American Rescue Act Special Circumstance Guidance

Students with documented ‘Special Circumstances’ that negatively affects you/your family’s financial situation- such as state unemployment receipts- could be eligible for a financial aid adjustment of higher financial aid award. For example, because of COVID-19 some employers have shut down, reduced work hours, furloughed employees and others may not have been able to work due to illness. Your campus financial aid office may be able to review your special circumstances to adjust the amount of financial aid you receive or would have received.

For Graduate Professional students your family is defined as you, your spouse and any dependents of yours.  This does not include your parents finnaical situation.  (that would be for undergrad only).

If your family has experienced a change in income due to unusual, special circumstances, your campus financial aid office has Professional Judgement and U.S. Department of Education guided flexibility to re-evaluate your situation for the following reasons:

  • Loss of job or permanent/indefinite reduction of work hours
  • Separation or divorce
  • Personal bankruptcy that occurs during the current financial aid year
  • Death of a member of your immediate family
  • Reduction/loss of child support
  • High non-reimbursed medical expense.
  • You took money out of their pension/retirement plan as a one-time payment to help cover expenses
  • Other documented special circumstances outside of the student’s control

If you would like to apply for an American Rescue ACT Special Circumstance, please set up an appointment with Vito Cavallaro, Director of Financial Aid at either 212-938-5507 or by e-mail at vcavallaro@sunyopt.edu

TUITION & FEES

Choosing to study optometry is an investment in your future. Employment of optometrists, visions care specialists, and researchers will continue to be in demand to meet the growing needs of our diverse patient population and constantly changing health care environment.

For the 2021 – 2022 academic year, the SUNY College of Optometry has set the tuition and fees as follows, including housing and living expenses. 

OD Program Tuition & Fees
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For the 2021-2022 academic year, tuition and fees are as follows: (Please note, all figures are in US dollars.)

Full Time:

Tuition (in-state) $29,820.00
Tuition
(out-of-state, Canadian and foreign)
$51,150.00

*2021-2022 tuition rates, pending Board approval

Fees:

College fee $50.00
College Fee (Part-Time) Per Credit $1.70
Student activity fee $210.00
Technology fee $330.00
Foreign Student Health Insurance $1,792.28
Orientation Fee (First Years Only) $50.00
Clinical Liability $50.00

*Amounts are subject to board approval

*OD Program tuition and fees are subject to change.

Instruments: First-year students in the professional program purchase 2 sets of instruments.

The first set is approximately $1,800 and is due in July.The second set is purchased at the start of the Fall semester and  is approximately  $900-$1600(based on student choice) and is due in September.

Second year students in the professional program purchase one set of instruments. Cost is approximately $3300-$3900 (based on student choice) and is due in September.

3rd and 4th years students do not usually need to purchase any additional instruments.

Books: Each year approximately $1,100 (usually after classes start.)

Room: For the 2021-2022 academic year, a student is allowed a maximum Financial Aid allotment of $16,320 for rent. The average rent for a student living in walking distance to the college is $1,300 per month. The average rent for a student commuting by subway is $800 per month.

Board: For the 2021-2022 academic year, a student is allowed a maximum Financial Aid allotment of $7,200 for food and household supplies (including utilities and phone.)

Other Living Expenses: For the 2021-2022 academic year, the student is allowed a maximum Financial Aid allotment of $6,330 for all other expenses. Actual amounts spent will vary depending on a student’s personal preferences. It is recommended that a student make arrangements to have two months living expenses available for start-up costs.

Graduate Program Tuition & Fees
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For the 2021-2022 academic year, tuition and fees for the Graduate Program are as follows: (Please note, all figures are in US dollars).

Full-time:

Tuition per semester
(in-state)
$5,655.00
Tuition per semester
(out-of-state, Canadian and foreign)
$11,550.00

Part Time:

Tuition per credit
(in-state)
$471.00
Tuition per credit
(out-of-state, Canadian and foreign)
$963.00

Fees:

College fee $50.00
College Fee (Part-Time) Per Credit $1.70
Technology fee $330.00
Student Activity Fee $81.00
Foreign Student Health Insurance $1,792.28
Medical Evacuation/Repatriation Rider $80.52

Out-of-state U.S. citizens may be eligible for in-state resident tuition after their first year.

*OD/MS: Students who are accepted into the OD/MS program do not pay any additional tuition for the MS degree portion during the four years they are enrolled in the OD program.

