The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is a collaboration between the New York State Department of Education and Paul Smith’s College. Our program provides a means for traditionally underserved, low-income students to obtain admission as well as academic and financial support.



Since 1986 we have played an important part in Paul Smith’s commitment to a diverse student body. HEOP addresses the reality that many students desire to attend college yet might not be able to attend because of limited economic and educational resources. We accept students from a variety of backgrounds regardless of race, creed, class, gender, sexual preference, or religion.

As an accepted student into HEOP at Paul Smith’s, you are required to complete a four-week summer program prior to your freshman year. During this time, you will be exposed to courses and activities that will ease your transition into life as a college student.

All accepted students are required to attend weekly advising meetings to help navigate any problems that may interfere with academic work. This may include academic, financial, personal, social and/or career counseling.

In addition to academic support, students receive a generous financial aid package combining state, federal, and Paul Smith’s College grants and loans.


General Requirements

  • Be a New York State resident for at least one year prior to enrollment in HEOP
  • Be a high school graduate, have a New York Equivalency diploma (GED) or its equivalent
  • Meet both academic and financial guidelines defined below
  • If transferring, be previously enrolled in an approved opportunity program

Academic Requirements

  • Demonstrate the necessary motivation and potential to successfully complete the program to which you have applied.
  • Have an academic profile that indicates you would be non-admissible under Paul Smith’s College’s regular admissions standards. This includes: high school GPA and academic history.

Economic Requirements

  • Meet the financial guidelines as established by the New York State Education Department.
  • The income guidelines for students entering Paul Smith’s College after July 1, 2023 are listed below.

Select the number of household members to view the household’s Maximum 2021 Income:

+$8,732 for each family member in excess of 8 persons

  • Students and families must provide extensive documentation of income. This may include, but is not limited to:
    • Federal Tax returns, W-2 form
    • Social Security form 1099
    • Child support verification
    • Public assistance documents

Students at Paul Smith’s are part of a family – and we do everything possible to ensure your success while you work toward your college degree. Here are some of the tools HEOP provides to make your college experience smoother:

Pre-freshman Summer Program

College is more demanding than high school, which is why entering HEOP students are required to participate in a four-week summer program before starting Paul Smith’s College. You’ll work with college faculty in this orientation to college life, which will help you build academic skills and become familiar with our services. You’ll also get a taste of all the Adirondacks have to offer, such as hiking nearby mountains or canoeing on Lower St. Regis Lake. The Summer Program is provided to students free of charge.


Weekly advising is required and provided by the HEOP staff to help you navigate any problems that may interfere with your academic work. You’ll have access to academic, financial, personal, social, and career counseling.

Remedial/Developmental Courses

If you need to brush up on writing, math or science skills, non-credit remedial and developmental courses are available during the summer program and the academic year.

Academic Support

All HEOP students at Paul Smith’s College can take advantage of one-on-one tutoring services through the college’s Academic Success Center as well as study groups, a Writing Center and more.

Financial Support

All prospective students must submit applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). If you’re accepted into HEOP, financial assistance is available based on individual need. Once your need is established, the college’s Office of Financial Aid will develop a package combining state, federal, and institutional grants and loans. HEOP does not cover health insurance, loans, Estimated Family Contributions (EFCs), any charges incurred by a student (such as fines or costs for replacement IDs), or any aid lost due to poor academic performance.

If you need special accommodations because you have a disability, please contact the Center for Accommodative Services (CAS).

Summer Program

Only newly accepted students in HEOP participate in the Summer Program. It is required the summer prior to your first semester.

More will be expected of you in college than high school. During the Summer Program, you will participate in courses and activities that will ease your transition into life as a college student. You’ll explore the campus, interact with faculty and students, complete necessary financial aid paperwork, and more! 

Required Forms


Contact Us »

James Tucker
Pickett Hall 203B
(518) 327-6482