Those in need, take heed: help available at EOPS office

Tiffany Lorey

Most people could use a little financial help to curb the expenses that a higher education presents, particularly in these tough economic times.

The EOPS office, Extended Opportunity Program & Services, in the Students Services Center building, is waiting to serve the needs of the students.  This is a state-run program.

“We go the extra mile for our students, because we want to make sure they complete their educational goal,” Maria Paniagua, EOPS specialist, said.

Students must qualify for the program based on their economic need, which would be assessed after filing paperwork for financial aid.   
In the academic year, approximately 379 students received benefits each semester, Paniagua said.

“EOPS has helped me answer all my questions and to plan my academic goal.” Jesus Roque, 22, computer maintenance, said.

Once a student qualifies through the eligibility stage, whole worlds of resources open up. Priority registration, academic counseling and book vouchers become available.

There is also math tutoring, Paniagua said.

CalWorks, a program for students receiving cash aid, is also partnered in the EOPS office.

The only restriction for students is that there are no allowances for book vouchers. On the other hand, the EOPS office will assist you with filing CalWorks paperwork with Orange county, Paniagua said.

The EOPS program ensures that a student is successful in college with a careful monitoring system.

A student is required to have two meetings with the counselors during the semester and have instructor’s document the student’s progress to ensure academic success.

For students taking classes at Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College or ATEP, be aware that you can only be involved in one campus EOPS program at a time. If you want to switch home campuses you will have to go through the eligibility process once more.

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