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Big Rapids, Michigan
The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) launched the centralized application service for optometry (OptomCAS) in July 2009. OptomCAS offers applicants a convenient, web-based application that allows them to apply to more than one participating optometry school or college with one application. ALL twenty-three schools and colleges of optometry participate.
The OptomCAS website is available at www.optomcas.org. This website includes an FAQ section that may be helpful. In addition, the website has a directory of all the schools of optometry and their prerequisites.
Once a student has applied and paid the appropriate application fee, the OptomCAS will forward your applications to Ferris State University and the Michigan College of Optometry. Applicants pay a fee of $180 to enter the OptomCAS system and apply to one school or college. An additional $70 fee is charged for each additional program to which the student wishes to apply. No portion of the fee paid by the students to OptomCAS is transferred to the institutions to which the student is applying. However, Optometry schools may charge their applicants a supplemental fee in order to process additional information, i.e. high school transcripts, HS class rank, ACT, SAT, etc. Currently, the MCO does require a supplemental application; however, there is no fee for that supplemental application.
The information collected on OptomCAS is very similar to the information collected for students applying to Ferris State University. Applicants will enter into OptomCAS the following information:
- Personal information, i.e. name, address, other demographics, etc.
- Optometric experience, employment, extracurricular activities, honors and awards.
- OAT test scores.
- Colleges and Universities attended.
- Course work including grades - have your college transcripts available.
- Three letters of recommendation: One letter must be submitted by a college professor, a second from an optometrist and a third from any other individual of the applicant's choice who is neither a professor, optometrist, nor relative (suggestions would be a high school teacher, high school counselor, athletic coach, clergy, work supervisor, etc.).
- Essay - Limited to 4,500 characters. The topic is "Please describe what inspires your decision for becoming an optometrist, including your preparation for training in this profession, your aptitude and motivation, the basis for your interest in optometry, and your future career goals”.
- School designations.
Candidates are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible in order to receive early consideration for acceptance.