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The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) assists low-income first-generation participants to complete secondary school requirements and enroll in postsecondary education programs.

EOC services include:

  • providing information about opportunities for postsecondary training, student financial aid, academic assistance, and career options;
  • advising participants regarding academic preparation, admissions testing, deadlines for applications, course requirements, etc.;
  • offering information and training in financial and economic literacy on topics such as basic personal income, household money management, financial planning skills, and basic economic decision-making skills;
  • counseling and assists in areas of admissions, application completion, and career testing and exploration;
  • assisting with financial aid, including defaulted students loans, reinstatement of financial aid eligibility, and completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
  • providing referrals to other agencies and institutions as appropriate; and
  • conducting workshops on attending and surviving college, with lessons in reducing test anxiety, ACT preparation, and funding for college.

The EOC offers services to several locations, including Knoxville and Athens in Tennessee, Franklin, North Carolina, and Blue Ridge, Georgia.

We also have a large list of helpful resources to get you up to speed and ready for your college career. The resources include academic, career, and educational information as well as financial aid.

Service Area

The EOC serves individuals in the following counties in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee through satellite offices in each state:

  • Dawson County
  • Fannin County
  • Gilmer County
  • Rabun County
  • Towns County
  • Union County

  • Cherokee County
  • Clay County
  • Graham County
  • Jackson County
  • Macon County
  • Swain County

  • Anderson County
  • Bradley County
  • Blount County
  • Campbell County
  • Cumberland County
  • Knox County
  • Loudon County
  • McMinn County

  • Meigs County
  • Morgan County
  • Rhea County
  • Roane County
  • Scott County
  • Sevier County
  • Union County


According to the US Department of Education, participation guidelines state that at least two-thirds of individuals served each year must be both low-income and first-generation.

Through the Years

Ernest W. Brewer wrote the initial EOC grant proposal in 1991. EOC is federally funded by a five-year discretionary grant. Since 1991, the project has served more than 39,000 participants, approximately 75 percent of which have been both low-income and first-generation. The majority of EOC participants enroll in a postsecondary institution, working to achieve their stated career goal.