Academic Catalog

Office of Access, Opportunity & Achievement

The New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is a partnership between the New York State Education Department and Ithaca College, which provides access to and support in college studies 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 five-week pre-first-year academic summer program and orientation. 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. Each student is assigned a program counselors to assist with academic issues, financial aid, career planning, and personal concerns. Additionally, tutoring services are provided as needed.  Student success seminars and workshops are also offered. These benefits, designed to strengthen academic performance, are available throughout the student’s time at Ithaca College.

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). 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."
  3. Transfer students may be eligible for HEOP if they matriculated to a NYS opportunity program at their first institution (HEOP, EOP, SEEK or CD). Transfer applicants must submit a program verification form, available in their IC Connect student portal, completed and signed by their opportunity program director. Spots are limited and verifying eligibility does not guarantee admission.

Some HEOP participants may also benefit from participation in the Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (C-STEM) program. C-STEM provides 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. CSTEM students participate in internships, conduct research, and work with faculty or professional mentors to learn more about their areas of interest. Eligibility for C-STEM depends on a number of factors to include, as examples, New York State residency, ethnicity, and family income levels.

More information on HEOP and the CSTEM program can be found on the Office of Access, Opportunity & Achievement website.

Office of Access, Opportunity & Achievement Staff:

  • Lynn Cortese, M.S.W., Director
  • Tiffany Valentin, M.P.H., Assistant Director
  • Sihaya Moraleda, M.S., Counselor
  • Denise Polanco, M.Ed., Counselor
  • John Yao, M.MUS., Administrative Assistant