Issue Background

Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

  • There are currently 56 HEOP projects at 50 independent colleges and universities in New York State.
  • HEOP provides more than 4,500 students with support services and financial aid, helping them graduate at rates above the national average for all students.
  • The state’s four opportunity programs serve more than 25,000 students per year and admit more than 6,500 new students each year. Regrettably, more students are turned away than accepted. In 2009, nearly 61,500 students applied for the 6,500 slots, meaning only 10.5% of eligible students were served. If funds become available, expanding the HEOP program would help meet the growing demand.

For economically disadvantaged and/or first-generation students, college is more than a ticket to a better financial future. It is the fulfillment of a dream—a dream they realize for themselves, their parents, their siblings, and even their neighborhoods. Opportunity programs, such as HEOP, provide access and support to these students so that they may reap the benefits of higher education for themselves.

In 1969, Assemblyman Arthur O. Eve championed the creation of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at independent colleges and universities in New York State and also influenced the creation of the Educational Opportunity Program at the State
University of New York.

“HEOP helped fund my college education, enhanced my professional network, and created a home away from home…[else] I would have been struggling with a minimum wage job,” - D. Ritchie of Brooklyn, NY.