Diversity has claimed the top spot of what matter most to students when searching for a college, according to the Class of 2023 Fall Senior Survey reported by Niche. Responses from more than 20,000 graduating seniors revealed that 42 percent felt a diverse student body was “appealing” to them, with an additional 37 percent saying it was a “must-have” in their college experience.

As an institution steeped in diversity, Vaughn College explores some of the key takeaways of the survey and how they relate to the many ways in which Vaughn meets the needs and concerns of its diverse campus community.

Addressing “unnecessary barriers”

One of the key takeaways from the survey is how students from all walks of life are looking for simplicity and relevance when applying to college. Among the more than 20,000 responses, the overall theme was “meeting students where they are” by addressing the “unnecessary barriers” in the college application and admissions process.

Here are some of the areas students are struggling with:
  • Completing college applications
  • Navigating the college admissions process
  • Navigating college websites
How Vaughn overcomes these barriers:

At Vaughn, we cultivate a sense of belonging and have a genuine interest in the success of our students—without any barriers. If you have been considering applying to Vaughn, here are some of the ways we would help you to become a part of the Vaughn community:

  • Admissions counselors are available to help you with your application and answer any questions you may have about the admissions process. Schedule an appointment—via Zoom—with an admissions adviser.
  • Our state-of-the-art website is exciting and easy to navigate—with straightforward information on everything you need to know about our outstanding degree programs and how to become a Vaughn student.
  • Vaughn holds financial aid information sessions during key application periods to help students fill out the FAFSA®, apply for scholarships and navigate the financial aid universe.

College search

Campus visits:

Although most students begin their initial search for colleges online, the trend of attending campus tours is returning. According to the survey, 49 percent of students reported visiting a college and meeting with admissions. For under-resourced and first-generation students, this figure is lower—at below 40 percent.

How Vaughn focuses on the future:
  • Open House: Attending an open house is a great way to learn everything you need to know about us and our degree programs—all under one roof. From the admissions process and financial aid to our futureproof degree programs and student life, you’ll leave with all your questions answered—and then some. Check out our blog, “Top Questions to Ask During a College Open House.” There’s even a handy list of questions you can bring on your visits.
  • Student Voices Videos: Students want to hear from other students about why they love their college. We do just that through our Student Voices videos. Hear and see for yourself the reasons why Vaughn students are living their dreams in today’s futureproof fields.
  • Podcast: Tune into our podcast, FutureProof Focus, to hear from Vaughn alumni, among others, about how they landed successful careers and where they are now.
What students want to know about most:

As part of the survey, students ranked their top picks of what they want to learn most about when searching for colleges. Here are their top three choices—out of eight given topics:

  • Financial aid (56 percent)
  • Academics (55 percent)
  • Careers related to their major (53 percent)
How Vaughn meets your needs:
Underrepresented communities:

The survey revealed how under-resourced, first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students continue to fall behind in the college search process when compared to respondents in other categories where search is slightly ahead of last year. With 38 percent of students reporting that they have started the application process, the study revealed that these underrepresented groups were more likely to report feeling negative emotions about starting college. In fact, 97 percent reported they had fears about the college search process, with affordability being one of the top concerns. These findings confirm the need for more support in the college search process, with a focus on alleviating concerns of affordability.

Vaughn fast facts:
  • Ranked number one in upward mobility, nationwide***
  • Ranked as a top college for social mobility by U.S. News & World Report
  • Ranked in the top four percent of colleges with the highest return on investment (ROI) for students from under-resourced communities.†
Other important factors:
  • Availability of scholarships (98 percent)
  • Safe campus (96 percent)
  • Quality and variety of food options (93 percent)
How Vaughn addresses these factors:
  • Scholarships: Vaughn recognizes academic excellence by awarding scholarships to high-achieving students who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees. We offer several scholarship opportunities for those students meeting certain criteria.
  • Campus safety: Vaughn has long had a policy of making safety information and protocols readily available. Here is the latest information to date.
  • Kate’s Corner Café: Our new café boasts healthy and delicious menu options conveniently located on campus, with vegetarian, kosher and halal options available.
  • Financial Well-Being: We offer support, tips and resources for students about how to stay financially healthy during college.

