A Family Cheering You On To Success

You’re passionate, driven, and not afraid of overcoming challenges to achieve your goals. We see that spark in you, and we want to make your dreams of higher education a reality.

The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) provides educational opportunities and support to traditionally underserved students who have strong academic potential, but would otherwise be excluded from higher education due to circumstances of academic and economic disadvantage.

The HEOP Family

The best word to describe HEOP at the Mount is family. From weekly exercise challenges and trips to leadership conferences to group workshops and hanging out in the HEOP lounge, our HEOP students and staff are a tight-knit group, cheering one another on and working (and playing) hard together.



What is HEOP?

The Higher Education Opportunity Program is an academic and student support program geared towards traditionally underserved students. Through mentorship, leadership development, academic programs, and financial support, HEOP students are guided through the college transition process. The program is jointly sponsored by the New York State Department of Education and Mount Saint Mary College.

Who is eligible for HEOP?

Eligibility is based on economic and academic requirements set by New York State. You may be eligible for HEOP at Mount Saint Mary College if you:

  • Are a resident of New York State
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Are inadmissible to Mount Saint Mary College under the regular admissions guidelines
  • Demonstrate the academic and personal potential needed to succeed in a competitive college program
  • Meet the economic guidelines put forth by the New York State Educational Department (see chart below)

If you are a transfer student from an HEOP, EOP, SEEK, College Discovery, or other opportunity program at another New York State college or university, you may also be eligible for HEOP at the Mount.

2023-2024 New York State Opportunity Program Income Eligibility Guidelines (based on tax year 2021 household income)

Number in household (including head of household) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8*
Maximum total annual income in preceding calendar year $25,142 $33,874 $42,606 $51,338 $60,070 $68,802 $77,534 $88,266

*For 2023-2024, add $8,732 for each additional family member in excess of 8.

Students are admitted without regard to age, sex, creed, sexual orientation, race, or disability.

An applicant will automatically meet economic eligibility if:

  • The student is living with foster parents who do not provide support for college, and no monies are provided by the natural parents.
  • The student is a ward of the state or county.

To determine eligibility for HEOP, applicants must apply and provide the appropriate documents directly to the HEOP Office. A personal interview is mandatory, and once selected and admitted, HEOP participants may continue in the program until degree completion, with awards available for various periods depending on the duration of their academic program.

HEOP students at NCORE conferenceWhat benefits do HEOP students receive?

HEOP covers the cost of tuition, textbooks, room, and board. Students can receive funding for up to five years/10 semesters of study. Additionally, students receive academic support, leadership development, mentoring, and additional services.

How do I apply?

When filling out your application, be sure to select the box designated HEOP. Upon completion of your application to the college, you will be emailed a supplementary application that must be completed within 10 days of receipt. HEOP applications close in mid January each year.

What is the HEOP Summer Institute?

Each summer, incoming HEOP students spend five weeks living on campus getting acclimated to the college and participating in an intensive academic program that prepares them for college classes and allows the opportunity to earn four college credits.

Group picture

50 Years of HEOP

The James Finn Cotter Villa Library was packed with familiar faces as the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at Mount Saint Mary College celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Held during the college’s 2019 Alumni Weekend, more than 30 Mount HEOP alumni returned to their alma mater to commemorate this massive milestone.

Contact us


Email Address
Aquinas 151

Meet the HEOP Team

Come say hello...

Let us show you around