As with all health professions, an optometry career offers promising rewards both in terms of growth and satisfaction, and future earning power. It’s important to begin your optometry school application processes with a plan for managing education costs and debt, and for setting goals and expectations for future earnings. Our team can help.

  • Financial Assistance

    There are number of options available to assist UIWRSO students with financing their education. The majority of professional school students receive financial aid. Student loans, student employment, institutional scholarships, and outside scholarships are offered to help students cover their educational costs.

    For financial aid consideration, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at: Professional Students are considered independent for filing the FAFSA and need only supply their income for analysis; parent information/income is not needed for filing. Students must be a US Citizen or registered non-citizen to be considered for federal assistance.

    The UIW federal code for FAFSA filing is 003578. This electronic federal code must be used to insure that the FAFSA information will be sent electronically to UIW. After filing the FAFSA the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) summarizing the FAFSA filing data which includes previous federal student loan history.

    After the FAFSA has been received, the students are awarded and packaged financial aid up to the total Cost of Attendance. The Cost of Attendance at UIWRSO includes a budget for tuition, fees, books, room, board, transportation, equipment, and personal expenses. Students may accept all or any portion of their aid package (example: accepting aid to cover only the direct costs of their tuition and fees). Our Director of Admissions & Student Services routinely provides individual advising with regards to the federal aid process, budgeting and debt counseling.

  • Scholarships and Grants

    Scholarships do not have to be repaid and are awarded based upon academic performance or other criteria specifically outlined. Grants do not require repayment and are based on financial need only.


    Merit-based, internal awards are available to UIWRSO students based upon qualifying academic, service and leadership factors. These scholarships currently range from $1000 to help offset books, supplies & equipment to $8000 to help significantly mitigate the cost of attendance. These scholarships include:

    • Academic Achievement Scholarship
      One year award available to all classes.  Incoming students are considered based on academic criteria gleamed from the admissions file.  Active students (2nd, 3rd, and 4th Years) are reviewed annually based on the academic achievement within the professional program.
    • Mission Award
      One year scholarship offered to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year students.  One student from each class is selected annually by the faculty scholarship and awards committee.  Students are selected who have best exemplified the UIWRSO mission.
    • Service Award
      One year scholarship offered to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year students.  One student from each class is selected annually by the faculty scholarship and awards committee.  Students are selected who have made the strongest impact on their communities.
    • Leadership Award
      One year scholarship offered to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year students.  One student from each class is selected annually by the faculty scholarship and awards committee.  Students are selected who have demonstrated strong leadership skills.
    • Clinical/Pre-Clinical Award
      One year scholarship offered to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year students.  One student from each class is selected annually by the faculty scholarship and awards committee.  Students are selected based on exemplary demonstration of their clinical skills within the optometry course series and clinical rotations.


    UIWRSO receives a large amount of outside scholarship opportunities specifically for optometry students.  Once you are enrolled, the faculty scholarship committee will forward outside scholarship opportunities to all students meeting the criteria specified in the application whether it be year in school, clinic, state of residence, etc.  Examples of some of the many opportunities are listed below:

