VSP Scholarship Program

Explore a variety of scholarships offered to students of optometry

VSP Scholarship Program

Explore a variety of scholarships offered to students of optometry

Enroll today

Practice Excellence Scholarship

Each year, through the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), VSP awards up to $4,000 each to two fourth-year students at each institution of optometry in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Each winner receives scholarship money and a travel grant to attend the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) annual meeting.

Recipients must be a student member of the AAO. Each institution’s Awards and Scholarship committee selects a pool of five business-minded students who meet the clinical and academic standards, and then choose two scholarship recipients.

Students can contact their school’s financial aid office to learn more about VSP’s commitment to the AAO scholarship program.

Enroll today

Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Awards

Congratulations to the 2021 Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award recipients who received scholarships for demonstrating leadership and service in the optometry profession and making a commitment to a future career in private practice!

  • OD-1: Melisa Philogene, Illinois College of Optometry, Class of 2024
  • OD-2: Sophia Johnson, State University of New York College of Optometry, Class of 2023
  • OD-3: Claudia Amaniampong, University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science, Class of 2022
  • OD-4: Raymond Farmer, State University of New York College of Optometry, Class of 2021
  • Executive Board: Walter Jackson, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, Class of 2021

VSP Global is proud to continue this award in collaboration with the National Optometric Association (NOA). Each year, five optometry students are awarded $4,000 scholarships.

  • Recipients receive $4,000 in financial aid.
  • One scholarship is awarded per cohort (first year, second year, etc.).

To apply for the scholarship, eligible candidates must create and submit a short video about themselves, their experience, and what drives them towards a path to private practice optometry. Additionally, candidates must be an active member of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA), a business-minded student who is preparing for a career in private practice and have a commitment to an optometry career of leadership and service.

The next award dates will be announced in Spring 2022.

Enroll today

Student Innovator Award

This award is a competition designed to recognize creative, innovative, and feasible ideas in the areas of clinical eye care, research, and practice management, among others that will impact the optical industry. VSP partners with the Rick Bay Foundation and provides this scholarship to UC Berkeley School of Optometry and Ohio State University College of Optometry.

The winner receives $5,000 and will receive their award at the VM Global Leadership Summit. To date, this foundation has awarded $70,000 to outstanding optometric students.

2021 Winner: Congratulations Peter Ji, UC Berkeley, Class of 2023
He won for his innovative presentation titled “Auto Trial Lens Demo”. Learn more about his winning presentation and about the award here.

Students can contact their school’s financial aid office to learn more.

Enroll today

(L-R) Josephine Ibironke, OD, MPH, FAAO, Assistant Dean for Student & Professional Development, Stephanie Ganiban, VSP, Alexus Cline, 2021 Vision of Hope Scholarship Winner, and Michael Bacigalupi, OD Dean of Kentucky College of Optometry.

The Vision of Hope Scholarship

This scholarship is intended for a student from the Appalachian region who is committed to practicing in the Appalachian region and provide care to an underserved patient population during their optometric career.

This $5,000 Vision of Hope Scholarship is given to an incoming optometry student at the Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) at the University of Pikeville to assist their optometric education. Selection is completed by KYCO Faculty’s Scholarship and Awards Committee.

VSP and KYCO are committed to improving patient access to care from great eye doctors. See what Michael Bacigalupi, OD, MS, FAAO (Dean of Kentucky College of Optometry) said about this award and its support of their mission.

KYCO students can connect with the KYCO Faculty’s Scholarship and Awards Committee to learn more.

Dr. Frank D. Fontana Memorial Scholarship

In partnership with Heart of America Eye Care Congress, this scholarship was created in 2019 in honor of optometrist Dr. Frank D. Fontana, also known as “Uncle Frank”. After a storied career, Dr. Fontana leaves an unmatched legacy behind as a colleague, mentor, and friend to so many. Awarded annually, the recipient will receive $4,250 in scholarship money and a $750 travel grant to attend Heart of America’s Eye Care Congress Conference.

Open to third- and fourth-year optometry students actively engaged in patient care, applicants are judged in four areas in which Dr. Fontana excelled:

  1. clinical performance 
  2. empathetic patient care
  3. ability and interest to adopt modern technologies
  4. a strong interest in developing and participating in the optometry community  

Upcoming scholarship information will be added here once announced.