Full-time enrollment in the professional OD programs in the 50 states and Puerto Rico grew 1.4% to 7,124 in 2017-18, according to the 2017-18 Annual Student Data Report published in May 2018 by ASCO. There were 22 OD programs in 2016-17 and 23 programs in 2017-18.
The number of full-time first-year students increased by 0.6% over last year and by 9.4% over the past five years. The percentage of full-time female students decreased slightly to 67.8% from 68.2%; five years ago the percentage was 64.5%. Only one school reported more full-time male students than female students. There were an additional 150 students enrolled in part-time, alternate and special programs leading to the OD degree, up from 126 last year.
The total number of 2017 OD graduates from both regular and special programs was 1,658, a 0.5% decrease from 2016. However, since 2012, there has been an 18.1% increase in graduates from regular and special programs.
In 2017-2018, the average cost for all direct expenses (tuition, fees, books and instruments) for a first-year resident student was $31,388 for a public school (an increase of 2.5% over last year) and $42,158 for a private school (an increase of 4.3%). First-year non-residents paid an average $46,690 for all direct expenses at a public school (a decrease of 3.6%), and $43,719 for all direct expenses at a private school (an increase of 4.3%).
The complete Annual Student Data Report, which includes several more categories of information as well as trends data, can be found on the ASCO web site at https://optometriceducation.org/student-data-reports/.