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Cost of Attendance

Discover ways to fund your O.D.



We recognize each student's financial situation is unique to them. Together, we will build a customized solution that will work for your financial needs. Throughout your time at ICO, we work with you to understand your loans and educate you on repayment strategies for a manageable repayment process following graduation.


By choosing to pursue a Doctor of Optometry degree, you are making an important investment in yourself and your future. We understand the process of funding your education can feel complicated and overwhelming, but we are committed to assisting our students with receiving an education in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Sample Estimated Direct Program Costs

Additional Budgetary Items to Consider

We want to ensure your financial aid covers your expenses. You may or may not incur these costs, but they are considered allowable education expenses that financial aid is able to cover. Because of that in most of our financial aid award estimates we also include the following costs: 

These costs are not exclusive to ICO. When choosing an optometry school, make sure to ask about these potential costs.

Sample Financial Aid Award

You can expect your financial aid award to match your cost of attendance.

When looking at your aid eligibility, the financial aid office establishes an estimated cost of attendance that includes direct educational expenses, in addition to allowances for personal (or indirect) expenses. Direct educational expenses are those things that are billed to all students. Personal or indirect expenses are reasonable budget allowances for costs you can expect to incur as living expenses. Your living expense will vary based on your personal choices, but we include a reasonable estimate of costs for our area. 

To see a breakdown of costs by year, you can visit our consumer information page or search "Estimate Cost of Attendance" in the search bar. 

  • Do I qualify for U.S. federal financial aid?
    The following criteria must be met to receive aid from the U.S. Federal Student Aid programs. ​Demonstrated financial need. Enrollment in the program at least half-time or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree. U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen. Valid Social Security Number. If you don’t have a Social Security Number, you can learn more about applying for one. Maintain satisfactory academic progress. Sign a statement on the application for U.S. Federal Student Aid certifying that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes (ICO’s school code is 001689). Sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you are not in default on a federal student loan and that you do not owe money back on a federal student grant. Registration with the Selective Service, if applicable (if you are an American male 18 through 25 years of age and you have not yet registered with Selective Service, you can register by checking a box on the FAFSA).
  • How do I apply for financial aid?
    There are several types of financial aid and a variety of scholarships available to help with the cost of your education. To apply for U.S. Federal Financial Aid and Direct Loans, you will only need to complete the FAFSA. Our school code is 001689. This form is available every October 1 for the upcoming Fall Term and can be accessed through the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid. Annually, you will be asked to complete the FAFSA to renew your eligibility. If you are unsure of your eligibility, you can review the federal eligibility requirements as listed above to confirm that you qualify to receive financial aid.
  • I completed my FAFSA, what's next?
    Following the submission of your completed FAFSA, we will put together a financial aid package that covers your full estimated cost of attendance and identifies all forms of Federal Aid for which you qualify. For students eligible for U.S. Federal Student Aid, you can expect that you will be able to fully cover your costs with the Federal Student Loan and work-study programs. You should not need to seek out private loans, which are often less cost-effective over the life of your loans. Scholarship recipients will see your award adjusted to include the scholarship.
  • How do I apply for ICO scholarships?
    When applying for graduate programs in optometry, you might feel as though you have to submit a lot of information. We remove the step of having prospective students apply for ICO scholarships by automatically reviewing your application for merit-based scholarships; you do not need to apply separately. Scholarship recipients are notified by the Admission Office at the time of acceptance.

Office of Financial Aid



Illinois College of Optometry

Office of Financial Aid

3241 S. Michigan Ave

Chicago, IL 60616

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