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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Optometry School

Optometry School Cost


How Much Does Optometry School Cost?

 
average costMedium: Public Optometry Tuition Runs $10,700-$20,200 a Yearhigh costHigh: Private Optometry Schools Run $15,000-$29,1000 a Year

Optometrists (eye doctors) examine, diagnose and treat the eye through medication, therapy or surgery. After receiving a Doctor of Optometry degree, a variety of specialized fields are available from geriatrics to occupational vision or pediatrics, according to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

Only eighteen universities in the US have accredited optometry schools so competition is tough. Along with high undergraduate scores, a personal essay and letters of recommendation, applicants must take the Optometrist Admission Test to be considered for the four-year program in one of the public or private universities.

Typical costs:

  • Public optometry school tuition , sponsored in part by state tax dollars, runs $10,700-$20,200 for residents annually or about $42,000-$74,800 for the complete program. Non residents pay around $22,400-$43,400 per year, totaling $89,600-$173,600.
  • Indiana University School of Optometry in-state tuition costs about $16,000 per year or $64,000 to reach the degree. Non residents are charged about $30,560 per year or $122,240 for four years.
  • At the top of the scale, the University of California-Berkeley charges about $20,200 per year for residents or $80,800 for the complete program, while non residents pay around $32,500 annually or nearly $130,000 during the four years.
  • Optometry school tuition and fees at private universities run $15,000-$29,100 per year or $60,000-$116,400 for the four-year program for residents and $20,000-$29,100 per year or $80,000- $116,400 for a degree for non residents. Some private schools have only one fee schedule for residents and non residents.
  • Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee sits at the economical end of the scale for residents at about $15,500 per year, totaling around $62,000. Non residents pay around $20,450 per year or $81,800 for the four-year program.
  • Western University of Health Sciences[1] charges $27,700 per year or $110,800 for the complete Doctor of Optometry (OD) program, while tuition at Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University runs $29,500 per year or $118,000 for four years.
Related articles: Dispensing Optician Program, Dentistry School, Pharmacy School, Medical School

Additional costs:
  • Books purchased during optometry school become a personal reference library at the start of a student's career. Supplies include equipment needed to examine, diagnose and treat eyes. Together, books and supplies run about $2,300-$6,280 per year during the first two years, around $1,060-$1,600 the third year and dropping to near $400-$1,780 the fourth -- totaling $6,000-$16,000 overall, depending on the school.
  • Students also take the national board during their second, third and fourth years at about $625 each year or $1,875 overall. License and certification fees in the fourth year are around $400.
  • Taken in several sections, the complete National Board of Examiners in Optometry exams[2] will cost about $3,600.
Discounts:
  • The American Academy of Optometry maintains online information on scholarships, awards and grants for optometry students.
  • Many schools offer programs that allow students from out of the area to either enter as a resident or become a resident during their studies. Check the individual school's admissions requirements for complete information.
  • Before applying for most awards or loans, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid[3] (FAFSA) must usually be completed.
Shopping for optometry school:
  • The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry maintains a list of the 18 US and one Puerto Rican optometry schools.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.westernu.edu/financial-about
  2.  /www.optometry.org/site/index.cfm
  3.  www.fafsa.ed.gov
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