Scholarships - Optometry

Pre-Graduation Student Scholarships

Annual scholarships are available to students entering any of the four professional years of study at the Southern California College of Optometry and are based on criteria that include academic excellence, clinical ability, financial need, leadership, and other criteria. These campus-based scholarships are presented at an event held during the Fall Quarter. All monetary scholarships are directly applied to the recipient's educational expenses at the University.

Submission Guidelines

All applications must be submitted via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) in a Microsoft Word Document. Other formats, including PDFs and photos, will not be accepted. You may apply to as many scholarships as you qualify for, but may only use one email per application. Each application consists of the following items: first and last name, class year, name of the scholarship for which you are applying, abbreviated curriculum vitae (CV), and statement of interest (300 word maximum). Some scholarships require an essay. Please read the descriptions thoroughly. Each essay is limited to 500 words. Scholarships that require an essay do not need a statement of interest.

Fall 2017 Scholarships

Dr. Charles A. Abel Memorial Endowed Scholarships (1982)
These endowed scholarships are in recognition of, Charles A. Abel, OD, '49, former Dean of Academic Affairs at the Southern California College of Optometry. Two awards are presented annually to entering fourth-year students, with financial need, who have demonstrated excellence in family practice and case analysis courses and/or clinical application. Selection is made by the Chief of the Jarnagin Primary Eye Care Service. The two scholarships are $1,500 each.

The Drs. Kevin and Carol Alexander Leadership Endowed Scholarship (2015)
The Alexander Leadership Endowment will offer annual support to a qualified incoming 4th year optometry student who demonstrates outstanding leadership ability. The recipient will be selected by the Dean of the Southern California College of Optometry. The scholarship is designed to support opportunities for the development and training of future leaders by capitalizing on the considerable contributions and talents of SCCO students. The scholarship is $1,500.

Alumni Association of Marshall B. Ketchum University Endowed Scholarships in Honor of Leslie W. Scown, OD (1979)
These endowed scholarships were established by the Alumni Association of the Southern California College of Optometry to honor, Leslie W. Scown, OD, a faculty member at the College from 1923-54. These scholarships are presented to first-, second-, third- and fourth-year students. Selection is made by the Scholarship Committee. The eight scholarships are $1,500 each.

Alvin Applebaum Memorial Endowed Scholarship (1982)
An endowment was established by, Morris Applebaum, OD, '68, in memory of his father, who believed that education was the greatest gift he could give to his children. The scholarship is presented annually to an entering fourth-year student who has demonstrated excellence in family practice. Selection is made by the Chief of the Jarnagin Primary Eye Care Service. The scholarship is $1,200.

Arizona Vision Service Plan Endowed Scholarships (2001)
The Arizona Vision Service Plan Scholarship fund was directed to the College by, Michael R. Sellers, OD, '78 and James L. Abbott, OD, '80. These awards are offered to students in good academic standing from Arizona who have financial need. The selection of the scholarship recipients is made by the Scholarship Committee. The nine scholarships are $1,000 each.

Dr. Louis Ash Memorial Endowed Scholarship (2007)
This scholarship was established by a bequest from, Dr. Louis Ash and others, as a tribute to the 1939 graduate of the Los Angeles School of Optometry (now MBKU). This scholarship is presented to an entering second-year student who has financial need. The Scholarship Committee selects the recipient. The scholarship is $1,500.

Black Student Endowed Scholarship (2003)
These endowed scholarships are presented to selected students of African-American heritage at the College who have financial need. The Scholarship Committee will select the recipient. The scholarships is $3,000.

Blake Family Endowed Scholarships (2003)
This endowed fund was established by, Jim Blake, who served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1989–1998, and as Chair, 1995-97. These scholarships are available to first-, second-, and third-year students who have financial need. They are presented at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee. The seven scholarships are $1,000 each.

Dr. Frank A. Brazelton Memorial Endowed Scholarships (1989)
An endowment was established by family and friends in memory of, Professor Frank A. Brazelton, OD, MSEd, '51, who served with distinction on the faculty of SCCO from 1952-88. Dr. Brazelton was the president of the American Academy of Optometry at the time of his passing. Two scholarships are presented to entering third-year students for excellence in family practice. The recipients are selected by the Department of Clinical Sciences. The two scholarships are $2,000 each.