How Vaughn meets you where you are

At Vaughn, we recognize, respect and celebrate all facets of diversity. We are committed to welcoming and embracing our diverse Vaughn College community with respect and dignity. That’s why—by respecting diversity in all its dimensions—we foster a community that invites and is inclusive of everyone.

Are you looking for a college that meets you where you are with degree programs that are career focused and futureproof? Contact us to schedule a visit or take a virtual tour today or register for Open House on March 18 at 10 a.m.


*Results of the survey were analyzed and compiled as a joint project between Niche and Tudor Collegiate Strategies.

**Outcomes include data within one year of graduation for graduates who reported via survey. There was a total of 314 graduates in 2021. 154 reported an outcome for an 49% response rate. The 2021 graduate class includes September 2020, December 2020 and May 2021.

***The Upshot, January 18, 2017, “Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60.”

†Data from a study completed by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, “The Colleges Where Low-Income Students Get the Highest ROI”

A college education may be more affordable than you think. The Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is open for the 2023-2024 school year—but the time to act is now to ensure you get the most aid.

Why should you complete the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is your gateway to applying for federal aid which opens up opportunities for institutional financial aid and can open the doors to consideration for scholarships and other aid. Here are the top reasons why you should complete the FAFSA today:

  • Filing your FAFSA sooner can mean more money for college, including access to state grant programs awarded on a first come, first served basis.
  • The federal government provides students with more than $120 billion each year in grants, loans and work-study to assist them in paying for college or a career institution. This provides the opportunity to afford the college education and career you’ve been dreaming about.
  • Applying is required for scholarship consideration, even if you believe you won’t qualify for federal aid.
  • The application is simple to fill out and gives you tips along the way to understand the questions. Plus, it’s free!

Important deadlines for completing the FAFSA application

Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year began on October 1, 2022. Students who plan on attending a four-year college, university, community college or career school are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible in order to improve their chances of qualifying for the most aid.

Students seeking financial aid who are currently enrolled in the 2022-2023 school year have until June 30, 2023, to complete their FAFSA applications.

Learn about all-important FAFSA deadlines.

What you will need to start the application process

Preparation is key before you begin the application process. For purposes of applying for federal student aid, the FAFSA lists questions about you and your finances to determine whether you are a dependent or independent student. If you are applying as a dependent, your parents’ information as well as yours will be required. If you are an independent, only your information is required. You can learn more about how to determine your dependency status here.

Here is a list of necessary items you will need to collect before you begin the application:

  • Your social security number (or alien registration number if you are not a US citizen)
  • Your parents’ social security numbers if you are filing as a dependent student
  • Your driver’s license number if you have one
  • All 2021 federal tax information, tax documents or tax returns, including IRS W-2 information for you (and your spouse, if you are married) and for your parents if you are a dependent student:
  • IRS Form 1040
  • Foreign tax return or IRS Form 1040-NR
  • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia or Palau
  • Records of untaxed income (such as child support, interest income and veterans noneducation benefits for you and for your parents if you are a dependent student)
  • Cash, savings, checking account balances
  • Investments other than the home in which you live
Helpful tip:

It’s alright if you don’t have all the information at hand. The FAFSA application allows you to save your information along the way. Missing information may be entered once you have it. Just don’t wait too long. Some states and institutions have limited funds and set their own priority deadlines. The sooner you submit your application, the sooner you’ll know if you qualify for aid.

Important information:

You or your parents are strongly encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) which automatically—and accurately—transfers tax information into the FAFSA form. Just be sure you enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return.

Creating your FAFSA ID account

It is highly recommended that you create an account prior to filling out the application. You will be asked to create an FSA ID—which is comprised of a username and password combination that will give you access to important online information and allow you to electronically sign your FAFSA and any promissory notes. Here’s more information on how to create an FSA ID (or if you forgot your username).

Helpful tip:

The system is sensitive to the way you enter your name and social security information. To avoid running into issues during the verification process, be sure to enter your information exactly as it appears on your social security card.

Important information:

Parents of dependent students are required to create their own FSA ID so that they can electronically sign the application. For parents who do not have a social security number (SSN)—which is required to create an FSA ID—the student will select the option to print the signature page when he or she reaches the end of the application.

Now that you—and if necessary, your parents—have created your FSA ID, you can start filling out your FAFSA application here.

