Higher Education Opportunity Programs (HEOP)

The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is a comprehensive academic program created in 1970 by the New York State Legislature to assist in providing access for all New Yorkers to the State's private colleges and universities. The program is designed for students who, based on high school academic performance , have the potential for and interest in pursuing college level study, but do not meet the regular admission requirements of the college. HEOP is sponsored jointly by the State Education Department and Canisius University. The program offers financial assistance based on need, and a variety of support services. The ultimate goal of HEOP at Canisius is to make higher education a reality for New York State residents who are academically under-prepared and economically disadvantaged.

HEOP Pre-Freshman Summer Program

All incoming HEOP pre-freshmen take part in an intensive four-week summer program which orients students to college life at Canisius and helps prepare them for future academic work. The purpose of this program is to assist students in making the academic, social and personal adjustments which are essential for educational success. The pre-freshman program offers a variety of courses and workshops. Courses consist of study skills, mathematics, and writing. Workshop topics include college life, financial aid, choosing a major, personal concerns, career planning and job techniques/skills.

Semester Expectations:

  • Each semester the COPE office requires HEOP students to fulfill the following expectations:
  • Meet with COPE counselor three times per semester (freshmen and sophomores)
  • Meet with COPE counselor two times per semester (juniors and seniors)
  • Freshmen must attend three workshops per semester.
  • Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors must attend two workshops per semester.
  • ALL HEOP students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average. 
  • All HEOP students are encouraged to write lobby letters every spring semester to local New York state senator, assemblymen and New York State Govenor.

For more information on financial aid, grants, and scholarships, please visit the Canisius University Office of Student Records anf Financial Services.


HEOP Recipients must:

1. Have been a New York State resident for at least one year prior to enrollment in HEOP.
2. Be inadmissible under Canisius University's regular admission requirements as determined by the Admissions Office.
3. Meet the State's Economic Guidelines for HEOP.
4. Be a high school graduate or have a state-approved High School Equivalency Diploma or its equivalent (GED, etc.)
5. Have the potential to succeed in college as determined by testing, personal interview, participation in mandatory pre-freshman summer program.