Opportunity Programs


Phyllis A.H. Breland
315-859-4912 (fax)

The Opportunity Programs office is located in McEwen Hall 104.

About Opportunity Programs

The Opportunity Programs at Hamilton College consists of  two programs designed to increase access to higher education for students who present an alternate academic profile and who demonstrate the ability to compete successfully in a competitive academic environment. A history of more than 45 years at Hamilton demonstrates the college's commitment to a community that is culturally rich.

New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program

The New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) was established by the State Legislature in 1969 to provide access to independent college and universities for economically and educationally disadvantaged students from New York State. Economic eligibility is based on state-mandated low-income guidelines. Academic criteria are determined by each HEOP institution: a student enrolled in HEOP does not meet the institution's traditional admissions profile, but are the top performers from their high schools and academies. HEOP students must demonstrate that they are able to successfully compete at Hamilton. There are no compromises in the admission process. The program offers an avenue for students who meet both the academic and economic guidelines to obtain a college degree.

The Hamilton College Scholars Program

The Hamilton College Scholars Program runs parallel to the Higher Education Opportunity Program. Hamilton Scholars are students who are ineligible for HEOP because they do not meet its economic or residential criteria. The College Scholars Program is entirely funded by Hamilton College. Scholars hail from all over the United States and can include eligible international students.

How to Apply to HEOP and Hamilton Scholars Program


The Application Process

All candidates must come through the general admission process. Candidates who want to be considered for the HEOP/Scholar program should be sure to request financial aid assistance on the common application.

Questions or concerns about the program should be directed to the Opportunity Programs office.

Program Eligibilty

In order to be considered for the Higher Education Opportunity Program, you must be a resident of New York State and:

  • Possess a high school equivalency diploma, or the equivalent of a GED*
  • Meet program academic criteria*
  • Meet program economic guidelines

The minimum academic profile for potential HEOP/Scholar students is:

GPA 85
HS Rank Top 20%
SAT (new) 1600  (includes writing component)
HS Math 3 years
HS Science 3 years
ACT 21

Bear in mind that this profile serves as a guide. There are several factors that also are weighed in determining program eligibility; academic growth, test taking abilities, attendance, personal support systems, community involvement, special talents and motivation to succeed. Therefore, a personal interview is required of all applicants.

* required for Hamilton Scholars