Eye on Education

Full-time, First-year OD Student Enrollment Decreases

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The number of full-time, first-year students enrolled in professional OD programs in the 50 states and Puerto Rico decreased 2.8% in 2018-19 over the prior year, according to the ASCO 2018-19 Annual Student Data Report published in May 2019.That same figure represents an increase of 3.0% over the past five years.

Conversely, full-time enrollment increased 0.7% to 7,175 in 2018-19. The percentage of full-time female students increased slightly to 68.2% from 67.8%; five years ago the percentage was 65.4%. Only one school reported more full-time male students than female students. There were an additional 161 students enrolled in part-time, alternate and special programs leading to the OD degree, up from 150 last year.

The total number of 2018 OD graduates from both regular and special programs was 1,667, a 0.5% increase from 2017 (1,658). Since 2013, there has been a 6.4% increase in graduates from regular and special programs.

In 2018-2019, the average cost for all direct expenses (tuition, fees, books and instruments) for a first-year resident student was $31,891 for a public school (an increase of 1.6% over last year) and $42,983 for a private school (an increase of 2.0%). First-year non-residents paid an average $48,250 for all direct expenses at a public school (an increase of 3.3%), and $44,657 for all direct expenses at a private school (an increase of 2.1%).

The complete Annual Student Data Report, which includes several more categories of information as well as trends data, can be found on the ASCO web site.


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