Over & Above Services

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) is a state and college funded program designed to increase college enrollment for those individuals who have previously not considered college as an option.  EOPS strives to alleviate the educational barriers that preclude many low-income students from college attendance. 

EOPS provides services, "over and above" to those offered by the college, to enhance the educational success of program participants, beginning with an outreach program that stresses that college is for everyone with a dream, and that success can be a reality for those with a plan.  EOPS also provides books assistance, application assistance, counseling, tutorial, peer assistance, and grants for students who follow the terms of their mutual responsibility contract. 

As students progress through their programs, EOPS will assist as they search for employment or prepare for transfer by helping with job searches, or CSU and UC fee waivers.  Simply put, EOPS helps eligible students enroll, stay in college, and succeed. 

Description of Services

Academic and Personal Counseling

The EOPS Counseling Staff is available to discuss with you the array of academic programs offered at Merced College and how they may fit with your area of interest. Each EOPS student is provided with:

  • A comprehensive, individualized educational plan, which outlines the courses needed to complete either a certificate, associate degree (AA / AS), or transfer program to a four-year college or university.
  • Opportunities for short-term personal counseling to EOPS students who experience financial, emotional, and/or social issues as they relate to being a student at Merced College.
  • Accuplacer Assessment (Placement Test) Evaluation
  • Assistance with Course Placement
  • Registration Counseling
  • Academic Counseling
  • Degree Audits and Graduation Planning
  • Academic & Progress Probation Counseling
  • Referrals to On and Off Campus Services


See CARE Webpage for information

Enrollment Assistance

EOPS is designed to assist students who are low income, and educationally disadvantaged.  In many cases it is necessary for EOPS to help students develop a desire to participate in post-secondary educational activities, and make them aware that they have the potential to succeed in college. The EOPS Student Services Assistants and Counselors are available to provide each student with individualized enrollment assistance.  Each student will take a placement test, complete a college application, and have a counselor complete an educational assessment.  The selection of an educational goal, the development of an educational plan that not only outlines the courses you are to take, but the sequence in which you are to take them, and a programmed completion date are standard outcomes you should expect. 

Financial Assistance with Textbooks

Ray BeJarano Book Service

EOPS students are provided with assistance in purchasing textbooks each semster, if the student is not eligible to receive book assistance from another source.  Students who have followed their EOPS contract will receive greater assistance with their books. Students who are not in good EOPS standing will receive a less amount of book assistance.  Book assistance is provided based on the availability of funds.

Text Book Lending Libary

EOPS has a limited number of textbooks to lend to EOPS students.  Many of these books  have been donated by EOPS students and can be checked-out to EOPS students who either have a delayed Financial Aid payment or they will not be receiving financial aid.  Students need to return books when their Financial Aid payments come in or by the end of the semester: this enables other students to benefit from this service.

Money Grants

Some EOPS students who are receiving Pell Grants and have an unmet financial need receive a cash grant from EOPS when funds are available. EOPS grants:

  • Are included in the second scheduled Financial Aid Disbursement.
  • Are in addition to other entitlement payments.
  • Students eligible to receive an EOPS grant are those in their third or subsequent semester that have complied with the EOPS Student Agreement for the current and previous semester. 
  • The EOPS Grant does not require repayment.

Priority Registration

EOPS students are provided with a reserved slot at the end of each semester which gives them an opportunity to register early for the following semester. This allows EOPS students to have a better chance of getting the classes they need.

Transfer Assistance

Counselors encourage students to continue their education and transfer to a four-year college or university.  EOPS assist students with the application process, issue admission fee waivers to those schools that accept them, and advise students to participate in the transfer assistance programs that are offered by some schools.  The EOPS educational plan is designed to expedite the transfer process.