Columbia University’s commitment to making education accessible and affordable is longstanding, and they are proud to partner to support students from a wide variety of backgrounds, including those with limited financial resources. For decades, the University has supported high-achieving, low-income students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering through the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Educational Opportunity Program (HEOP) and our own National Opportunity Program (NOP)

Competitive candidates for HEOP/NOP excel academically, actively participate in their community, demonstrate intellectual curiosity and show that they will especially benefit from additional support services. HEOP students must also meet financial guidelines set by New York State. We find that the strongest HEOP/NOP applicants can articulate their fit for the distinctive Columbia experience, which includes the fundamental Core Curriculum, a both traditionally collegiate and unmistakably urban campus life, and a place where curious thinkers come to grow. We work closely with Columbia’s Academic Success Programsto provide a holistic approach to student development which includes:

  • Financial Aid: Though most HEOP/NOP students graduate in four years, they are eligible for up to five years of full need-based financial aid for tuition, room and meals. Our need-based aid is in the form of grants; loans are not used to meet financial need. A textbook stipend is awarded to students every semester until graduation.
  • Summer Bridge Program: HEOP/NOP students participate in a required five-week academic program that prepares participants for college-level courses in the areas of critical reading and analysis, formal writing, laboratory science and mathematics. Students engage evenings and weekends in team-building exercises to foster personal development and a sense of community.
  • Advising and Tutoring: Columbia’s Berick Center for Student Advising assigns all students individual advisers who work with them closely throughout their time at Columbia to set and reach their academic goals. Students also have access to staff across the university, including the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement, the Center for Career Education and faculty advisers in academic departments. Additionally, HEOP/NOP students are assigned peer mentors, who provide both individualized and group tutoring services and counseling on topics such as career exploration and financial independence. Many HEOP/NOP students also participate in the Center for Student Advising’s First in Family programs, a set of workshops, support and mentoring open to all Columbia students who are first-generation college students.

There is no separate application for consideration for either program. They accept both HEOP and NOP students in Early Decision as well as Regular Decision. If you think you are a student you is a strong fit and if you have additional questions about the HEOP and NOP programs, please email