The Empire Opportunity Program is currently reviewing applications for Spring 2021. The admissions deadline for EOP is November 1.

Empire Opportunity Program
at SUNY Empire State College


The Empire Opportunity Program (EOP) provides access, academic support, and financial assistance to students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who show promise for college success. The SUNY Empire EOP serves students at all stages of life and learning, full time or part time.

What you get as an EOP student at SUNY Empire:

  • Enhanced Academic Support Services. Get extra help from professional and peer tutors who work exclusively with EOP students.
  • Mentorship. A student success mentor will advise you throughout your degree, providing the tools and resources you need to succeed at SUNY Empire and beyond.
  • Flexibility. Take courses onsite (when available) and/or through independent study, residencies, and online study.
  • Summer Orientation. This residency-style weekend retreat helps us get to know you and deliver workshops on everything from individualized degree planning to strategies for effective communication.
  • Specialized Programming. Benefit from year-round EOP workshops on topics ranging from resume writing to self-marketing on social media.
  • Early Degree Planning. As soon as you’re accepted, you’ll start working with your mentor to create a degree plan that meets your personal, professional, and academic goals.
  • Financial Assistance. Receive an EOP stipend to help with your college costs.

To be eligible for admission to EOP you must:

  • Be a New York state resident for 12 months prior to enrollment.
  • Require special admissions consideration.
  • Meet the program’s academic and financial eligibility requirements.

Freshman and transfer students are eligible.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, the SUNY Empire EOP will accept a small cohort of eligible students.

To apply, you must:

  • Be a New York state resident for 12 months prior to admission.
    • Note: exceptions may be granted for veterans and military students
  • Be a transfer student with demonstrated economic need or a transfer student previously enrolled in another NYS opportunity program.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalency.

After application, you will:

  • Complete the supplementary EOP essay in lieu of the general undergraduate essay.
  • Complete an interview (virtually), if selected as a finalist.

Admissions Essay

In an essay of at least 300 words, please describe:

  • Why you are applying to the SUNY Empire State College Empire Opportunity Program.
  • How will the SUNY Empire State College Empire Opportunity Program improve your academic experience?

The essay will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • How well the questions are answered.
  • How well the ideas are organized and developed.
  • Grammar, spelling, and vocabulary.

Finalist Interview

The SUNY Empire EOP will place a great deal of emphasis on the human element of the process. In addition to the essay, the interview provides a more complete picture of potential students and will further inform our admission decisions. Staff who conduct the interviews will be skilled in evaluating the following qualities as indicators for potential student success:

  • Self-motivation
  • Articulation of thoughts and ideas
  • Recognition of strengths and weaknesses in relationship to academics
  • Ability to handle long-term goals
  • Strength of commitment to continue education
  • Awareness of financial and academic commitment
  • Time management
  • Extent and reality of plans for managing family- and job-related obligations,in addition to their academics
  • Understanding of additional supports commitment, (such as monthly EOP meetings, tutoring, and/or regular meetings with a Student Success mentor) specific to the Empire Opportunity Program
  • Timely completion of required paperwork for program application.

Academic Year 2020-2021

Household Size
(including head of household)
Total Annual Income

















*For families/households with more than eight persons, add $8,177 for each additional person.

The above guidelines do not apply if:

  • The student’s family receives family assistance or safety net payments through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance or a county Department of Social Services, or receives family day care payments through the New York State Office of Children and Family Assistance.
  • The student lives with foster parents who do not provide support for college, and the student’s natural parents provide no such support.
  • The student is a ward of the state or county.

Required Supplementary Financial Documents

You must have a FAFSA on file with the financial aid office to make your application complete. In addition, your application must be accompanied by the required supplementary financial documents based on individual circumstance.

For more information, contact: