Office of State Grants

Ithaca College co-sponsors the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). (See information at website below.) HEOP provides access to college for selected students whose prior academic experiences do not reflect their true potential. HEOP students meet both academic and financial guidelines set by the New York State Education Department and by the College. Educational costs are met through need-based aid programs consisting of the Ithaca/New York State HEOP grant, New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and HEOP grants, and federal aid programs such as Pell grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Direct loans, and work-study. All entering HEOP first-year students attend a four-week prefreshman summer academic orientation program. Designed to strengthen learning skills, broaden academic background, and familiarize students with Ithaca College resources, the summer program provides a comprehensive preview of college-level academic work. (

During the academic year HEOP students receive academic support from professional staff and faculty in more than a dozen subject areas. In addition, program counselors assist students with academic issues, financial aid, career planning, and personal concerns.  All first-year HEOP students meet weekly with a program counselor and meet with tutors according to their needs. Student success seminars and workshops are also offered. After the freshman year, students may consult the academic support staff as needed and may be assigned regular meetings in order to strengthen academic performance.

In addition, some HEOP participants can benefit from the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) and the Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (C-STEM) program.  CSTEP and C-STEM provide academic enrichment and career-oriented experiences for students who want to pursue careers in science, mathematics, technology, and health-related fields, or in licensed professions such as law and accounting. CSTEP and C-STEM students participate in internships, conduct research, and work with faculty or professional mentors to learn more about their areas of interest. Eligibility for either CSTEP and C-STEM depend on a number of factors to include, as examples,  New York State residency, ethnicity, and family income levels. 

Students who are New York State residents and who wish to be considered for HEOP should:

  1. Complete the Common Application.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile (see FAFSA and CSS Profile website links below). Indicate that information is to be released to Ithaca College. HEOP-eligible students also must submit a New York State Express TAP Application (ETA). For more information, see "Student Aid."
    CSS Profile Website
    FAFSA Website
    Student Aid
  3. Transfer students eligible for HEOP should submit a transfer application form to verify state eligibility. This form is available through the HEOP program in which the student was last enrolled or New York State public-sponsored Equal Opportunity Program offices at SUNY and CUNY institutions.

Office of State Grants Staff

Lynn Cortese, Director
Tiffany Valentin, Coordinator
Sihaya Moraleda, Counselor
Denise Polanco, Counselor