American Academy of Optometry Scholarships

The American Optometric Foundation offers many award, grant, scholarship, and research opportunities. Most scholarships require nomination by the student’s institution; applications directly from the student are not accepted. The following scholarships are available through the AOF:

Antoinette Molinari Scholarship

Awarded to a first – third year student who has extraordinary financial needs.  Academic and leadership potential are also considered. Eligible schools vary each year.

Vincent Salierno Scholarship

Awarded to current optometry students based on nominations by their school.  Awards are primarily based on financial need, followed by academic performance. Eligible schools vary each year.

J. Pat Cummings Scholarship

Awarded annually to second or third year optometry students from each optometry school, based on a nominee selected by the school. Candidates must demonstrate the ideal eye care standards of practice, achievement in both academic performance and extra-curricular activities, and participation with other professional pursuits such as involvement with patients through internships, community service, and other volunteer activities.

Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care

To recognize outstanding 4th year student clinicians who have demonstrated excellence in contact lens patient care during their optometric education. Nominations are submitted directly from the school to the AOA.

Alcon Scholarship

Alcon, a global healthcare company and leader in eye care products including solutions, prescription drugs, contact lens and ophthalmic instruments, is a consistent supporter of optometric education. This scholarship is awarded to optometry students on the basis of academic standing and financial need.

American Optometric Foundation Optimum Optics Scholarship

The PCO scholarship committee nominates one candidate from the College per year, with preference given to students from New Jersey.

Rick Bay Foundation Scholarship

The Rick Bay Foundation Scholarship is available to a Salus University optometry student based on qualities that embody Rick’s commitment to the profession including integrity, compassion, partnership and dedication to the greater good.  The award is $5,000.

George Comstock Scholarship

The Connecticut Optometric Society administers a scholarship for Connecticut residents demonstrating financial need, academic excellence, and high moral character. Application is made directly to the Connecticut Optometric Society.

Donald H. Evans, OD Award

The Pennsylvania Vision Conservation Institute (VCI) will present annually a $1,000 award and plaque to a deserving fourth-year student from Pennsylvania attending Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in recognition of outstanding service to PCO, the visual welfare of the public and the community.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

The IHS LRP awards up to $20,000 per year for the repayment of your qualified student loans in exchange for an initial two-year service obligation to practice full time at an Indian Health Program site.

HOYA Vision Care

HOYA Vision Care, a manufacturer of lenses, has established a program combining grants and scholarships given to third- and fourth-year students. Students enter the competition by submitting an e-Poster Case Study in which a HOYA product was used.  Each participating school chooses one winner of a $1,000 grant, and after review by HOYA one of those students also receives a $6,000 scholarship.

Military Scholarships

The Army, Navy, and Air Force provide a Health Profession Scholarship Program (HPSP) to optometry students that covers complete tuition payment, required books and fees plus a monthly living stipend. HPSP scholarships recipients are commissioned as officers and required to serve in the military for a specific period of time, depending upon the number of years the recipient received the HPSP scholarship. Applications and additional information are available directly from local Army, Navy, and Air Force recruitment offices that are located throughout the United States.

Leslie Mintz Foundation Scholarship

Administered by the New Jersey Optometric Association, students with New Jersey residence may apply for these annual scholarships. Students are generally notified of awards during the second semester. Applications are available from the University’s Financial Aid Office.

National Eye Research Foundation Fellowship Award

The Foundation offers an award to a student enrolled in a school or college of optometry.

National Optometric Association

The National Optometric Association (NOA) offers financial support to members of its student affiliate (the National Optometric Student Association, or NOSA), including the following scholarships:

The Dr. David W. White Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Sponsored by the Mississippi chapter of NOA, this scholarship awards $500 to a student in the first three years of an optometry program who has at least a 2.5 GPA and plans to practice in Mississippi after graduating.

Dr. C. Clayton Powell Georgia Student Award

Sponsored by the Georgia chapter of NOA, this scholarship is awarded to an active member of NOSA with a 3.0 GPA and leadership ability. Applicants must desire to practice in Georgia.

Nikon Scholar Awards

An annual competition open to first-year students of optometry. Awards range from honorariums to scholarships.


OneSight Research Foundation supports optical research and education, granting more than $250,000 annually toward vision research focused on diabetic eye diseases and offering thousands of dollars in scholarships to students pursuing a degree in Optometry. See the Cure Foundation will award ten scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each through the Dr. Stanley Pearle Scholarship Fund. 

Optometry Cares/The AOA Foundation

Optometry Cares and The AOA Foundation offer several scholarships each year to current optometry students.

Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship, sponsored by Essilor

This $10,000 scholarship for a third-year student honors Bernard Maitenaz, one of the foremost authorities in optical science and engineering.

InfantSEE® Scholarship, sponsored by Vision West, Inc.

Vision West, Inc. a leading national eye-care business group offering Optometric Business Services including group purchasing services to its members, and Optometry Cares are pleased to offer a national scholarship program to promote InfantSEE.  Scholarships are awarded to third-year students; first place $5,000, second place $2,500.

Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship

Optometry Cares offers the $2,500 Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship to a third-year student who best addresses the topic, “Qualities I have developed through my financial planning/work experience during and/or before optometry school, that I believe will be most useful to me in a professional optometric practice.”

Dr. Pat and Patrick Cummings Scholarship

Sponsored in part by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care

In tribute to father and son, the Cummings family has established the Dr. Pat and Patrick Cummings Memorial Fund through Optometry Cares.  This scholarship fund allows the legacy of two amazing individuals to live on.  Open to fourth-year students, the national winner is awarded $5,000.

Petry-Lomb Scholarship

An annual award to a New York resident enrolled in an optometry college who exhibits financial need and good scholastic achievement. Applications are available from the Office of Financial Aid.

PHEAA Grants

A student who matriculates without receiving a baccalaureate degree, whose domicile has been in Pennsylvania for at least 12 months prior to the date of application, and who demonstrates financial need in accordance with PHEAA requirements may be eligible for a PHEAA grant. To apply, complete the State Grant Form online directly from your FASFA confirmation page. Look for the link that reads "Optional Feature—Start your state application—Click here if you want to apply for Pennsylvania state-based financial aid."  If you have further questions, contact PHEAA at 1-800-692-7392.

Review of Optometry Scholarship

An annual scholarship funded by Cahners, publisher of the Review of Optometry.

State Grants and Scholarships

Typically for undergraduate students, several states have programs that award grant monies to needy students. If you have entered or will enter the University before receiving a baccalaureate degree, contact your state higher education agency directly for more information.
Also, several state optometric associations offer scholarships to optometry students.  Check with your state’s chapter for information.

Vision Service Plan/AOF Practice Excellence Scholarship

Established in 1998-99 by Vision Service Plan, this scholarship recognizes proficiency in the area of primary care and promotes independent private practice. Two scholarships are awarded to fourth year students.

Walman Scholarship Program

The Walman Optical Company has established a scholarship program to encourage and assist students at schools and colleges of optometry. Scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at participating schools selected by Walman Optical Company.

Wal-Mart Scholarship

Established and administered by the Wal-Mart Corporation.