    • Alcon Case Report Awards
      Awarded to a 4th-year student, one winner per school.  In order to qualify, the student must write a case report on suggested topics.   $1,000 for school winner, $5,000 for a national winner.
    • AOA InfantSEE Scholarship
      The Dr. W. David Sullins, Jr. InfantSEE® program.  The award will be presented at AOA Optometry's Meeting®.  The recipient will receive travel reimbursement up to $1,000 to attend the event and a gold medallion.
    • AOF Molinari Scholarship
      One scholarship of $6,000 will be awarded for the academic year.  The Molinari Scholarship was established to assist an exceptional student who has extraordinary financial needs and, a such, would have difficulty meeting the financial requirements of attending optometry school.  Financial need is a major criteria for selection, but academic and leadership potential are also important considerations.
    • AOSA Travel Grant Essay Contest - Allegran
      Two $550 travel grants awarded per school.  Finalist from each school is eligible to compete nationally for an additional $1,000 for the top three winning essays.
    • AOSA Travel Grant Essay Contest - The Vision Care Institute
      One $500 travel grant will be awarded to each school for the winning essay.
    • ASCO Student Award in Clinical Ethics
      National award for students in the final two years of their program. An essay must be submitted.  $1,000 award and plaque.
    • Baptist Health Foundation Scholarship
      Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio distributes grants annually to not-for-profit organizations which provide healthcare services and funds health education throughout Bexar County and contiguous counties in South Texas.
    • Beta Sigma Kappa Student Research Grant
      Grants are open to all students, not just BSK members.  Grant requests are not to exceed $1,000 and the research proposal must be related to the field of clinical optometry, visual science, or public health.
    • COVD Award for Excellence in Vision Therapy
      Award for fourth-year students who have demonstrated a strong interest and clinical skill in the area of vision therapy.  The award is a plaque.
    • CPRIT MD Anderson Summer Program
      Internship in clinical education and research training. Scholars are given stipends, fringe benefits, and travel allowance.
    • CRIZAL DCRP Award Program
      The program is open to Fourth-year Optometry.  One Essilor Digital Corneal Reflex Pupillometer and case (valued at approximately $500).
    • Dr. Allan V. Wexler Memorial Scholarship
      Sponsored by the Georgia Optometric Foundation. Students must be a resident of Georgia and in good standing.  $1,500 scholarship.
    • Dr. Seymour Galina Grant (AOA Foundation)
      $2,500 scholarship grant, which will be awarded to one optometry student whose paper is judged to be the best essay submitted to Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation.
    • Dr. Stanley Pearle Scholarship
      Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis, based on scholastic performance and potential.  Applicants are required to describe accomplishments in leadership, community service, and activities.
    • Eschenbach Low Vision Student Award Program
      The 4th-year student must demonstrate clinical skills in the area of low vision therapy.  Engraved plaque award.
    • Harvey Yamamoto Award
      The graduating 4th year student with a winning essay will earn a $1,000 cash award and a one-year membership to the American Optometric Society.
    • Military Health Professions Scholarship
      The Military offers competitive scholarships for full tuition and required fees plus a monthly stipend through the Air Force, Army, and Navy.  HPSP Scholarship 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, which are located through the United States.
    • HOYA Visioncare Grants and Scholarships
      Hoya Visioncare, 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 ePoster 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.
    • J. Pat Cummings Scholarship
      The Cummings Scholarship is awarded to one who best demonstrates the ideal eye care standards of practice, achievement in both academic performance and extracurricular activities, and participation with other professional pursuits such as involvement with patients through internships.  Community service, and other volunteer activities.  Sponsored by VISTAKON®, one $1,000 award and a personalized plaque is awarded to one second or third-year student attending each school of optometry.
    • Project Foresight (Wal-Mart and Sam's Club Health and Wellness)
      Students present "Optometric Practice of the Future" business plan and presentation.  $1,500 Team Scholarship Award per school.  National Grant Prize is $15,000.
    • Texas State Optical Scholarship
      Three $2,000 scholarships offered by Texas State Optical Inc. each year.  Scholarships are open to third-year optometry students attending RSO.
    • Varilux Student Grant (Essilor)
      The program is open to optometry students who have experience in the clinic's dispensary.  Students submit case reports to patients fit with Varilux lenses. The student with the selected report will receive $1,000 plus an entry into national judging. The national award winner receives a $2,500 travel grant.
    • VISTAKON, AOA Contact Lens Patient Care Award
      Sponsored by Vistakon. $1,000 award and plaque is awarded to an outstanding 4th-year student clinician who has demonstrated excellence in contact lens patient care.
    • VSP "Vision Care For Life" Award
      Two $4,000 scholarships for each school to support a 4th-year student. Students selected to receive the scholarship demonstrate clinical excellence and express a great desire to pursue a career in private practice.
    • Walman Optical Company Scholarship Program
      Students receive an award ranging from $1,000 - $4,000.  Students must complete the application and submit transcripts. Awards are not renewable, but students may reapply each year.
    • Wal-Mart Optical Education Scholarship
      Wal-Mart offers $1,000 scholarships to optometry students with high scholastic standing and financial need.  Students should show a desire to enter community practice upon graduation.

    In addition, there are several comprehensive, searchable scholarship databases on the web, including FastWeb and Wiredscholar. FastWeb can be found at and provides access to private local and national scholarships, fellowships, grants and loans. 

