The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is pleased to announce that there was a 3.7% increase in applicants compared to the previous application cycle, as well as an 18% increase and a 7% increase in Black and Latino/Hispanic applicants respectively.
The 2020 application cycle ran from July 27, 2019 through June 15, 2020.
There were 2,563 applicants who submitted a total of 11,873 applications. For applications, OptomCAS (Optometry Centralized Application Service) experienced a 1.1% increase in applications submitted compared to last year.
Optometry Gives Me Life, which was launched in March 2019, was developed due to a downward decline in recent years of qualified applicants to the first-year classes, and the lack of diversity amongst the applicants, of the 23 schools and colleges of optometry.
“These results are promising. For the first time in three years, we are seeing an increase in applicants,” says Dr. John Flanagan, ASCO President. “The data from the first year of the Optometry Gives Me Life campaign has dramatically increased awareness of the profession to potential students who may not be aware of optometry. The campaign also targets qualified students from underrepresented groups. We know there is much work left to be done but we renew our commitment to reach and to bring the best and brightest to the field of optometry.”
ASCO wishes to thank its sponsors VSP Global, Alcon, Luxottica, Hoya, National Vision, Allergan, CooperVision, and the California Optometric Association as well as the 23 schools and colleges of optometry for their support to the Optometry Gives Me Life campaign.