Professional Optometry Degree Program (OD)
To apply for federal financial assistance, students need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between January 1 and March 1 each year. They may also file after March 1, but may not be considered for all the aid possible, depending on funding. Students may file the FAFSA at the Web site.
To be eligible for federal financial aid, a student must:
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
- have a valid social security number
- register with the Selective Service, if required
- not be in default or owe an overpayment on previous federal aid
- be admitted to an IU degree program
- make satisfactory academic progress
More information on eligibility requirements, the application process, and specific financial aid programs can be found at the Web site www.indiana.edu/~sfa.
Financing an optometric education can be a long-term investment if a student needs to borrow money. Students must understand the implications of receiving student loans, such as the obligation to repay them with interest once they obtain their degrees. There are several student loan programs available to doctoral optometric students:
- Federal Subsidized Stafford
- Federal Unsubsidized Stafford
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Health Professions Loan (students must provide parent data on the FAFSA to be considered for this loan)
- Federal PLUS Loan for graduate students
There are other sources for loans (along with state and association assistance programs) that students can fully research to obtain funding. Information can be obtained from the American Optometric Association as well as from local and state optometric associations.
Other federal aid programs include Federal Veterans Benefits and Military Health Professions scholarships. In addition, other options include:
- School of Optometry Emergency Assistance Program
- Teaching Assistantships
- Educational Opportunity Fellowships
- Graduate Minority Fellowships
- Diversity Enhancement Fee Scholarships
- Wildermuth Fee Scholarships
Other scholarships and awards through the School of Optometry are listed in the “Student Honors and Awards” section in this bulletin. Applications and information about these programs can be obtained from the Office of Student Administration. A free search for other scholarships, not from the school, is available on line at www.fastweb.com.
Financial Aid Contact
Please contact the School of Optometry’s Associate Director of Financial Aid with questions or concerns at School of Optometry, 800 E. Atwater Avenue, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-3680; e-mail iuoptfa [at] indiana [dot] edu for in-person or telephone appointments, which can be scheduled by calling the Office of Student Administration at (812) 855-1917. Information regarding other sources of financial aid is available on the School of Optometry’s Web site at www.opt.indiana.edu.