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Opportunity Programs

NYS supports Opportunity Programs on many public and private campuses. They are admissions programs that enable students to enroll who do not meet the traditional academic guidelines but show promise as well as financial need.


  • What are the NYS Opportunity Programs?

    The New York State (NYS) Opportunity Programs were designed to increase college access and success for students who have been educationally and economically disadvantaged. Opportunity Programs allow students to be admitted to colleges that they would not normally be admissible to because their grades and/or test scores are a little too low. Once in college, Opportunity Programs provide substantial support including pre-freshman summer programs, tutoring, advising and additional financial aid. 

  • What are the differences between SEEK, CD, EOP, and HEOP?

    SEEK, CD, EOP, and HEOP are all names of different NYS Opportunity Programs. SEEK and CD are for CUNY students. SEEK (Search for Elevation, Education and Knowledge) exists at CUNY four year institutions, CD (College Discovery) at CUNY two year schools.  EOP, the Educational Opportunity Program, exists at SUNY schools. HEOP, the Higher Educational Opportunity Program, exists at certain NYS private schools.   

  • Does participating in the NYS Opportunity Programs mean I’m going to school for free?

    No. While many Opportunity Programs do offer financial aid to students, it is not a requirement of the program. Opportunity Programs are admissions programs – not financial aid programs. 

  • Does applying for financial aid affect my chances of being admitted?

    Not usually. You are generally admitted based on your academic performance and the qualities you possess as a student. Some colleges are 100% need-blind in their admissions, whereas others may consider students financial needs as they try to admit a diverse class. Most colleges want diversity and use financial aid to achieve that goal. Applying for financial aid early can help give you the best chance of being admitted with a good aid package because colleges do have a limited amount of funds to award each year.

Recommended Resources

HEOP Fact Sheet for 2012

WEBSITE  |  This fact sheet provides an overview of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), including what it is, who it serves, as well as its history and successes.  Read more  

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