Educational Opportunity Program

Group photo of students in the Educational Opportunity Program

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at SUNY Cortland

The principal mission of the Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY Cortland is to provide access and support to students with strong academic and personal potential, students who would otherwise be excluded from higher education due to circumstances of academic under preparation and economic disadvantage.

Once enrolled, the EOP family at SUNY Cortland shares in the student’s dedication to success. This is accomplished by being a full member in our community, enjoying the benefit of the full resources available including academic support, counseling, and monetary aid, and affirming that achievement for us transcends maintaining just passing grades. We aim higher…

We provide a path for the potential scholar.

In addition, EOP students receive financial aid to help with the cost of room, board, tuition, books and personal expenses.

Who is Eligible to be an EOP Student?

To be eligible for admission to EOP you must be:

  • A New York state resident for 12 months prior to enrollment;
  • Ineligible for admission under traditional standards, but demonstrate potential for completing a college program; and
  • In need of financial assistance within established income guidelines. Please refer to the SUNY Viewbook or the SUNY's EOP Website for more information about the income guidelines.

In selecting students for the program, priority is given to applicants from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who are the first generation to attend college. If in the year prior to enrollment your family income falls within EOP guidelines due to unemployment, separation, divorce or death of a parent, etc., you may still not qualify for EOP if you are not from an historically disadvantaged background.

What Are the Benefits of EOP?

EOP provides strong academic support and significant financial aid support, as well as personal contact with EOP counselors. EOP students enroll in the same coursework as traditionally admitted students. EOP students have additional resources at their disposal, such as:

  • A pre-freshmen summer instructional program called the Summer Institute.
  • Strong encouragement and support to integrate you into student leadership roles at the College. Such experience will augment your classroom knowledge and will better prepare you for leadership roles you will encounter during your life as professional in your community.
  • A structured program throughout your college career, which includes counseling and other support assistance, such as information on internships and guidance on application for graduate school, employment, etc. We also have strong links to other parts of the College that can provide important information to assist you in making important decisions about your future.
  • A tutoring component that can offer you free, unlimited tutoring in any course in which you enroll throughout your time at SUNY Cortland. The program’s tutoring support is in addition to any programs at the College that provide academic support to SUNY Cortland students in general.
  • Counseling, educational techniques and other programs to enhance retention and progress toward graduation.
  • Financial assistance that supplements generally available financial aid, which will help subsidize the cost of books, room and board, and other necessary items.

The Summer Institute

Group photo of students in the Summer Institute

Enrollment in and successful completion of the Summer Institute (SI) is a requirement for all new, entering SUNY Cortland EOP freshmen. The SI generally lasts five weeks and during that time you will make the transition from your high school experience to becoming a SUNY Cortland freshman student.

You will live in a residence hall, eat in a dining facility, and attend classes. A dedicated Residential Staff including returning SUNY Cortland students will live in your residence hall. Instructional Tutors will attend classes with you and provide you with one on one tutoring in courses you are taking during the SI. Spending several weeks at SUNY Cortland during the summer will closely approximate the daily schedule necessary for high achievement as a SUNY Cortland student.

Other than the cost of personal daily living expenses and travel to and from the Summer Institute, it will cost you nothing. EOP will pay for your lodging, food, books and classes during the SI.

Instructions for Applying to EOP

Freshmen Admissions

  1. Be sure that your high school transcripts are mailed from your high school guidance office. Please send mid-year grades once they are available.
  2. Complete and return the SUNY Cortland Supplemental Application.
  3. Complete a personal statement or essay.
  4. Submit a letter of recommendation (two are preferred).
  5. Submit ASAP all financial documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office and/or EOP.

Only complete applications are considered for admission to the program. All financial documentation requests must be met or your application will be considered incomplete.

Transfer Admissions

You are eligible for EOP as a transfer student provided you have been enrolled in EOP, College Discovery, Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) or a similar program at your previous college. If your previous college did not have an EOP or similar program, you may be considered for transfer eligibility and should notify the college to which you are transferring.

  • Submit college transcripts from all colleges you have attended.
  • Complete and return the EOP Verification form provided by your campus director.
    *Needs to be completed by the first college you attended.
  • Submit an official copy of your final high school transcript.

Contact Us

EOP Office
Old Main, Room 136
Phone: 607-753-4808
Fax: 607-753-2999

For Transfer info, see your campus EOP Director