If you don’t have access to a computer, here are other submission options:

  • Mail-in application: Request a printed PDF by calling 1-800-433-3243.
  • Electronic submission by your college or career school: Request if the FAFSA can be submitted for you.

Interested in attending Vaughn College? We can help you complete your FAFSA application

Contact a Vaughn representative to help you with your application:

  • Email  and one of our financial aid representatives will set up a time to contact you.
  • Phone: 718.429.6600, Ext. 100; someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
  • In-person office hours: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Financial Aid Zoom Room (Meeting ID: 678 686 441)
    • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How Vaughn helps students graduate with careers

Vaughn offers federal, state and institutional funds to help students pay for their education. In fact, 90 percent of our students are eligible for some type of financial aid, with the average package totaling more than $15,000 per year. We are dedicated to working with all qualifying students to help them get the assistance they need to not only pursue their education, but graduate with their desired career.

Here are other ways to get help with your FAFSA application

  • Contact the guidance department at your high school – their job is to help you complete your college applications.
  • Many communities offer free services and resources to assist you with completing your FAFSA – contact your local chamber of commerce or governing body for details.
  • Contact the financial aid office of the college you plan on attending.
  • Check out this FAFSA process graphic.
  • Use the “tool tip” on the online FAFSA application, which will give you information on how to answer any questions. Simply select the white question mark next to each question you’re unsure of.
  • Visit the FAFSA Help page on the online application.

Don’t let the cost of a college education get in the way of pursuing your dream career. Vaughn offers degree programs in engineering, technologymanagement and aviation. Discover the possibilities of where a futureproof degree from Vaughn can take you.

For more than 70 years, Mental Health Awareness Month has been recognized during the month of May. The purpose is to raise awareness for how mental health is essential to overall health. With nearly one-in-five Americans living with a mental health condition according to the National Institute of Mental Health, the reality is that someone you know—or even yourself—could be struggling. The good news is one of the best ways to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month is to talk about it.

Vaughn College is starting the conversation by exploring some of the mental health conditions students are facing today, as well as the ways to overcome them. But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is mental health?

It’s not always about what you can see, but what you can’t see. Unlike physical health—which is mostly visible on the outside—mental health is an inner process that involves how we think, feel and process situations. How you handle a stressful situation or relate to others, for example, can determine the state of your mental health. If you’ve been struggling but are hesitating about getting help for fear of being judged, now is the time to release that fear and seek counseling. Not sure if what you’re feeling is part of mental health? Let’s discuss.

Mental health conditions

Most of us have experienced one or more challenging times in our lives and those times can be overwhelming, leaving our mental health to suffer. Millions of Americans experience mental health conditions. Some conditions are more prevalent among college students due to the stress of studying, juggling work and extracurriculars, maintaining relationships, etc. Some of these conditions may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Sleeping issues and disorders
  • Self-injury

If you’ve been experiencing any of these conditions, it’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Internalizing and ignoring any of these conditions can lead you to feeling isolated, alone and with nowhere to turn. It is important to achieve mental wellness by finding a healthy balance between your studies, job, family and extracurriculars, while seeking the appropriate support. To learn about the wellness programs and activities offered at Vaughn, read our blog: “Stress Awareness Month: How Vaughn Helps You Find Your Balance.”

Some facts about anxiety disorder

  • Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America
  • In many cases, anxiety disorders are treatable
  • Only about 36 percent of affected people choose to get help
  • Exercise is a proven way to help lessen the effects of anxiety disorders

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health

There’s no denying the pandemic has impacted our mental well-being. And for college students, this impact has complicated life even further. Remote learning has caused students to be much less social, more sedentary and more complacent. Even with the latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions, students are still feeling the emotional impacts of the pandemic. Some of these include:

  • Relationships—Social distancing may have put a strain on relationships with friends and partners.
  • Remote learning—Learning via Zoom can cause students to feel isolated, alone, and complacent.
  • Loss of loved ones—Complications from COVID-19 may have taken the lives of loved ones which takes a long-term toll on mental health.

Healthy ways to improve your mental health

First, let’s start by saying that self-care isn’t selfish. Good mental health begins with being honest with yourself, your feelings and emotions. Here are some healthy ways to improve or maintain good mental health:

  • Self-check-ins—Regular self-check-ins are important steps for reflecting on how you’re feeling and addressing anything that might be upsetting you. The goal here is to not ignore any issues but to work through them or seek help if needed.
  • Schedule some “me” time—Life can get busy and overwhelming with studying, work and other responsibilities. Make time to do things that bring you peace and joy, even if it means setting boundaries with others. Remember it’s ok to say “no” sometimes. Whether it’s meeting up with friends, going on a nature walk or even packing a picnic lunch in the park, taking a break from the books is a great way to nurture your mental health.
  • Check-in on loved ones—Friends and family may be struggling with their own mental health. A simple phone call or visit can make all the difference to helping them feel loved and encouraged. (And it may help you, too!)
  • Form a study group or get a study buddy—Studying with friends is always better than studying alone. Even if you prefer to study alone, checking your knowledge with your peers can never hurt.
  • Participate in on-campus happenings, events and clubs—Doing things outside of your normal comfort zone and meeting other students or alumni with similar interests will invigorate your soul and help you to feel a part of something larger. Check out Vaughn’s events calendar for students – there’s always something fun going on!

If you need someone to talk to or want more information on staying mentally healthy, we encourage you to make an appointment at Vaughn’s office of counseling and wellness. Vaughn is committed to helping you overcome any challenges and guide you towards graduating and obtaining your dream career.  Need help academically? Stop by Vaughn’s Academic Success Center – it’s always open to provide you with the one-on-one support you need to succeed in your classes.

Other helpful mental health resources:

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute of Mental Health

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Anxiety & Depression Association of America

National Suicide Prevention Hotline—(800-273-TALK) or dial 988 (available in all states on July 16, 2022)

April is “Stress Awareness Month.” This is a time when we are reminded to pay closer attention to both our mental and physical health. Everyone will experience some level of stress at one time or another. It’s part of life. So, what then are the best ways to manage the challenges related to stress?

We had the opportunity to chat with the Director of Counseling and Wellness Dr. Stacey Dutil to learn about the stressors that students are facing today and the support programs Vaughn offers to help them find comfort and a happy balance between college, work and family obligations.

Finding your balance at Vaughn

From your first day of class right up until graduation day, Vaughn is there every step of the way to ensure you have the emotional support you need—when you need it. “Vaughn offers a robust offering of programs and activities for students looking for a solid support system in a healthy social environment,” explained Dutil.

Here are some of the programs and activities that aim to help Vaughn students maintain a healthy college-life balance:

  • First-year initiative class—The “First Year Initiative Class” is part of Vaughn’s curriculum and a requirement for all incoming freshmen. The course is designed to educate students on ways in which they may take a proactive approach to wellness while pursuing their degrees. Some topics include maintaining positive mental and physical health and healthy eating and sleeping and study habits.
  • Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)—This academic and financial support program helps students enroll in—and succeed—through graduation. Support services include—but are not limited to—workshops, supplemental financial assistance, counseling and tutoring in certain areas. Learn more about HEOP here.
  • College Possible Mentorship Program (Catalyze)—College mentoring and opportunity programs, such as College Possible® Catalyze, help underserved, low-income and first-generation college students prepare for success. For the past two years, Catalyze coaches have been instrumental in guiding eligible Vaughn students to graduation by empowering them with tools and resources to achieve their goals. Learn more about the College Possible Mentorship Program here.
  • Residence assistants (RAs)—Students living on-campus can gain a sense of community and build a strong support system with help from their residence assistants (or RAs). In addition to their other residence duties, RAs organize a calendar of activities to keep students engaged.
  • Athletics and wellness—The athletics and wellness department offer mood-boosting classes and activities to promote positive mental and physical health. Some of these activities include yoga, Zumba and a variety of sports programs.
  • Speaker series—Vaughn invites industry leaders to speak on subjects that are most important to the mental and physical health of today’s college students. You can check out our calendar of upcoming events to see what’s coming up.

Here are some other helpful ways that you can nurture self-care:

  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Keep a journal

Read our blog, “Activities, Programs and Tips to Stay Mentally Fit in College,” to learn more great ways Vaughn helps support its students.

A message from Dr. Dutil

“We all—not just students—need to keep in mind that it’s important to take time for ourselves. Self-care is the first step toward recharging your body and mind for success and avoiding burn out. The office of counseling and wellness provides something for everyone. Self-care and wellness are not a ‘one size fits all.’ We are all unique. And at Vaughn, our diverse community is testament to proving that no matter what we are up against, we are all working toward a common goal—to live a healthy, balanced life.”