  • Student Loans

    Professional students at the Rosenberg School of Optometry are eligible for higher amounts of funding through the federal student aid programs.

    Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

    • Maximum $40,500 or up to the Cost of Attendance minus any aid.
    • Interest is not subsidized by the federal government and begins accruing upon disbursement; borrowers have the option to pay the interest during enrollment or allow it to accrue.  Unpaid interest will be capitalized by the lender and added to the principal of the loan upon graduation.
    • Financial need not required
    • Origination fee may be deducted from the loan proceeds before disbursement
    • Grace period of 6 months after enrollment ceases
    • Standard 10-year repayment schedule; Deferment, Forbearance and Income-Based Repayment options available
    • Aggregate total (undergraduate and graduate) of $224,000

    Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

    • Maximum amount is equal to the full Cost of Attendance minus all aid
    • Loan requires a separate application, Master Promissory Note and credit check
    • The first payment on a Direct PLUS Loan is due within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.  There is no grace period.  However, the student can postpone payment while in school.

    A complete list of the guidelines, eligibility requirements and current interest rates for Direct Student Loans may be found at:

    Additional information concerning Federal loan programs, requirements, repayment and full details may be found here.

  • Direct Admit Scholarship Opportunities

    Direct Admit Opportunities

    The University offers direct admit options for highly qualified first-time freshmen that lead to advanced degrees in UIW health professions programs including Optometry. A student who has earned a minimum high school GPA of 3.7 along with a minimum Math and Science GPA of 3.7 will qualify for the Direct Admit optometry program. Additionally, to qualify for Direct Admit, a student must have earned a minimum SAT score of 1210 or an ACT score of 25. Direct Admit students must also be prepared to begin pre-calculus in the 1st semester of their freshman year. To qualify for pre-calculus, candidates are required to earn a minimum SAT math score of 550 or ACT math score of 22 along with a minimum grade of B in high school pre-calculus. Students qualified for the Direct Admit Doctor of Optometry Program will be contacted with further information soon after receiving official notification of admission to the University.

    UIW Direct Admit Scholarship

    Students who graduate and are admitted with the Direct Admit option will receive a $2500 scholarship per year for full-time study, renewable for up to eight years, as long as students are meeting the program requirements.

  • Financial Aid Information and Forms

    Please take time to review the following information to assist in the set-up and processing of federal loans for your UIWRSO education.  The documents listed below may be completed/submitted at any time during the financial aid process. 

    After filing the FAFSA for UIWRSO a federal aid award letter will be sent to your permanent address. The federal aid award letter will not indicate any scholarship money that may have been offered.  This will be added in July. 

    After receiving the federal award letter please note that both the student ID and UIW email account are listed on this letter. Also note that the contact information for financial aid is listed on the form.  The financial aid office and processing area for student loans are located on the UIW main campus.  However, the RSO financial aid office works closely with the undergraduate office to ensure the completion of required forms and is available for counseling at any point throughout a student's enrollment in the program.  

    Several documents are needed to complete your financial aid folder if you are accepting the federal loan(s).  Many of the forms will request your Student ID number – this is listed on your award letter.  The required forms are listed below and also are an attachment to this letter.  

    1. Payment Authorization Form: Must be on file with the financial aid office and authorizes the use of federal for tuition and fees.  Also, for Optometry students, authorizes the use of federal aid for parking fines and/or library fines.   Make sure to check “Yes”.
    2. Basic Texas Residency Questionnaire: Required for ALL. The financial aid office needs to record if a student is OR is not a Texas resident. Residency will NOT AFFECT LOAN ELIGIBILITY as it is for reporting purposes only.  In most cases, the completion of the first page is all that is needed. 

    Documents may be emailed, faxed or mailed to the undergraduate financial aid processing area (email address, fax number and mailing address are on the forms) or to the RSO Student Affairs Office (ATTN:  Mrs. Jill Mohr).   Most forms will be completed on entry to UIWRSO and will be valid for the four years or through the duration of attendance in the academic program.


  • Optometry Tuition and Fees for 2019-2020

    Expense Category




    Book & Supplies


    Technology fee

    $ 1,890



    Room & Board (estimated)


    Transportation (estimated)


    Personal/Misc Expenses (estimated)