Kentucky College of Optometry takes the lead in creating opportunity for potential students

The University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) has taken the lead nationally to remove financial barriers and increase diversity in the optometry profession by providing grants for potential students and covering the cost of taking the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT).

KYCO has successfully managed to support 25 students in taking the OAT since being awarded the grant in September and believes it is essential to give back to the profession. 

One student who applied for the grant stated, “Affording the cost of the OAT is the only missing puzzle that is stopping me from taking the exam due to my financial situation at this moment. If I’m selected to receive the OAT grant, this will open up so many opportunities for my future and being able to start optometry school for fall 2021.”

Another potential optometry student says, “I really would like to thank KYCO for this grant opportunity. This is one of the first grants that I have seen for the OAT exam, and it is heartwarming to see a college acknowledge the difficulty pre-optometry students have financially taking this exam. So again, I am entirely grateful to KYCO for this experience.” 

Michael Bacigalupi, O.D., M.S., FAAO, FNAP, dean of KYCO, says that anyone in the United States who plans to attend optometry school is eligible for the assistance. 

“It is important for KYCO to give back to the profession of optometry and take part in the overall process of improving and growing this specialty,” said Bacigalupi. “The students do not have to be attending KYCO or have attended UPIKE. The goal is to help people, do the right thing, and take steps to increase diversity in the profession.” 
For more information about donations or the KYCO OAT grant, please contact Senior Director of Advancement Courtney Justice at (606) 218-5276 or email