*OD/PhD: Students who are accepted into the OD/PhD program do not pay any additional tuition for the PhD program during the first two years they are enrolled full time in the OD program.

*Graduate tuition and fees are subject to change.

Tuition Waivers & Graduate Assistantships
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All eligible full-time Ph.D. students receive tuition waivers. Teaching and research assistantships are awarded to eligible full-time Ph.D. students. As of April 2019, the current graduate assistantship stipend level is $35,670 per year. Graduate students with an OD degree and a NYS optometric license may also apply for part-time clinical appointments.

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.

FAFSA
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FAFSA

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.

Loans
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Loans

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 varies each year.

Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan:

The Graduate PLUS Loan is a non-need-based loan offered through the Federal Government.  This loan is used to meet any additional need after other loans are awarded.

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.

Scholarships
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Scholarships

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 for 1st years and academic performance at SUNY Optometry for 2nd, 3rd and 4th years.

Alumni Scholarships:
Awarded to a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year student with High Financial Need and in good academic standing. The scholarship may also be awarded to a 1st year student who is deemed by the Financial Aid Director to be the best candidate, based on his/her undergraduate record and financial need.

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. Mark S. Feder Scholarship for Clinical Excellence in Primary:
Awarded to a 4th year student for Clinical Excellence In Primary Care. Chosen by the Primary care faculty at SUNY.

Fred Friedfeld Memorial Scholarship:
Awarded to a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year student with Financial Need and academic merit. The scholarship may also be awarded to a 1st year student who is deemed by the Financial Aid Director to be the best candidate, based on his/her undergraduate record and financial need.

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.

Dennis and Lesley Gehr Scholarship:
Awarded to top 1st year student from CUNY based on Admissions recommendation.

Mary and Samuel Gurkin Memorial Scholarship:
Awarded to a student who has shown the most involvement in community service and service to the College Community.

P. Gregory Hess Scholarship:
Awarded to a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year student with Financial Need and a minimum GPA of 2.7. The scholarship may also be awarded to a 1st year student who is deemed by the Financial Aid Director to be the best candidate, based on his/her undergraduate record and financial need.

Dr. Sanford and Claire Levy Scholarship:
Each year up to 5 students from the Central New York area will receive a scholarship. Counties eligible have been determined by the Foundation of Central New York. If more then 5 students are from eligible counties GPA will be used to determine eligibility.

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.

Milton Scholarship:
Awarded to a 1st 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year student with Financial Need and academic merit. Once a student is chosen for this award in the first year it is the donors with that they continue to receive the award for each successive year as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic progress.

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.

New Jersey Optometric Association Scholarship:
One $2000 scholarship awarded to a 1st year student with Financial Need and a minimum GPA of 2.7 who is a resident of New Jersey.

OCNY Board 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. Stephanie Su, c/o Petry-Lomb
2277 South Union Street
Spencerport, NY 14559
E-mail: petrylomb@gmail.com

Walman Scholarship
Students in 2,3, and 4th year are available and Walman encourages students of color to apply. See details below.
learnmore.scholarsapply.org/walman/

NOA Scholarship Opportunities:
Please see link for details: mynosa.com/scholarship

Barbara Saltman Scholarship:
Awarded to top 1st year student based on Admissions recommendation.

Philip and Sylvia Soden Memorial Scholarship:
Awarded to a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year student with Financial Need and a minimum GPA of 2.7. The scholarship may also be awarded to a 1st year student who is deemed by the Financial Aid Director to be the best candidate, based on his/her undergraduate record and financial need.

Harold Solan Memorial Scholarship:
Awarded to a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year student with Financial Need and a minimum GPA of 2.7. The scholarship may also be awarded to a 1st year student who is deemed by the Financial Aid Director to be the best candidate, based on his/her undergraduate record and financial need.

Harold M. Spielman Scholarship:
Awarded to top 1st year student from CCNY or CUNY based on Admissions recommendation.

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.

Jeff White Memorial Scholarship:
Awarded to a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year student with Financial Need and a minimum GPA of 2.7. The scholarship may also be awarded to a 1st year student who is deemed by the Financial Aid Director to be the best candidate, based on his/her undergraduate record and financial need

Grants
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Grants

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.

Student Employment
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Student Employment

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.

Housing
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Financial Planning
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Financial Planning

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.

HEERF Student Aid Funds
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