Educational Opportunity Program

About the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is a state sponsored program that helps low-income New Jersey residents attend college. The program was created in 1969 to make higher education more accessible to students who might not otherwise be able to continue their education due to academic disadvantage or a lack of financial resources.

Students are admitted into the program when they have demonstrated academic readiness, academic potential, determination, a genuine desire to learn and a need for financial assistance. Students receiving an EOP grant may be eligible for other state and federal grants. 

Rider’s EOP financial aid packages cover nearly 100% of the required cost (including books) for students of greatest need. 

Goals of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The two principle goals of EOP are:

  • To empower students to become well rounded leaders with the skills necessary for responsible citizenship in a changing world
  • To encourage students to make a positive impact on Rider University and the greater community.

Eligibility & Applying for EOP

To be considered for the EOP program, you must:

  • Be a first-year student
  • Have/plan to have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Be a New Jersey resident for at least one year

Income Eligibility Scale

Income eligibility figures for the 2015-2016 academic year are available below. For additional information, please visit the New Jersey EOF web site:

Household Size Gross Income Maximum Household Size Gross Income Maximum
1 $23,340 5 $55,820
2 $31,460 6 $63,940
3 $39,580 7 $72,060
4 $47,700 8* $80,180

* Allow $8,120 for each additional family member

Maximum Income Eligibility for Discretionary Students

Household Size Gross Income Maximum Household Size Gross Income Maximum
1 $32,793 5 $78,427
2 $44,201 6 $89,836
3 $55,610 7 $101,244
4 $67,019 8* $112,653

* Allow $11,409 for each additional member of the household

The Many Ways EOP Assists Students

The EOP is based on a successful learning community model. The program has an intense cooperation among staff, faculty, and administration with many student directed activities.

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) provides eligible students with a support system that includes:

  • A 5-week EOP Summer Institute (required) that prepares you to succeed before your first semester even begins
  • The renewable $5000 Maurice E. Palmer Memorial Scholarship, awarded to one high-achieving EOP student each year
  • Assistance in planning courses
  • Progress check-ins
  • Career services
  • Leadership development
  • Career counseling and connections
  • Personal and academic counseling
  • Free tutoring

For students who are US citizens or permanent residents, but whose parents are not legally documented residents of the state of NJ.
For students who are United States citizens or permanent residents, but whose parents are not legally documented residents of the state of New Jersey, you are still eligible to participate in the Educational Opportunity Program as long as you can establish legal residency in New Jersey notwithstanding the residency of your parent(s) and have been a permanent resident of New Jersey for at least 12 months prior to the start of college and are not residing in New Jersey for the sole purpose of receiving an education.

For example, if you are a U.S. citizen but your parents are not citizens and do not hold a permanent residency card, you will initially be denied state financial aid. If you believe you can provide supporting documents as proof of your residency notwithstanding the residency of your parent(s) i.e. high school transcript, GED, income tax returns etc, upon receipt of this documentation, HESAA will make a determination of your State grant eligibility and send you a Student Eligibility Notice (SEN) reflecting your potential State grant eligibility. 

If this is applicable to you, you can request a review of HESAA's preliminary decision to deny State funding by providing HESAA with the necessary documentation. If you need assistance with this process, please contact the admissions office.

For more information regarding the review process for students with undocumented parent(s), please visit the HESAA website:http://www.hesaa.org/Pages/residency.aspx