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


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.

Congratulations to the 2023 scholarship winners! To see a full list of the winners, read the press release.

Enroll today

VSP Premier Edge™ Student Business Challenge

The VSP Premier Edge Student Business Challenge is a scholarship opportunity for optometry students interested in a path to private practice ownership. In collaboration with the Association of Practice Management Educators (APME) and Student Optometric Leadership Network (SOLN), the VSP Premier Edge Student Business Challenge asks applicants to submit a business plan that describes their professional and personal plan to private practice ownership. One optometry student will be awarded one (1) $10,000 scholarship, plus a travel grant to the annual SOLN Conference. In addition, two (2) runners-up will be awarded $5,000 each, plus each will receive a travel grant to the annual SOLN Conference.

  • Applicants must be a current student attending one of the 24 schools or colleges of optometry with a SOLN-affiliated Private Practice Club. They must also be an active Private Practice Club board member representative from their school of optometry.
  • APME judges will evaluate and select the top three candidates, who will be contacted to present their business plans at the 2023 SOLN Conference where the official winner will be announced.
  • The deadline to apply is March 31, 2023.

2023 Winner: Congratulations Dr. Evan Sveinson, 2023 graduate of Midwestern University, Arizona College of Optometry. Learn more about Evan and the award here.

Enroll today

Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Awards

Congratulations to the 2023 Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award recipients who received $4,000 scholarships for demonstrating leadership and service in the optometry profession and making a commitment to a future career in private practice!

  • 1st Year: Khaliah Knighten, Class of 2026, Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry
  • 2nd Year: Babirekere Bakama, Class of 2025, Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry
  • 3rd Year: Laura Medina, Class of 2024, State University of New York College of Optometry  
  • 4th Year: Daniele Ewert, Class of 2023, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
  • Executive Board: Isa Prude, Class of 2024, NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry

VSP Vision™ is proud to continue this award in collaboration with the National Optometric Association (NOA). Every year, five optometry students—one from each year of attendance (first year, second year, etc.) and an Executive Board member—are awarded the scholarship.

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 or leadership service.

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.

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


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.

Congratulations to the 2023 scholarship winner: Elijah Riffe, University of Pikeville-Kentucky, Class of 2027. 


Empowering Equity Scholarship

VSP Vision™ and Black Eyecare Perspective are proud to unite in their efforts to support the 13% Promise, the mission to improve and increase representation of Blacks and African Americans in the optometric industry to align more closely with the United States Census population. 
The collaborative effort empowers us to create a $15,000 scholarship, investing in the education of future optometrists and supporting the shared commitment to create pathways that sustain a standard of equity in the profession of optometry. 
For the inaugural opportunity, two students from the Class of 2024 will be awarded the ‘Empowering Equity Scholarship ($15,000 each). In 2024, one student from the Class of 2025 will be awarded the scholarship. 

Congratulations to the 2023 winners: 

  • Azalia Roach – class of 2024 at NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry  
  • Mihret Girum – class of 2024 at Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of California, Berkeley 
william wooley

VSP Diversity Admissions Scholarship

In partnership with Midwestern University, VSP Vision awards this $10,000 scholarship to an underrepresented minority pre-optometry student in the first year in which the student matriculates into the school. The award alternates each year between the two Midwestern University Colleges of Optometry: Arizona College of Optometry and Chicago College of Optometry.  

Interested students can contact Midwestern University for more information. 

Congratulations to the 2023 scholarship winner: William Wooley, Midwestern University College of Optometry, Class of 2027. Learn more about William here

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  

2023 Winner: Congratulations Aubry Tackett, University of Missouri – Northeastern State University, Oklahoma, College of Optometry, Class of 2023. Aubry won for demonstrating how she excels in the four areas listed above. Learn more about her and the award here.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2024 Dr. Frank D. Fontana Memorial Scholarship. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2023.

Upcoming scholarship information will be added here once announced.

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