Applying to any California State University campus is easier than ever with the new Cal State Apply application, but there's an added benefit for low-income, educationally disadvantaged students.

The single admission application for all campuses now allows students to simultaneously apply for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) when they're applying for admission to a specific CSU campus(es). EOP offers numerous support services to improve student success in college.

Applying to EOP once required filling out a separate application, but now the EOP application is integrated into Cal State Apply, explains April Grommo, Ed.D., director of Enrollment Management Services at the CSU Chancellor's Office, in Long Beach.

EOP is designed to assist low-income and educationally disadvantaged undergraduate students by providing support that starts with the application process and continues through admission, enrollment and beyond.

Services offered include:

  • admission counseling
  • academic advising
  • peer mentoring
  • student success workshops
  • tutoring
  • Graduation Writing Test preparation
  • supplemental financial assistance

CSU campus EOP programs also offer summer programs and courses in math, English, ethnic studies, study skills and orientation, as well as seminars and other retention services which may vary from each campus. Contact the EOP office at individual campuses for details.

The Fall 2018 priority application cycle opens on October 1, 2017 and runs through November 30, 2017.

Five Ways EOP Can Help You

  1. Applying to CSU: EOP provides information to help you select a campus and assists you in completing the admission process.
  2. Once you're admitted: You can enroll in an EOP summer program to strengthen your math, reading or other skills.
  3. Before the first day of college: EOP orientation sessions help you learn about campus services and programs.
  4. Once you're enrolled: You can receive counseling, tutoring and advising services.
  5. Financial support: If you're eligible, an EOP grant may be awarded.

What to Know If You Want to Apply

Historically low-income, disadvantaged undergraduate students who need admission assistance and support services to succeed in college are admitted to EOP. Applicants must demonstrate academic potential and motivation to succeed and must meet the income criteria.

Applicants should thoroughly review the checklist of required information (you can find this when you’re logged in to Cal State Apply), which includes 10 years of your parents’ employment background, and gather all the necessary information before beginning your application. You will also need to answer the following five autobiographical questions in essay style:

• List any extracurricular activities or work or volunteer experience in which you are or have been involved in the past two years.
• Why would you like to attend college? Discuss your career and personal goals. Are there any particular circumstances, school experiences, or people that influenced your preparation or motivation to attend college (e.g., cultural/financial background, family, teachers, schools you attended)? Please explain.
• Briefly discuss your academic background. Did you utilize any additional support at your high school, such as tutoring? Do your grades in high school and/or college reflect your academic ability or potential?
• Briefly describe your family’s economic background and include information about any financial challenges.
• Please tell us more about yourself. Is there any additional information you would like EOP to consider in determining your admission to the program?

Answers to these five questions will help determine your motivation and preparation to undertake college work, says Dr. Grommo, who advises applicants to answer as precisely and honestly as possible, using complete sentences and avoiding responses such as “yes” or “no.”

“I think it’s important for each applicant to carefully consider each question and provide comprehensive answers about why they are motivated to get a college degree,” she explains.

Grommo also recommends that applicants take time to talk with their parent(s) about their 10 years of employment background in order to provide thorough details for the application.

"As an EOP alumna, I now recognize the impact that the program had on my academic growth. Getting into college isn't half as much a challenge as it is to stay there. The EOP staff made a commitment to me on my first day at Chico State, and their expectations of excellence were what kept me pushing toward my graduation goal. I am forever grateful for the influence that EOP had on my life." Chandra “Binky” Sanders, Chico State ‘91, budget analyst, eBusiness

"EOP not only has staff and faculty that have shown support, but we as EOP students show each other support. This was my first family, my first group at Channel Islands." Jevon Wilkes, CSU Channel Islands '12, advocate, speaker, educator