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Financial Aid

Most SUNY students fund their education through educational loans, grants and scholarships.

US Citizens and Permanent Residents

US citizens and permanent residents applying for financial aid will be required to submit the following:

  1. SUNY Optometry Application for Financial Aid.
  2. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal school code is 009929.
  3. A signed copy of student’s federal tax forms is required. A signed copy of parents’ federal tax forms may be required, or certification of non-filing status when applicable.*
  4. Proof of non-taxable income as indicated on the application may be required.

*All graduate and professional students are considered independent. Parental information is required, however, to be considered for tuition waiver programs, HPSL loans and LDS loans.

The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to request additional information and documentation as appropriate.

The application deadline for financial aid is April 15 for the following academic year.

Canadian Students

Canadian students applying for financial aid are required to contact the Canadian Student Loan Program directly for information and applications.

Please note: Financial Aid cannot be disbursed until you have enrolled in August. Instrument expenses and start-up living expenses will not come from Financial Aid. Most Financial Aid is only available to US citizens or permanent residents.


Grants are given to students generally on the basis of financial need. Grants do not need to be repaid.

Economically Disadvantaged First Professional Degree Students Program:
The State University of New York awards between $500 and $5,000 based on funding and eligibility determined from the SUNY College of Optometry. Students must download a Financial Aid Form and a Needs Analysis Form from FAFSA.ed.gov.

Graduate Opportunity Waiver:
Partial tuition waivers are granted by the State University of New York to students who have participated in an undergraduate opportunity program such as EOP, HEOP or SEEK. Determination is based on the Needs Analysis Form and eligibility requirements.


Scholarships are generally awarded on the basis of meritorious academic performance, need or a combination of both. Scholarships do not need to be repaid. We select scholarship recipients based primarily on their undergraduate GPA and OAT score.

Cultural Diversity Scholarship:
To be eligible for a Cultural Diversity Scholarship, a student must submit an essay and a Cultural Diversity Scholarship Application, each demonstrating how they can contribute to the diversity of the student body.

Dr. Nathan and Laura Millman Scholarship:
One to two scholarships are given annually to a second, third or fourth year student based on outstanding academic performance. Students will be automatically considered once they complete their first year.

Dr. Alden Haffner NYSOA Scholarship:
Two $2,000 scholarships are given to a third-year student with good academic standing and essay. To apply for the scholarship, please fill out the NYSOA Scholarship Application.

OCNY Scholarships:
Depending on funding, 15-20 $2,000 OCNY scholarships are given to students with academic merit and financial need. Students will be automatically considered once they complete their first semester at SUNY Optometry.

Petry Lomb Scholarship/Research Grant:
The foundation awards scholarship money to second, third and fourth-year students demonstrating financial need, good academic standing and a sincere desire to contribute to the optometric profession. One to two scholarships are awarded annually in varying amounts (minimum $1,500 per recipient.) Preference is given to New York State residents.

Applications are available at the Rochester Optometric Society, under the student section.

Questions may be directed to:
Dr. Susan Yorks
Phone: (585) 787-2020
Email: susany2020@aol.com

The Scott Tasker Folsom Scholarship Fund:
Dr. and Mrs. William Folsom have executed a trust to establish a permanent scholarship(s) on behalf of their son, to be known as the Scott Tasker Folsom Scholarship(s). The trust is a permanent endowment, the income from which will fund the scholarship(s) for professional students in optometry. Students will be automatically considered once they complete their first year.

The Dr. Jerome Weiss Scholarship Fund:
Dr. and Mrs. Jerome Weiss, distinguished friends of the College, from Syracuse, New York, have established an endowment, the income from which will support one or more scholarships for professional students in optometry. Students will be automatically considered once they enroll.


Educational loans are generally lower interest alternatives to market rate loans. Many have federal or state subsidies and delayed interest and/or principal repayments until after the academic program is completed. Stafford, Perkins and Health Professions Loan + LDS Programs require the student to qualify through the Need Analysis Process.

Health Professions Student Loans:
Qualified students may be awarded $250 to $4,000 at 5% interest. Parental information is used to determine eligibility.

Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS):
Qualified students may be awarded between $250 to $3,000 each year at 5% interest. Parental information is used to determine eligibility.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans:
Up to $40,500 per year (minus the amount the student qualified for in the subsidized Stafford Loan) is available. Interest rate is 6.80% fixed.

Emergency Loans:
$500 to $1,000 emergency loans are available to students who experience delays in processing financial aid. These loans are limited to availability and can only be given to students who are awaiting financial aid.


The College offers part-time employment with flexible hours scheduled around the Academic Program for students.

College Work Study:
Students can earn between $500 to $4,000 annually based on need while working at the College.

College Temporary Service Employment:
Although not awarded as financial aid, students can be employed by an individual officer or by a faculty researcher with College funds.

Financial Planning and Literacy

SUNY Smart Track Financial Literacy Website
Financial Literacy training and tools brought to you by SUNY and the University at Albany

SUNY Smart Track, Empowered Financial Planning. Smart money management is key to a bright financial future. From banking and budgeting to identifying theft and student loans, learn what you need to know. Take 30 seconds to click the SUNY Smart Track button and create an account. Use the entire program or pick and choose!

SUNY Smart Track is an online learning environment that empowers students for a lifetime of financial success. The interactive financial aid literacy tools can assist students to achieve smart money management skills. Courses and modules cover topics that include budgeting, credit cards, identify theft, paying for college, banking, debt, working in college, and savings.
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