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Transitional Opportunity Program (TOP)

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.

The Transitional Opportunity Program was created to address the fact that, due to the economic restrictions associated with meeting the eligibility for EOP, coupled with the high admission expectations associated with general admission to SUNY Geneseo, many academically talented students (many who were minority students) were being denied access to SUNY Geneseo. As such, The State University of New York College at Geneseo, in its efforts to provide educational opportunities to New York State residents who make up the rich ethnic/racial diversity that reflects our society, instituted the TOP department in 1985.

TOP is a SUNY Geneseo sponsored program that provides many of the support services commonly associated with its Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). TOP is one of the two programs included in Geneseo’s Access Opportunity Programs (AOP) department. TOP participants have experienced a great deal of academic and personal success at SUNY Geneseo and abroad, and many have gone on to some of the top graduate and professional schools in the country. Graduates and current students have majored in Accounting, Biology, Communication, Education, Political Science and Psychology, among others. TOP graduates are also employed as optometrists, lawyers, counselors, teachers, accountants, and biologists, to name a few, and many graduates of the program have earned graduate and/or professional degrees at respected universities throughout the state and nation.

Services provided by the department:

  • Students are assigned counselors to help with personal, financial, academic and career matters.
  • Tutorial services are available free of charge.
  • Students are required to attend a four-week summer program in July to accilimate them to the campus.  The out-of-pocket cost for TOP students for the summer program will be $1,250.00.

Students seeking admission to the college through TOP should complete and submit the standard State University of New York application or the SUNY Geneseo Common Application as soon as possible. The college's AOP department will keep applicants updated about their admission status throughout the admission process. All admitted students are required to pay a $300.00 deposit which is applied toward tuition and residence hall fees. Counselors or applicants who are interested in additional information may contact the AOP department or the admissions department directly at (585) 245-5571.


TOP Eligibility

GPA: An academic unweighted GPA of 78 or higher (freshmen)

SAT score: 880 or higher (combined minimum score of a 440 Critical Reading and a 440 Math)

ACT: A  minimum score of 17

GED: A score of 2,750 or above on GED examination. GED recipients are required to provide composite SAT scores and high school transcripts up through their separation from high school. All applicants must be high school graduates or GED recipients.

For Transfers: Transfer applicants must have completed two full time semesters at another college and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above to be a serious candidate for admission. The strongest candidates will have a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher. Applicants must also satisfy one or more of the items listed below.

All applicants must fall into one or more of the following categories:

  1. A member of an underrepresented racial group as specified in US census designations; a low-income student who exceeds eligibility criteria for EOP; a student attending a high identified as rural
  2. A recent immigrant of any race who has lived less than six (6) years in the United States but is seeking permanent resident status(classified as an eligible non citizen and assigned an Alien Registration Number). Must have scored at least five hundred twenty-five (525) or higher on paper-based test (92 or higher on the internet based test) , and/or have earned a score of 400 or higher on the critical reading section of the SAT
  3. Age 25 years or older, of any race or ethnic background, and willing to enroll full-time (not less than 12 credit hours) during their first two semesters of study at SUNY Geneseo
  4. A student who has self-identified as a first generation college student (neither parent or guardian has completed a four year college degree). 

How to Apply for TOP

Students applying to SUNY Geneseo will be considered for admission through TOP if they fulfill and complete all of the following requirements:

  1. Complete the SUNY Application or the Common Application
  2. Satisfy the TOP eligibility requirements as listed on this page, and is referred to the AOP Office by the Director of Admission for review
    • If an applicant is uncertain about his/her qualifications for general admission, he/she may submit a personal request for a TOP evaluation to Geneseo’s Director of Admission