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About HEOP Inner-Separator
About HEOP

The New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (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 and its activities are supported, in whole or in part, by the New York State Education Department.

HEOP 40th Anniversary Video


HEOP will be known on campus and in the community as an advocate and a resource that provides eligible low-income and underrepresented students access to higher education and support services to promote their persistence and graduation.

Mission & Program Goals


The mission of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program is to recruit, enroll, support and graduate New York State students who qualify according to the academic and economic guidelines of the State Education Department and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Program Goals

In alignment with RIT’s 2015-2025 Strategic Plan, HEOP will:

  • Enroll low-income and underrepresented HEOP-eligible students in RIT’s competitive programs of study, particularly in RIT STEM programs.
  • Provide comprehensive support services to promote and sustain a culture of academic excellence for HEOP students, particularly female and male minority students.
  • Engage, support and recognize HEOP students in their progress towards on-time degree completion.


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.