SUNY New Paltz expands EOP program

New PaltzSUNY New Paltz announced Friday that it has received $290,000 to expand its Educational Opportunity Program by 100 students.

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), was founded in 1967, and is regarded as one of the best programs in the nation to promote diversity, inclusivity and equity on college campuses. This program provides access, academic support and financial aid for students who are economically disadvantaged or are from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

There are currently 517 students in the program at SUNY New Paltz. The new funding will provide stipend support for new students, and add a new EOP counselor. New Paltz EOP is currently the second-largest program in the SUNY system.

“The number of applications to our program is indicative of our students’ need for a strong academic support program such as EOP.  We are grateful for the continued support that our EOP program receives from the Chancellor and System Administration,” EOP Director Antonio Bonilla said.

EOP at New Paltz has long been recognized for its success with students.  Typically, first-year retention rates exceed the 89-90 percent rate for all New Paltz students.  Six-year graduation rates average at 65 percent, which is higher than the national average of 57 percent for all students in public institutions.  In 2014-2015, more than 3,000 EOP students statewide achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Several other SUNY campuses also received funds from the state to expand or enhance the EOP on Friday. Campuses receiving awards include UAlbany, with an award of  $158,000; Broome Community College received $37,500; SUNY College at Brockport received $50,000; SUNY Buffalo State College, $407,000; University at Buffalo, $207,000; Fashion Institute of Technology, $93,250; Finger Lakes Community College, $63,750; SUNY Maritime College, $55,500; SUNY Morrisville, $44,500; SUNY Plattsburgh, $122,500; and Stony Brook University, $350,000.

Five SUNY campuses are receiving awards for first year costs of implementing new EOP programs.  These campuses are SUNY Adirondack with an award of $144,000, Jefferson Community College received $116,000; Niagara County Community College, $129,500; and SUNY Orange, $114,750.

“We will continue our efforts to strengthen this important investment so that the promise of higher education can be within reach of every student,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.