is funded jointly by RIT and the State Education Department through the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) grant. HEOP is committed to the recruitment and academic success of historically disadvantaged students with strong academic potential and personal initiative who would otherwise be excluded from higher education at a private New York State college or university. The program provides financial, academic and personal support to maximize student success.

HEOP 40th Anniversary Video


The New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at Rochester Institute of Technology will be a model for effective recruitment, enrollment, and graduation of economically eligible New York State residents who are not eligible for regular admission to RIT. HEOP will develop high quality, innovative academic and personal support services to promote students' persistence in higher education at RIT. It will be known on the campus and in the community as an advocate for a broader concept of access, one that looks beyond the issue of entrance into higher education to the provision of a climate that is more conducive to successful learning and more sensitive to the needs of diverse populations.

Mission & Program Goals


The mission of the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is to recruit, enroll, and graduate New York State students who qualify according to the guidelines of the State Education Department and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Through HEOP's high impact services and holistic approach, students benefit from a summer preparatory program, broad-based tutoring, comprehensive counseling services, and a case management approach. HEOP serves as an advocate and a resource for the needs of the diverse population of students which it serves.

Program Goals

  • Support RIT’s commitment to diversity by working collaboratively with Admissions and Financial Aid to provide access to higher education at RIT to underrepresented students who are historically disadvantaged academically and economically.
  • Build and sustain a culture of study and academic success for underrepresented students by recognizing student achievement.


Equal access to education at all levels has long been an objective of the New York State Board of Regents. Since the mid-1960s the State has supported special programs at the postsecondary level which extend educational opportunity to persons who have been academically and economically disadvantaged.

The first such program, College Discovery, was established in the community colleges of New York City in 1964. In 1966, a corollary program, SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) was started in the four year colleges of The City University of New York (CUNY).

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) was established in 1967 to provide similar services to disadvantaged students in the two and four-year institutions of the State University.

Finally, in 1969 the State established the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) for disadvantaged students in the independent colleges and universities of New York State. Sections 6451 and 6452 of the Education Law provide the statutory basis for all of the programs and require the statewide coordination of program activities in the three sectors-CUNY, SUNY, and independent - under the Board of Regents.

HEOP has provided more than 40 years of access, advocacy and academic support for educationally and financially deserving New York State residents who have the ability to succeed at independent colleges such as Rochester Institute of Technology. HEOP also fosters student's individual growth by adding strong programmatic and institutional support.