Marjorie H. Bright Endowed Scholarship (1998)
This endowed scholarship, established in honor of, Marjorie H. Bright, is awarded to a third-year student with financial need. The recipient of this scholarship will be selected by the Scholarship Committee. Geographical preference will be given to students matriculating from Turlock, Modesto or the Central Valley areas of California. The scholarship is $1,600.

Joseph L. Bruneni Memorial Endowed Scholarship (2004)
Family and colleagues of Joe Bruneni, in recognition of his service to the ophthalmic industry, established this scholarship. This scholarship is presented to an entering third-year student who has excelled with ophthalmic optics lecture and laboratory courses. The faculty in ophthalmic optics will select the recipient. The scholarship is $1,600.

California Optometric Council Endowed Scholarships (1995)
The California Optometric Council established an endowed scholarship fund to annually recognize entering fourth-year students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and interest in the profession, academic achievement, and financial need. Recipients are selected by the Scholarship Committee. The two scholarships are $1,000 each.

Dr. Reynaldo J. Carreon Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarships (1983)
Scholarships are annually awarded from an endowment established by, Reynaldo J. Carreon Jr., OD, DO, MD, '25. College students who are of Mexican-American heritage and have a need for financial assistance are eligible. Preferred recognition is given to applicants who are bilingual. The three scholarships are $3,500 each.

Drs. Fred and Betty Chelf Memorial Endowed Scholarships (2007)
This scholarship was established from the estate of Drs. Fred and Betty Chelf, both graduates of the Illinois College of Optometry. The scholarships will be awarded to entering first-year students based on academic merit. Scholarship recipients will be selected by the Scholarship Committee and offers made to students at the time of their acceptance into the program. The three scholarships are $6,000 each.

Dr. Vincent and Nina Conlan Memorial Endowed Scholarship (2010)
This scholarship is awarded to an entering first-year student that has demonstrated a positive spirit toward the optometric profession. The Scholarship Committee selects the recipient. The scholarship is $2,500.

Dr. Leon Darrow Memorial Endowed Scholarships (2002)
These scholarships were established by, Evelyn Darrow, in memory of her husband. These scholarships are available to second- or third-year students from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) States who are not being funded by WICHE awards. The selection of these recipients is made by the Scholarship Committee. The three scholarships are $2,200 each.

Adam E. and Marguerite E. Diehl Memorial Endowed Scholarship (2000)
This scholarship was established by the Diehl family as a tribute to, Adam and Marguerite Diehl. Mr. Diehl was awarded an honorary degree, the Doctor of Science in Educational Optics, in 1950 from the College. He was the first non-optometrist elected to the College's Board of Trustees, served as a trustee from 1951-72 and, was chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1958. This scholarship is presented to an entering fourth-year student who has demonstrated special interest and clinical skills in the treatment of ocular disease. The recipient is selected by the clinical faculty in Ocular Disease. This scholarship is $1,500.

Dr. Herbert McCracken Dixon Memorial Endowed Scholarships (1983)
A bequest from the estate of the late, Herbert McCracken Dixon, OD, '23, created an endowment for scholarships. Scholarships are given based on academic excellence and a spirit of philanthropy for students to make their own future gifts to the University when he/she is successfully established in practice. Four scholarships are provided each year to the four students who have the highest academic achievement in undergraduate work in each year's entering first-year class. One scholarship is provided to the underrepresented minority student with the highest undergraduate academic achievement in each year's entering first-year class. Nine scholarships (three per year) are awarded to students in the entering second-, third- and fourth-year classes based on cumulative GPAs during the University's previous academic year. Students with the highest GPA will be named Dixon Scholars. Those with the second highest will be Dixon Fellows and the third highest will be Dixon Associates. In total, fourteen awards of $5,000 each are given.

Dr. Joe W. Dobbs Endowed Scholarships (2003)
This endowment was established by University Trustee and Alumnus, Joe W. Dobbs, OD, ’63, and his wife, Carol. It provides scholarships to entering fourth-year students with financial need who have shown interest and potential promise in the care of low vision patients. The selection of these recipients is made by the Chief of the Mary Ann Keverline Walls Low Vision Rehabilitation Center. The two scholarships are $1,250 each.

Dr. Lynn Caffrey Gabriel Scholarships (2010)
These scholarships are presented to entering first year students with a profile that demonstrates a capacity for volunteer leadership, independent thinking and a spirit of innovation. It is also to help to support students who have chosen optometry as a second career. These three scholarships are $2,500 each.

