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Financial considerations

Q: I cannot afford the cost of studying optometry. Where can I get financial aid?

A: In the Optometry program, a number of undergraduate scholarships, bursaries, and awards are available to students. The University of Waterloo Student Awards and Financial Aid Office has details on undergraduate scholarships, bursaries, and awards, as well as financing options, including provincial and federal funding programs.

Tuition and equipment fees

As with most professional health programs, the costs associated with the Optometry program are higher than most undergraduate programs. Equipment and text book costs may seem high, however, you are purchasing the core set of professional quality equipment and reference material you will take with you into your practice.

The table shows what you can expect to pay over the four years of the program. Please note that costs do not include clothing suitable for the clinics, housing, food, transportation, or other living expenses. Costs are based on fall 2016 and may be subject to change.

Year   1 2 3 4
Yearly tuition Domestic $16,455 $16,455 $16,455 $24,685
International $42,860 $42,860 $42,860 $64,290
Books  $2,250 $1,200 $540 n/a
Supplies and equipment  $3,500 $5,600 $400 $570

Of course, the student is responsible for housing, food, travel, and other living expenses. Example living costs are available at Waterloo's Tuition and Other Expenses page, made available by the Financing for Prospective Students site. The site also offers an Interactive Budget pageUseful Tips & Links, and resources about bursaries and scholarships. Also, check out Waterloo’s Housing and Residence and Food Services sites.

Application fee

A non-refundable processing fee ($215 in 2016) must be submitted with your on-line application to the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC).