Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

What is HEOP?
The Vaughn College Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is an academic and financial support program that helps students enroll in and succeed through graduation.  The program is a partnership between the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) and Vaughn College.  The target group is students who have the potential and desire to obtain a college degree, but because of academic and economic circumstances, would otherwise be unable to attend college.  Supportive services may include, but are not limited to: workshops, supplemental financial assistance, counseling and tutoring in several subject areas. 

More information about the program is located on the NYSED website: http://www.nysed.gov/postsecondary-services/higher-education-opportunity-program-heop

Admission into Vaughn College’s HEOP Program
Admission into the HEOP program is through a selection process. Interested applicants should:

  1. Complete the Vaughn College Application for Admission
  2. Mark HEOP on the admissions application or email lauren.cajade@vaughn.edu to express interest after the application process;
  3. Complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and list Vaughn College 002665;
  4. Complete the ACCUPLACER Next Generation placement exam. HEOP uses this exam to determine academic readiness for college level mathematics and English;
  5. Submit the prior-prior year’s tax return. For example, students entering fall 2020 must submit 2018 taxes;
  6. All potential HEOP students must be reviewed by the assistant director of HEOP to determine if the benefits and requirements of the program are right for them.


Who is eligible for HEOP?

  1. In order to be eligible for HEOP, an individual must fulfill the following criteria:
  2. Be a New York State resident for at least one year prior to enrolling in a post-secondary institution;
  3. Be a first-time freshman student;
  4. Be a graduate of an approved high school or have obtained a high school equivalency diploma or its equivalent;
  5. Meet the economic eligibility guidelines established by NYSED.


HEOP Economic Guidelines Table 2020-2021

# of Household Dependents 2020-2021 Eligible Income 










For 2020-2021, add $8,177 for each family member in excess of 8.

HEOP Pre-Freshmen Summer Program
The pre-freshmen summer program is mandatory of all incoming freshmen students. It takes place in Summer II before their first semester in the program. The program serves to academically and socially orient incoming students. For this pre-freshmen summer program, students are provided all textbooks, and tuition is fully covered.

Transfer Students
The HEOP program has limited opportunities for accepting transfer students from another New York State based education opportunity program, specifically EOP, SEEK, College Discovery, or another institution’s HEOP. Transfers are at the discretion of the College based on current enrollment and other factors. Inquiries should be directed to the HEOP Assistant Director, Ms. Lauren Cajade, at lauren.cajade@vaughn.edu or by phone, (718) 429-6600, ext. 160.

Xylene Decoteau

Check out HEOP student Xylene DeCoteau’s dynamic experience with the program here.

Learn more about Vaughn’s Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) during an information session.

Upcoming Information Sessions:

For more information on how to join, contact Melissa Teixera at melissa.teixera@vaughn.edu or Lauren Cajade at lauren.cajade@vaugh.edu.

Click on the photo above to check out when HEOP participated in the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities’ Student Aid Advocacy Day at the state capital to advocate for continued funding of student aid programs!