No. HEOP is not what's known as a "minority access program;" rather, it was established in 1969 by the State Education Department (SED) to provide access, but principally academic support, for any qualifying New York State student-that is, one who meets both academic and economic eligibility standards.
Again, remember that HEOP students must qualify, not only economically but also academically. The guidelines for HEOP admission at RIT vary from college to college but are all based on HEOP students being inadmissible under RIT's regular academic admission guidelines.
HEOP acceptance depends upon the availability of both space and funds. You must check with the HEOP office prior to entry to find out if transfer students are being accepted for the semester you plan to enter RIT. At this time, RIT’s Higher Education Opportunity Program is accepting applications for transfer students; however, space is very limited and openings are dependent on freshmen class enrollment.
No. Unfortunately, there are cases where eligible students were not aware of programs such as HEOP or who did not realize that HEOP is designed for first time college students who have not taken college courses for credit after graduation from high school. If you have already earned college credits, you are not eligible to receive HEOP support services.
Yes. There is a personal contribution expected of each HEOP student. The amount is determined in RIT's Financial Aid Office by evaluating several factors, including the household's previous year's gross income, the number of students attending college, participation in the college work study program, the student's ability to earn money during the summer, or through Co-ops and other factors related to the household's financial resources. Also, remember that only half of the personal contribution is due at the beginning of each semester.
Financial aid awards are based on two semesters of attendance for up to 10 semesters. HEOP does not provide funding or academic support services for summer classes. Students may enroll in summer classes at their own expense.
Academically eligible HEOP students whose financial aid forms have been properly filed and approved generally receive monies from the following sources:
- TAP Grant
- Federal PELL Grant
- HEOP Grant
- RIT Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
- Federal Direct (or other specified student) Loan
- Federal Work Study (6-11 hours per week, depending upon the need)