Dr. Jeffery Garcia Endowed Scholarship (2014)
The scholarship was established by Dr. Jeffery Garcia, ’93, to give back to SCCO. He is passionate about community service and giving back to SCCO. This award is $1,300.

Heine/Pioneer Scholarship (2012)
This scholarship will be presented to a first-year student. Selection will be made by the Scholarship Committee. $200 was donated from Heine and $200 from Pioneer. The scholarship is $400.

Dr. Clifford M. Harn, ’20 Memorial Endowed Scholarship (2007)
This scholarship was established by, Stanton D. Harn, PhD, in memory of his father, Clifford M. Harn, OD, '20. Dr. Harn practiced for many years in the Pomona area and was a past president of the Orange Belt Optometric Association. This scholarship is presented to a second-year student with financial need that has maintained a quarterly GPA above 3.00. The selection is made by the Scholarship Committee. This scholarship is $1,200.

William E. Heaton Jr. Endowed Scholarship (2006)
This endowed "good guy" scholarship is available to an entering second- or third-year student with financial need. Recipients are selected by the Scholarship Committee. The scholarship is $1,500.

Hispanic Endowed Scholarships (1995)
Hispanic scholarships are presented annually to entering fourth-year students of Hispanic heritage. The recipients will have demonstrated scholarship, clinical proficiency and commitment to the profession. Candidates for these scholarships are selected by members of the Department of Clinical Sciences. The two awards are $2,500 each.

Betty Lou Hoeft Memorial Endowed Scholarship (1988)
Established in memory of, Betty Lou Hoeft, by her husband, Wayne W. Hoeft, OD, '59, their families and friends, this scholarship is presented to a female entering her second- or third-year of professional study from the Midwest with financial need, who is in good academic standing. The selection of these recipients is made by the Scholarship Committee. The scholarship is $1,500.

Dr. Richard L. Hopping Ethics Endowed Scholarship (2004)
This endowment, established by Southern California College of Optometry President Emeritus, Richard L. Hopping, OD, and his spouse, Patricia, provides scholarship to an entering third-year student. The student must submit an essay of 500 words or more on the importance and/or role of ethics in carrying out the various tenets of the Optometric Oath. The recipient will be selected by the Student Affairs Council. The scholarship is $2,000.

Dr. Donald E. Jarnagin Endowed Scholarship (1999)
This endowed scholarship was established by, Donald E. Jarnagin, OD, '70, a past president of the American Optometric Association, and former member of the College’s Board of Trustees, in honor of the College and in recognition of the profession. Third-year students who have been involved in student leadership activities may apply for this scholarship by submitting an essay describing the values they have learned from the student leadership positions they have held. The selection for this scholarship is made by the Scholarship Committee. The scholarship is $1,500.

Woody and Dorotha Jarnagin Memorial Endowed Scholarships (2002)
The Woody and Dorotha Jarnagin Memorial Endowed Scholarships were established by former American Optometric Association President and Alumnus Donald E. Jarnagin, OD, ’70. These scholarships are available to first-year students from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) States who are not funded by WICHE grants. The selection of the recipients is at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee. These seven scholarships are $2,000 each.  

Kristin A. Jones Memorial Endowed Scholarships (1991)
An endowment was established in recognition of, Kristin A. Jones who, as a Southern California College of Optometry student, valiantly displayed a laudatory spirit and a courageous attitude in spite of personal health problems. Two scholarships are given to a second - and a third-year student for an essay on an event or circumstance that personally affected them and caused them to reevaluate their views about courage, personal hardships, and the value of seeking joy in life. Students may be nominated or may apply for these scholarships with the Scholarship Committee. The two scholarships are $2,000 each.

Rodger T. Kame Memorial Endowed Scholarship (2001)
The Dr. Rodger T. Kame, ’62, Memorial Endowed Scholarship was created by the friends and family of the honoree. Dr. Kame was an internationally recognized expert in cornea and contact lens management and served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 1994 until his passing in 2000.  This scholarship is presented to a third-year student who has demonstrated clinical excellence in cornea and contact lenses.  The recipient is selected by the faculty of the Stein Family Cornea and Contact Lens Center.  This scholarship is $2,000.

Dr. Cecil B. Kohake Endowed Scholarship (2001)
This scholarship was established by, Cecil B. Kohake, OD, '77, and is presented to an entering fourth-year student who has demonstrated excellence in clinical science. The Chief of the Jarnagin Primary Care Center selects the recipient. The scholarship is $1,000.

