History of the Educational Opportunity Program

Long line of people waiting to register. Text: Line for registration. Copyright 2009 California State University Los Angeles Office of Public AffairsThe Educational Opportunity Program was created in the late 1960’s in response to economic and social barriers preventing minorities and underrepresented students from attaining a college education.

At Cal State LA, the Black Student Union (BSU) and the United Mexican-American Students Association (UMAS) were instrumental in establishing EOP. The student groups discovered that two percent of first-time freshmen with academic difficulties could gain admission to Cal State LA as special admits. They pushed the administration to extend the special admit designation, which was mostly offered to athletes, to underrepresented students.

In 1969, the state legislature passed a bill that established EOP as a state-funded organization and institutionalized the program at community colleges and universities statewide. EOP continues to provide access to economically and socially disadvantaged students who display the potential for academic success at the 23 campuses throughout the California State University System.

In commemoration of EOP’s 50th anniversary, we invite you to view a timeline of the program's evolution at Cal State LA and read about the impact EOP has had in the lives of some of our students.