Educational Opportunity Program


What is EOP?

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is a state-funded program for New York State residents (12 months before enrollment) who graduated with a high school diploma or have a high school equivalency diploma. This program helps students, who may face additional obstacles in higher education, succeed academically and graduate. Prospective students must also meet family income guidelines.

EOP assists with mentorship, academic programs, financial assistance, counseling/advising, and other campus support services for college students from low-income and educationally underprivileged backgrounds. The primary objective is to provide access and additional resources to postsecondary education. EOP recruits, identifies, and enrolls eligible students and empowers them to complete a higher education experience. EOP students can extend their time to a degree (bachelor's in ten semesters and associate's in six semesters) to enhance student success. Students study full time, enrolling in at least 12 credit hours per semester. Students MUST participate in the 4-week (minimum) Summer Prep Academy (SPA) as part of their admission.

Essential to EOP is direct financial aid. For each student, a financial aid package is planned, which may include grants from EOP, Pell, and Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)1. All EOP students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Application. The FAFSA must be completed annually throughout a student's college career.

1EOP does not guarantee full coverage of a student's college financial obligation.


Why Alfred State College EOP?

The benefits of EOP, for those who are eligible, make it an enrollment option that is highly recommended. Financial assistance is only one of the positive supports. Being part of the program means that you are becoming part of a family structure that will support you academically and personally not only while earning your degree based on your interests, but long afterward, as well.

Everyone learns differently and comes from secondary schools with varying missions and supports for education. EOP recognizes this and our program is designed to support each student as individuals by building success plans that will focus on each student's strengths and challenges from a learning perspective to enhance the attainment of your educational goals.

To begin your journey to success, every student who is accepted into EOP and accepts our offer by enrolling is required to fully participate in a 4-5 week residential summer program that will lay the foundation for your first year of college. SPA is typically held from the third week of July through the third week of Aug. During any given summer there are thousands of high school graduates that have been accepted into EOP across the state of New York that will be participating in their school of choice's summer program. You will not be alone!

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EOP Benefits

The EOP program is a beacon of opportunity for students across diverse backgrounds. Here are some compelling reasons why EOP is a vital asset:

  • Priority registration
  • Academic, career, and personal counseling
  • Book and calculator loans
  • School supplies
  • Assistance with Financial Aid, scholarships, and transfer applications
  • Tutoring
  • Help with the costs of textbooks
  • Program benefit cards
  • Referrals to campus and community resources
  • People who care about your goals

EOP transforms lives by breaking down barriers, nurturing potential, and fostering resilience. It embodies the spirit of inclusion and empowers students to thrive.

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Meet Our Staff

Our counselors here at Alfred State are committed to supporting your academic journey and ensuring your success.

Remember, these counselors are available for one-on-one advising, and you can reach out to them via email or schedule appointments below. Whether you need assistance with academics, financial aid, or career planning, the EOP staff is here to champion your success!

Shelby Aquilina

Shelby Aquilina EOP Academic Counselor
Student Success Center
Hunter Student Development Center

Program Specializations School of Architecture, Management & Technology (SAMET)

Nadine Shardlow

Nadine Shardlow EOP Coordinator
Student Success Center
Hunter Student Development Center

Program Specializations School of Applied Technology (SAT)
School of Architecture, Management & Technology (SAMET)
School of Arts and Sciences (SAS)

Lynn Hayes

Lynn Hayes Mathematics Support Specialist
Student Success Center
Hunter Student Development Center

Program Specializations Mathematics, Statistics & Accounting

Savannah Heckman

Savannah Heckman EOP Academic Counselor
Student Success Center
Hunter Student Development Center

Program Specializations School of Arts and Sciences (SAS)

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New Students

New Student Application Checklist

Students who would like to be considered for EOP should check the appropriate box on the SUNY Application indicating their interest.

If you have taken any courses for college credit in high school or taken courses at a different institution, you will need to complete a request with that institution to have your college credits transferred to Alfred State College. Please note: Your high school will not send your college credit to Alfred State. You must request it from the college yourself. For more information, please visit our transfer webpage or contact Jason White, Transfer Advisor, by phone at 607-587-3954 or by email.

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Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society

Chi Alpha Epsilon Seal
Chi Alpha Epsilon Seal

Chi Alpha Epsilon was formed to recognize the academic achievements of students admitted to colleges and universities through non-traditional criteria. Its purposes are to promote continued high academic standards, to foster increased communication among its members, and to honor academic excellence achieved by those students admitted to college via developmental programs. Programs sponsored by the society encourage other students toward this accomplishment. The honor society also has the potential to be a significant political force in the support of funding for developmental studies nationwide.

Chi Alpha Epsilon 2023 Induction
Chi Alpha Epsilon 2023 Induction

Membership to Chi Alpha Epsilon is offered through local campus chapters to eligible students and alumni. Full-time students who hold a 3.0 cumulative GPA for two consecutive semesters and were admitted to the college via developmental or higher education opportunity types of programs are eligible for membership.