Are you feeling stressed or burned out? If you need someone to talk to or want more information on staying mentally healthy, we encourage you to make an appointment at the office of counseling and wellness.

Affording a college education may be easier than you think. The window to complete your Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA®, begins on October 1 for the 2022-2023 school year. College students currently enrolled for 2021-2022 have until June 30, 2022 to file their applications. Start filling out your FAFSA application here.

At Vaughn College, we are committed to making our degree programs affordable to all students by offering a wide range of financial aid options to help them on their paths to success. In fact, 90 percent of our students are eligible for some type of financial aid, with the average package totaling more than $15,000 per year. We are dedicated to working with every student to help them get the assistance they need to pursue their education, but there are some things students need to do first to make this happen. Here’s what you need to know:

What must be done first?

Completing the FAFSA is the first step in applying for grants, student loans and other types of financial aid. The FAFSA is not only your gateway to applying for federal aid, but it also opens up opportunities for institutional aid in the forms of scholarships and other financial aid programs. Vaughn offers federal, state and institutional funds to help students pay for their education.

Important deadlines for completing your FAFSA application

Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year begins October 1, 2021. Students who plan on attending a four-year college, university, community college or career school are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as close to October 1 as possible to improve their chances of qualifying for the most aid.

Students seeking financial aid who are currently enrolled in the 2021-2022 school year have until June 30, 2022 to complete their FAFSA applications.

Learn about all important FAFSA deadlines.

How the process works

All student applications submitted for admission to Vaughn go through one of two processes to be considered for financial aid:

Merit Aid: All student applications are considered for an academic merit award based on a holistic evaluation of their academic profiles. Due to the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, some student credentials have changed. Vaughn typically requires that all applicants for a Bachelor of Science degree must submit SAT or ACT test scores. In lieu of those scores, applicants will take a Vaughn-administered assessment test to determine their program acceptance and course placement. Grade point average as well as other academic factors may qualify potential candidates for merit awards ranging from $2,000 to $15,200 per academic year.

Need-Based Aid: All students applying for admission are encouraged to complete the FAFSA. This form is filed with the U.S. Department of Education and is used by aid providers to determine the amount of the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC)—which is how much money the student’s family can expect to contribute toward their child’s college education.

The amount of aid is then determined by calculating the difference between the cost of the education and the family’s EFC. This gap is covered by offering qualifying students’ money through Pell grants, scholarships, work-study programs and low-interest loans that are either subsidized or unsubsidized. For students who qualify for a Pell grant, Vaughn offers grants based on need, among other forms of financial aid.

In New York State, students can also qualify to receive aid from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which helps eligible residents pay their tuition at approved schools located in the state.

Another option is a Parent PLUS Loan, where parents with established credit can borrow enough money to pay any educational cost (e.g. flight fees) not covered by other types of financial aid.

We are here to help

We understand the challenges that students are facing as they try to navigate through the pandemic. To address the concerns of face-to-face interactions, we are encouraging the use of digital tools to support our students. Offices are currently operating with limited staff on-campus, and Vaughn is utilizing Zoom as an alternative to face-to-face meetings.

If you need help with financial aid, one of our representatives will assist you and your family with information on deadlines for student aid applications, submitting applications and ways to help pay for your education.

How to connect with a financial aid representative from Vaughn

  • Email  and one of our financial aid representatives will set up a time to contact you.
  • Call 718.429.6600, extension 100 and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
  • We have a Financial Aid Zoom Room with set hours which you can join at any time, here’s how:
      • Visit: https://zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID: 678 686 441
      • Hours: Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
      • Note: In-person service is offered by appointment only.

Don’t let the cost of a college education get in the way of pursuing your dream career. Vaughn offers degree programs in engineering and technology, management and aviation. Discover the possibilities of where a futureproof degree from Vaughn can take you.

The dream of earning a college degree is becoming a reality for students, thanks to opportunity programs that include the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and the Collegiate Science and Technology Program (CSTEP), both of which are funded by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Through a partnership with Vaughn College, these programs are giving New York State students a jump-start on their future—a futureproof education that begins at Vaughn.

This month, we are proud to share the amazing educational opportunities these programs offer and spotlight some of the success stories of Vaughn students who are pursuing their dreams because of these programs.