William E. Langston Sports Vision Scholarship (2004)
This scholarship is presented to an entering fourth-year student who has demonstrated a commitment to serving the vision needs of athletes participating in the Special Olympics program. The recipient is selected by the Special Olympics faculty. This scholarship is $2,000.

Dr. Jennifer C. Mallinger Scholarship (2001)
This scholarship is for an entering third-year student. This scholarship will be awarded to a student with need who has demonstrated an interest and commitment to the activities and leadership of the Student Association. Recipient is selected by the Scholarship Committee. This scholarship is $500.

Missio Dei Service Scholarship (2007)
Established by, Rev. Dr. Leonidas Johnson, '85, and the Family Unity Foundation, and inaugurated by, Dr. Lesley L. Walls, this endowed scholarship is based on Dr. Johnson's conviction that, "vision is a physical, mental, and spiritual process of discovery and enlightenment." The scholarship is presented to an entering fourth-year student as a grant to make a trip anywhere in the world to demonstrate God's love in practical ways. The recipient is chosen based upon an essay written on Dr. Johnson's conviction. The Scholarship Committee selects the recipient. The scholarship is $1,000.

Dr. Homer A. Nelson Memorial Endowed Scholarships (1980)
An endowment was established by, Ruth A.E. Nelson, in memory of her husband, Homer A. Nelson, OD, ’25, a distinguished alumnus of the Southern California College of Optometry and Trustee Emeritus, in recognition of his loyal and devoted service to the College and to optometric vision care. Scholarships are available annually to entering third-year students. Preference is given to students who resided in Orange County prior to admission to the College. The recipients must be in good academic standing and have financial need. Selections are made by the Student Affairs Department. The 11 scholarships are $1,000 each.

Optic Gallery Scholarship (2001)
This is a scholarship for an entering third-year student. The scholarship will be awarded to a student with need who has demonstrated an interest and commitment to the activities and leadership of the Student Association. Recipient is selected by the Scholarship Committee. This scholarship is $500.

Dr. Howard Preston Memorial Endowed Scholarship South Bay Optometric Society (1984)
This endowed scholarship was established through a gift from the South Bay Optometric Society in memory of, Howard Preston, OD, who was an honored Society member and a 1954 graduate of the College. The scholarship is presented each year to an entering third-year student who has demonstrated in the second-year of study a significant overall improvement in academic performance as compared with his/her first-year of study. This scholarship is $1,500.

Dr. Erwin A. Rader Memorial Endowed Scholarships (1994)
These two endowed scholarships are a memorial tribute to, Erwin A. Rader, O.D., '42. Dr. Rader practiced for many years in California but, was originally a native of the Midwest. Preference for the annual scholarships will be given to third-year students from the Midwest. The selection for this scholarship is made by the Scholarship Committee. The two awards are $1,700 each.

Dr. Bertram L. Roberts Memorial Endowed Scholarship (1981)
This endowed scholarship was established as a tribute to, Bertram L. Roberts, O.D., honoring his many years of service as a faculty member of the University. This scholarship is presented annually to an entering fourth-year student who has demonstrated excellence in the field of ocular disease and special testing. The recipient is selected by the faculty of the Ocular Disease Service. This award is $1,500.

Dr. Martin A. Robin Memorial Endowed Scholarship (1997)
This endowed scholarship is a memorial tribute to Martin A. Robin, OD, who was in independent practice for many years. He had an eloquent sense of humor, painted, collected books and Presidential autographs and, reflected much that is positive about life and optometry. This scholarship is available to a first-, second-, or third-year student with financial need who has demonstrated a commitment to society through non-optometric community service, such as tutoring, caring for the physically handicapped, children or others in need. Students may submit an essay discussing their commitment to society through non-optometric community service. The scholarship is $1,500.

Michael R. Sellers, OD, '78, and Stephanie E. Sellers Scholarships (1999)
These annual scholarships were established by, Michael R. Sellers, OD, '78, and his wife, Stephanie, and are available to entering second-year students. Applicants must have financial need, and a GPA of at least 3.00. Preference is given to students from Arizona. The recipients should recognize a moral obligation to SCCO at MBKU and to its optometry students in the way of future gifts to the school through the scholarship program. These two scholarships are each $1,000.

