Portrait of Sofia Elhusseini


Even from a young age, Sofia Elhusseini knew she wanted to study business. As her early interest in entrepreneurship evolved, she discovered paths beyond owning her own company. Now in her sophomore year at the NYU Stern School of Business, she’s found the support to pursue her professional goals through the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).

Sofia first learned about OP, as it’s commonly known, from a friend who was admitted to the program. OP is a unique scholarship program designed to give traditionally underserved students from low-income backgrounds comprehensive support throughout college. It includes financial assistance, including a full-tuition scholarship; access to a broad range of academic and supportive services; and connection to a deeply meaningful community. In the more than 50 years since its creation, it has helped thousands of students thrive.

Sofia’s Favorite OP Resources

“I want prospective students to know that OP has made me feel like I belong,” says Sofia. Born and raised in New York City, she has both Arab and Hispanic backgrounds and is the first person in her family to attend college. Furthermore, she continues, “the program has been very useful; there are many ways to get extra support.” Here are some resources that stand out for Sofia.

The Pre-Freshman Summer Program

OP begins the summer before your first year at NYU. You’ll attend a six-week program to help you hit the ground running, covering topics such as writing, mathematics, and study skills. Sofia reports, “I did well in my first courses at NYU because I took the Pre-Freshman Program seriously. I had a 4.0 my first semester! Plus, I met other Stern OP students who are my best friends now. We’re a small community within NYU that feels like home.”

Writing-Across-the-Curricula (WAC) Resource Center

On top of the academic support available to all NYU students, OP recipients have access to specialized tutoring services. “I visit the WAC for advice about writing,” Sofia explains. “They help with homework and test prep but also offer coaching when we’re applying to internships or grad school.”

Personalized Counseling

Everyone at NYU meets with academic advisers to chart their trajectories, but OP students also have personal counselors who offer advice about everything from social concerns to financial aid to career planning. For Sofia, Alfred Cecconi, assistant director of counseling and Stern academic adviser, “has been so helpful. I can talk with him any time, and he always suggests new opportunities.”

A large group of students in front of the NYU Stern building.

Community Across Campus

While OP has been integral to Sofia’s success, she’s also found friends elsewhere. “Stern Women in Business is all about women supporting women. We have a mentorship program, game nights, and alumni guest speakers. It’s a casual and comfortable environment,” she says. In addition, the Lebanese Club has introduced her to students with similar backgrounds. “The Lebanese community in New York City is small, so it’s been interesting to meet international students and hear their perspectives.”

A group of students and a professor talking.

A Future in Business

Sofia has not yet declared her concentration, but she’s leaning toward a primary concentration in finance and a co-concentration in accounting or global business. “Accounting is the language of business, while global business is a personal interest,” she explains. “As a multicultural student, I have had a global perspective throughout my life, so I know it will be beneficial to broaden my knowledge.” Either way, she is excited to continue to explore career options. “Business is always changing and adding new industries. My hope is that my degree takes me somewhere I can succeed and thrive, because at the end of the day, I want to grow personally and professionally.”

Learn More

Interested in learning more about the Opportunity Program? The process begins with an invitation to attend an OP Eligibility Session, which includes a group interview. Find out more details here.