The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and CooperVision understand that COVID-19 has greatly impacted student financial resources, loss of income, and financial aid opportunities. As a result, CooperVision donated $25,000 to start a 2020-2021 ASCO Student Relief Program, which will provide emergency funding to support students attending an ASCO member school or college of optometry.
ASCO’s President Dr. John Flanagan, Dean at the University of California – Berkeley School of Optometry, noted, “ASCO has been increasingly concerned about the added stress and financial burdens placed on our optometry students as a result of COVID-19. Our partnership with CooperVision will allow ASCO the opportunity to provide much-needed relief to ease this additional stress. CooperVision’s mission is united in its strong desire to help others, which is demonstrated through their support of ASCO and our students.”
“COVID-19 has impacted nearly every area of our lives in some shape or form. At CooperVision, we are continuously evaluating ways to support current and future eye care professionals through these challenges,” said Michele Andrews, OD, Senior Director of Professional and Academic Affairs, North America, CooperVision. “Through the ASCO Student Relief Program, we can help students dedicated to building careers in optometry by ensuring they can keep progressing in their education, and ultimately, the achievement of their goals.”
Each of ASCO’s schools and colleges of optometry will select either one (1) student to receive a $1,000 grant or two (2) students to each receive a $500 grant. ASCO and CooperVision will not be involved in selecting the grant recipients. Each institution will develop its criteria. While this is a need-based grant, not based on an academic achievement, the student must demonstrate academic progress. Institutions are encouraged to prioritize awarding students with the greatest financial need. This is a one year program to provide financial assistance as a result of students impacted by COVID-19.
The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) advances optometric education and research to enhance the health and well-being of the public. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Rockville, MD, ASCO is committed to achieving excellence in optometric education and to helping its member institutions prepare well-qualified graduates for entrance into the profession of optometry. Its membership encompasses the schools and colleges of optometry in the United States. A number of optometry schools outside the United States are affiliate and associate members.