HEOP FAQs

Get answers to all your questions about the HEOP program including the application process, financial aid, and more.

How do I apply to HEOP?

You may apply for the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program by checking the option box located on the St. John Fisher College application. There is no separate application for HEOP.

Is HEOP only for minority students?

No. HEOP is not a "minority access program;" rather, it was established in 1969 by the State Education Department (SED) to provide access and assistance to New York State students that meet both the academic and economic eligibility standards.

What determines if I’m HEOP eligible?

For HEOP, a student must qualify both academically and financially. Therefore, each college/university that has HEOP will have different academic guidelines. However, each of the schools follow the same financial eligibility format provided by New York State. As a result, if you qualify at one school financially you should qualify financially at every school with HEOP. But you may not qualify academically for each school.

Learn more about HEOP eligibility.

Why did my sibling qualify for HEOP support but I don't?

Remember, HEOP students must qualify both financially and academically. The academic guidelines for HEOP admission from college to college vary greatly and are all based on HEOP candidates being inadmissible under regular admission academic guidelines as well as being financially eligible.

Does HEOP pay for textbooks?

It is true for some schools, not all schools. For those programs that do assist with the cost of purchasing textbooks, the amount provided to students varies and doesn’t typically cover all of the cost. Know that you may be responsible for putting money towards the purchase of textbooks.

Once accepted to HEOP, will I (or my family) have to provide any money to attend your College?

Yes. There is a personal contribution expected of each HEOP student. The amount is determined by the Financial Aid Office when evaluating several factors, including the household's previous year's gross income, the number of students attending college, and other factors. If there is a contribution, it may typically come in the form of a federal student loan that is not expected to be paid back until a few months after the student graduates from college. Additionally, there may be a small out-of-pocket expense that would be based on household income. Nevertheless, we encourage you to contact the Financial Aid Office with questions and/or concerns.

What does a typical HEOP freshman financial aid award package look like?

Eligible HEOP students whose financial aid forms have been properly filed and approved generally receive monies from the following sources:

  • TAP Grant
  • Federal PELL Grant
  • HEOP Grant
  • Fisher Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Direct (or other specified student) Loan
  • Federal Work Study
  • HEOP Book Funds
Is an interview required for HEOP applicants?

Students are required to interview with the HEOP staff in order to be admitted into the program. Only selected candidates will be invited to attend an interview with members of HEOP as one of the requirements of the selection process. Students who fail to attend an interview will not receive an admissions decision from the program.

If I stay in college for more than four years, will HEOP pay for my courses?

Yes. HEOP funds students up to five years. Therefore, if students change their major, retake courses they performed poorly in, etc. and need an extra semester or year to graduate, HEOP can provide that support. Students are eligible for ten semesters of HEOP aid; anything past five years, students will have to finance on their own.

Will HEOP pay for summer school?

At St. John Fisher College, financial aid awards are based on the fall and spring semesters only. Therefore, students are responsible for covering the cost of summer school even if they need to catch up on coursework in order to graduate within five years to receive HEOP funding.

Why didn't I get into HEOP when I transferred to Fisher?

HEOP acceptance depends upon the availability of both space and funds. You must check with the HEOP Office prior to entry to find out if transfer students are being accepted for the semester you plan to enter the College.

Can I apply to HEOP after starting college?

No. Unfortunately, HEOP is designed for first-time college students who have not taken college courses for credit after graduating from high school. If you have already enrolled in a college/university and have earned college credits, you are not eligible to receive HEOP support services.