Dr. Geraldine J. Sherman Memorial Endowed Scholarship (1978)
This scholarship was endowed as a tribute to, Geraldine J. Sherman, O.D. This scholarship is presented to a female student who has demonstrated leadership potential and independence of thought. The selection is made by the Student Affairs Council. The scholarship is $1,500.

Dr. Takao Shishino Endowed Scholarships (1994)
These endowed scholarships were established by friends and associates of, Takao Shishino, OD. They honor Dr. Shishino for his service to the optometric profession and leadership on the College’s Board of Trustees. Throughout his career, Dr. Shishino assisted and supported young people and graduates dedicated to the profession of optometry. Entering fourth-year students may apply by submitting an essay on their definition of professionalism and how it influences their practice goals. Selection is made by the Scholarship Committee. The two scholarships are $1,400 each.

Lenard W. & Nelda O. Sledge Endowed Scholarship
These endowed scholarships are in honor of Dr. Lenard W. and Nelda O. Sledge. Dr. Lenard Sledge, ’48, was a graduate of SCCO. This scholarship is given to incoming 1st year students based on outstanding undergraduate credentials. Selections are made by the Deans of each College. These three awards are $3,000 each.

Jonathan Smith, OD, Endowed Scholarship Fund – Recruitment
This scholarship was established by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and SCCO alumnus, Jonathan Smith. It is available for recruitment efforts to routinely attract and retain quality optometry applicants at SCCO. The $15,000 to be used for qualified applicants.

Southwest Contact Lens Society Endowed Scholarships (1995)
These scholarships, established by the Southwest Contact Lens Society as a tribute to, Clyde Roberts, OD, '49, recognize entering fourth-year students who have exhibited potential for excellence in contact lens patient care. These scholarships are presented to students with a GPA of 3.00 or higher. Preference is given to students from the Southwest. Selection is made by the faculty of the Stein Family Cornea and Contact Lens Center. The two scholarships are $1,200 each.

Harold M. Uhrich, Jr. and Shirley J. Uhrich Memorial Endowed Scholarship (2004)
An endowment was established by family and friends as a memorial to, Harold M. Uhrich, Jr. and his wife, Shirley J. Uhrich. “Bud” Uhrich was the loyal and devoted Director of Campus Operations who served the College and the physical plant in an exemplary manner from 1972 until 2003. A scholarship is presented annually to a student in good academic standing entering the third-year of professional studies and with financial need. The recipient of the scholarship will be chosen by the Scholarship Committee. The scholarship is $1,500.

Robert K. Vinyard Memorial Endowed Scholarship (1976)
This scholarship is a tribute to a former student who lost his life in a 1976 accident. It is presented annually to a first-year student with financial need who has shown persistence and promise. The selection is made by the Scholarship Committee. The scholarship is $1,500.

Vision for Excellence Endowed Grants (1988)
The university has established an endowment that provides up to two Vision for Excellence grants per class based on financial need. The recipients must demonstrate professional potential and overall excellence in academic achievement. The Director of Financial Aid selects the recipients. The eight grants are $700 each.

Vision for Excellence Endowed Scholarships (1988)
The university has established an endowment that provides Vision for Excellence scholarships to entering second- or third-year students. The recipients must demonstrate professional potential and overall excellence in academic achievement. The recipients are selected by the Scholarship Committee. The three scholarships are $1,000 each.

The Dr. Lorraine Voorhees Endowed Scholarship Award (2013)
The endowed scholarship fund was established by Lorraine Voorhees, OD ’71. This award is presented to a student entering their 4th year who has achieved the highest score on Part I of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam. Dr. Voorhees began in 1972 as a faculty member, was Director of the Optometric Technician Program, served as Director of Admissions and Records and as Director of Student Affairs and ultimately as Vice President of Student Affairs. Her advocacy for the needs of students is well known at the University, as are the high standards to which she holds the students. This scholarship is $1,500.

VSP/AOF Practice Excellence Scholarship (1988)
This scholarship is presented to an entering fourth-year student who has demonstrated excellence in primary eye care services. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA that places them in the top half of the class. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay encompassing their independent practice goals and demonstrating their understanding of optometry's role as a primary health care profession. This scholarship is $4,000.

Dr. Louis and Marcia Zabner Endowed Scholarships (2005)
These scholarships, available for entering first-, second-, and third-year students, were established by, Louis Zabner, OD, ’40 and his wife, Marcia. Recipients are selected by the Scholarship Committee. The two scholarships are $1,250 each.