The Isom E. Fearn Access Opportunity Programs (AOP)

Program Overview

The Isom E. Fearn Access Opportunity Programs (AOP) at SUNY Geneseo serves as the College's means of meeting the higher educational aspirations of academically talented students who reflect the ethnic and cultual diversity of both New York State as well as neighboring states with similar diverse student populations.   The programs that are united under the AOP department are the Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the Transitional Opportunity Program (TOP).  While the programs serve different segments of society, they are similar in that they both provide educational access opportunities and academic support services to participants.  Eligibility for the EOP program is both academically and economically based and the program provides students with some financial support.  The TOP program, however, is not economically based, although TOP students may qualify for financial aid.


The Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), a parallel of CUNY’s SEEK programs, was extended to the State University of New York in 1968 to provide higher education to traditionally by-passed residents of New York State. The program is aimed at students who have the potential to complete a college degree, but do not meet the general admission requirements because their academic credentials may have been adversely affected during their high school years by economic factors. Applicants are required to provide specific supporting and verifying documentation before admission decisions will be rendered. Specific state economic guidelines must be followed, and campus interviews may be required for some applicants.


The Transitional Opportunity Program (TOP) is a SUNY Geneseo sponsored program that includes many of the services commonly associated with EOP. Although the academic standards for admission are the same as for EOP, TOP applicants are not held to the same firm economic guidelines expected of EOP applicants. Most students qualify for the program because of the College’s interest in and commitment to expanding its student body to include the rich ethnic/racial, economic and age diversity of our society. Applicants applying for admission through this program shall be required to provide supporting documents to verify status and academic potential. Approximately 50% or more of TOP students qualify for financial aid.


Although applicants for the AOP department represent some of the brightest students in New York State, due to the high academic standards for admission, applicants seeking admission through AOP ordinarily do not satisfy one or more of the College's general admission requirements. Given their academic potential however, a more in-depth review of their academic credentials is used to assess their potential for success at SUNY Geneseo.  In addition to high school grades and standardized test scores, AOP applicants are required to complete and submit an AOP specific Part II Supplemental Application, an essay, and other supporting and veryifying documentation(e.g. counselor/teacher recommendations and a personal essay that discusses high school performance and educational goals) before an admission decision is rendered. In some cases, an on campus interview may be required for some AOP applicants. 


Counselors and applicants who would like additional information about applying for admission through this program should contact Geneseo’s AOP (585-245-5725) or Admissions (585-245-5571) departments directly.