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EOP Details


You have met the qualifications (academic and economic) to be afforded the privilege of being a part of the EOP family at Alfred State College. This privilege comes with many benefits and to be guaranteed the benefits, there are expectations that we have of our students.

Expectations of EOP

  • Full participation in the four and half week residential SUNY mandated Summer Prep Academy (SPA) the summer before your first semester of college (typically mid-July through mid-August).
  • Attend all classes unless an excused absence has been approved by your faculty with prior communication regarding your absence. Attendance is tracked by our Starfish platform used by most faculty.
  • Be an active learner by participating in and remaining alert in all classes.
  • Complete all required assignments (and extra credit when given) and turn them in on time.
  • Complete all logged study hours as assigned by program staff.
  • Be a good citizen of Alfred State College by abiding by the Student Code of Conduct and all local village and town laws.
  • Maintain “good academic standards” as defined by the college, the State of New York, and the Federal government to ensure that you remain eligible for student financial aid.
  • Meet with your assigned EOP Counselor as requested.

Benefits of EOP

  • Becoming familiar with the Alfred State college campus before everyone else in your cohort arrives.
  • Support with your academics in the form of tutoring, structured learning classes, study hours, textbook financial support, just to name a few!
  • Being part of a Living Learning Community designed to help you meet your full potential.
  • Having a team to support you both academically and personally that is passionate about the work they do and that will stick by you through graduation and beyond.
  • Financial resources to assist with the costs of college.
  • Knowing that you have a group of peers to lean on from day one.
  • Access to school supplies (pens, pencils, notebook, highlighters, loaner calculators and laptops, binders, folders, planners, index cards, etc. at no additional cost.
  • People to help you navigate conversations with your faculty and offices that you need to interact with across campus.

A Message to the Families

A Message to the Families/Support Teams of our EOP Students

Greetings and welcome to the EOP Family!

I have been living out my passion for helping college students realize their potential since 1987. I was fresh out of college myself with a degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology and was still getting a feel for what that meant.

Over the years, I found the way! Not alone, mind you, but with the unrelenting dedication of those that were there to guide me by answering questions, correcting my missteps (there were many!), and believing in me and my potential to make a difference. The memories that are ingrained in my mind drive me everyday to help someone like me reach the goals that they set for themselves.

I have learned the hard way and shed many tears learning that college is not for everyone or not for some at the time they enter. My goal is not to convince anyone that college is the answer or that Alfred State College is for them. My goal is to help our students find their “why”. Why are they in college? Why did they choose Alfred State College? Why do they desire to earn a degree in that major? Without understanding their why; forward progress stalls. College is too expensive to not move forward toward a desired goal.

I would like the Alfred State College Educational Opportunity Program and you to partner as a team in supporting your student on this next journey of life. How do we do this? Communicate. I have supported the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child for a very long time and feel the same holds true to helping college students meet their goals and dreams. We need to be flexible and understand that at some point along the journey, goals and dreams may change. That’s okay! What is important is how we support the change and help to guide our student make the best possible decision for themselves at the time. Realize that we may have to do this several times before a true path is found. We will be right there with you.

Please review the benefits and expectations of EOP to become familiar of what is in store for your student.

How about it? Are you ready to travel down this path with us? We are ready and waiting for you and your student to join us for this exciting and sometimes bumpy road to success!

Looking forward to partnering with you!

All my best,
Nadine Shardlow

EOP Student Ambassadors

The Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Student Ambassadors mentor their fellow students, create a student EOP support network of EOP students across the SUNY system, advise the Chancellor on strengthening the program, and help inspire more students to seek opportunities through EOP.

Ashley Clemente
Ashley ClementeActive | 2022‑2023, 2023‑2024

Norman R. McConney, Jr. Award

The honor is named in memory of Norman R. McConney, Jr., a graduate of the University at Albany and former assistant dean for special programs at SUNY. McConney, alongside former Assembly Deputy Speaker Arthur O. Eve, helped create the EOP as a statewide program that has served 75,000 New Yorkers to date from underprivileged backgrounds.

Congratulations to Al‑Aqib Coulibaly for being a 2024 nominee! This year's ceremony will take place in Troy, NY on April 18.

Become a SPA Peer Mentor

Peer Mentors

Peer Mentors are students who are interested in helping to support others, build resume experience, and foster and expand leadership skills. The position begins with SPA and continues throughout the academic year.

Becoming a Peer Mentor

Mentoring is a relationship; a journey between the mentor and the mentee on the road to success in college. The more you give in helping others grow and reach their goals, the more you can receive back from the experience. In helping others, you help yourself along the way and gain other positive benefits that enhance your personal development.

As a Peer Mentor, you will:

  • Develop transferable and marketable skills to enhance your professional experience
  • Increase self-awareness and foster personal growth
  • Cultivate leadership, organizational and self-management skills
  • Improve communication and interpersonal skills
  • Expand your transcript and professional resume
  • Support student success in a meaningful way
  • Connect to the broader ASC and EOP community
  • Build your network

Math and Writing Assistance

We have free tutoring available every day. We have a Math Lab and Writing Center open to all students who need extra support in these areas. We also have professional specialists dedicated to these areas available only to EOP students.

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