What makes HEOP unique is that it serves students who would not normally be admissible to the colleges they attend. The success these students have depends on the academic and supportive services HEOP programs provide and the financial aid assistance that makes attending college a reality. 69 HEOP Programs at Independent Colleges and Universities Making A Difference for New York State: The independent colleges and universities of New York have created “opportunity programs” that succeed better than any similar programs nationwide. The Higher Education Opportunity Program is regarded as one of the most successful programs of its type in the nation. The success of the Higher Education Opportunity Program is not in the numbers but in the lives of the students who are now empowered to make choices about their lives that would have been impossible without this unique partnership between the State of New York and its independent colleges and universities.