About HEOP

HEOP was designed for New York State residents who, without academic and financial support, might not be able to attend college. This program is an important part of life at Vaughn. The primary objective of HEOP is to help provide a broad range of services to help students enroll and succeed in college, which aligns with Vaughn’s mission and vision – to inspire a diverse community of students to achieve success with a transformational education that creates a lifetime of opportunity. Some of the academic and financial support services HEOP offers include the summer immersion program, tutorial services, counseling services and financial assistance.

Who is eligible for HEOP?

Individuals must meet certain criteria to be eligible for HEOP. These include:

  • Being a New York State resident for at least one year prior to enrolling in a post-secondary institution
  • Being a first-time freshman student
  • Being a graduate of an approved high school, or having obtained a high school equivalency diploma
  • Meeting the economic eligibility guidelines established by NYSED
  • Meeting the academic eligibility guidelines established by Vaughn College HEOP program

Vaughn students find success through hard work and HEOP

Vaughn is proud to be a part of the success of its students. Through hard work and the help of HEOP, students like Xylene DeCoteau ’20 and Zarin Tasnim ’21 are one step closer to living their dreams.

Xylene DeCoteau

In May 2020, Xylene DeCoteau received her bachelor’s degree in aircraft operations after an impressive academic career at Vaughn. While she was a student, she earned several licenses, which included her private pilot license (PPL), instrument rating (IR) and commercial pilot license (CPL) for both single and multi-engine aircraft. She has also earned her certified flight instructor airplane (CFIA) and certified flight instructor instrument (CFII) certificates, and she currently teaches and supports other students at Vaughn on a part-time basis.

“Everyone at Vaughn has supported my success, and I am happy and honored to have achieved so many of my goals. HEOP and hard work really made a difference. Plus, I get to fly and go to college at the same time. What can be better than that?”

Zarin Tasnim

Zarin Tasnim ’21 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in airport management. She overcame many cultural barriers, which included learning to speak English after having moved to New York from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. After enrolling at Vaughn in 2017, the hard reality of not being able to afford the program forced her to begin the process of withdrawing from the College. HEOP provided Tasnim with the financial assistance she needed to remain a student at Vaughn.

“Without the support and guidance from HEOP and the Vaughn family, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Working as an airport manager will give me the experience that I need—right out of college—to help lay the groundwork for my future.”

Applying for Vaughn’s HEOP Program

If you are interested in applying for Vaughn’s HEOP program, you can start the process by sending an email to Melissa Teixeira at or Lauren Cajade at . They can help you determine if you are eligible and walk you through the various steps for admission.


CSTEP is intended to enable students to apply to college-level academic programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Last fall, Vaughn implemented CSTEP to serve 100 students—at any given time and who are enrolled full-time—in a STEM-focused bachelor’s degree program. Like HEOP, CSTEP provides students with specific services related to the program. Depending on the student’s college level, the program will provide the following services to those enrolled:

  • Mentorship by professors at the College
  • Free gateway courses designed to increase student academic performance in fundamental courses
  • Supporting extracurricular activities, such as participation in student-led clubs and activities
  • Priority course registration for each semester the student is in CSTEP
  • Opportunities to participate in professional conferences, seminars and networking events
  • Opportunities to participate in career development events provided by the engineering department and the career services office
  • Eligibility to participate in the summer research program – a paid research program that is supported by CSTEP and Vaughn College under the supervision of faculty members
  • Participation in supplemental instructors’ program and tutoring services

Who is eligible for CSTEP?

The eligibility requirements for CSTEP differ from HEOP. A student who is eligible to be part of the CSTEP must be:

  • A New York State resident
  • In good academic standing (high school cumulative GPA of 3.0, or college cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher)
  • Enrolled full-time in an AAS or BS program in engineering or engineering technology at Vaughn

Additionally, the student must be one of the following historically underrepresented minority groups:

  • Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Alaskan Native


Applying for Vaughn’s CSTEP Program

If you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in applying for the CSTEP program, fill out an application. For general inquiries about the program, please send an email to . For specific inquires or assistance, please reach out to Dr. Amir Elzawawy at or Cecelia Izzo at .

In summary, if you have your sights set on attending college – reach out to us and we can help you determine your eligibility for these programs and get you the support you need to achieve your dreams.

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