ASCO’s Annual Student Data Report for Academic Year 2015-2016 was released in July. The report indicates that the total number of full-time students in the 21 professional OD programs enrolling students during academic year 2015-2016 in the 50 United States and Puerto Rico is 6,900, an increase of 1.5% compared with last year and 13.9% compared with enrollment at the 20 member schools in 2010-2011. The number of full-time first-year students decreased by 1.6% over last year and increased by 9.5% over the past five years. Only one school reported more full-time male students than female students. There are an additional 109 students enrolled in part-time, alternate and special programs leading to the OD degree. The report also notes that the total number of graduates from the schools and colleges of optometry, both regular and special programs, decreased 0.8% from 2014 (1,569) to 2015 (1,557).
In 2015-2016, the average tuition for a first-year resident student enrolled in a professional OD program was $24,493 at a public school and $34,446 at a private school. The average cost for all direct expenses (tuition, fees, books and instruments) for a first-year resident student was $30,303 for a public school and $39,758 for a private school. First-year non-residents paid an average of $43,060 for tuition and $48,870 for all direct expenses at a public school and $35,874 for tuition and $41,186 for all direct expenses at a private school.
The full Annual Student Data Report, which includes several more categories of information, can be found on the ASCO website.