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COVID-19 Crisis Response Tactics: The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and CooperVision

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VM brings you the latest information from optical companies and organizations responding to the coronavirus. The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and CooperVision state that they understand that COVID-19 has greatly impacted student financial resources, loss of income, and financial aid opportunities. As a result, CooperVision donated $25,000 to start a 2020-2021 ASCO Student Relief Program, which will provide emergency funding to support students attending an ASCO member school or college of optometry. ASCO’s president Dr. John Flanagan, dean at the University of California—Berkeley School of Optometry, noted, “ASCO has been increasingly concerned about the added stress and financial burdens placed on our optometry students as a result of COVID-19. Our partnership with CooperVision will allow ASCO the opportunity to provide much-needed relief to ease this additional stress. CooperVision’s mission is united in its strong desire to help others, which is demonstrated through their support of ASCO and our students.”

Michele Andrews, OD, senior director of professional and academic affairs, North America, CooperVision, said “COVID-19 has impacted nearly every area of our lives in some shape or form. At CooperVision, we are continuously evaluating ways to support current and future eye care professionals through these challenges. Through the ASCO Student Relief Program, we can help students dedicated to building careers in optometry by ensuring they can keep progressing in their education, and ultimately, the achievement of their goals.”

Each of ASCO’s schools and colleges of optometry will select either one student to receive a $1,000 grant or two students to each receive a $500 grant. ASCO and CooperVision will not be involved in selecting the grant recipients. Each institution will develop its criteria. While this is a need-based grant, not based on an academic achievement, the student must demonstrate academic progress. Institutions are encouraged to prioritize awarding students with the greatest financial need. This is a one-year program to provide financial assistance as a result of students impacted by COVID-19.

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