About Us

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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all students in the Opportunity Programs students of color?

Opportunity Programs is not a diversity program. This academic program is designed for students from all ethnic groups whose academic profiles do not fit the traditional Hamilton student profile, but who demonstrate an ability to compete at this institution. Opportunity Program students are provided a structured and supportive environment that facilitates degree attainment. Program services include comprehensive needs and skills assessment, academic and career counseling, academic support, advocacy and some assistance with books and travel.

How many students are in Opportunity Programs?

The number varies depending on the incoming class. Students are part of Opportunity Programs for their four years at Hamilton. There are currently more than 170 students in the program.

What leadership roles have Opportunity Program students held?

Opportunity Program students hold leadership roles as teaching assistants, resident advisors, EMTs, admission interns, Student Assembly representatives and Honor Court representatives. They also serve on the executive boards of organizations such as: BLSU, Womyn's Center, ACS, MSA, CAB, Feminist of Color Collective, Chess Club and the Voices of Color Lecture Series.

Once the summer program is over, am I still part of Opportunity Programs?

Yes. Your successful completion of the five-week summer course is the beginning of your college experience and also the beginning of your relationship with the Opportunity Programs office. You will continue to work through a program protocol during your four years at Hamilton.

Do Opportunity Programs students get the chance to study abroad?

Yes. If a student is interested in studying abroad, Hamilton College as well as the Opportunity Programs office will encourage the student to take part in a semester abroad. More than half, 56 percent, of Opportunity Programs students participate in study-abroad programs.

Contact Information

Phyllis A.H. Breland

Director of Opportunity Programs
McEwen Hall 104
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, N.Y. 13323
315-859-4398 315-859-4912 pbreland@hamilton.edu

Student Testimonial

Despite our backgrounds or other separating factors, we all shared the mission of ensuring the possibility of higher education for those who wanted it most.

Jasmine Murray '18—

Reflecting on her participation in New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day

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