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Illinois College of Optometry

3241 S. Michigan Ave

Chicago IL 60616


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Frequently Asked Questions


When do I submit my final transcripts to ICO?
Be sure to submit your final official transcript from every college or university you have attended. If you have any prerequisites pending, they will be mentioned in your acceptance letter. Each will need to be documented on your transcript(s). Oftentimes degrees are not posted until weeks after graduation. Please check with your college's registrar to ensure your degree(s) is included on the transcript they will be sending. All official transcripts need to be received by Aug. 1. See the contact us page for our mailing address.

If you have any questions or concerns related to your pending prerequisites, contact admissions immediately.


What is ICO's tuition deposit refund policy?
Your deposit will be credited towards your first quarter’s tuition. Should you withdraw your acceptance, the full tuition deposit, $750, is non-refundable.

Who should I contact if I need proof of acceptance, for insurance purposes or something else? 
Up to the first day of class, an entering student can contact admissions for a letter showing proof of acceptance into our program. Once classes start, the student will need to contact the registrar for a proof of enrollment letter.

Is health insurance required to attend ICO?
ICO's Board of Trustees strongly recommends that all students hold some type of major medical insurance coverage. In light of recent healthcare reforms many students are able to continue coverage with their parents' policies throughout their enrollment. If this is not possible, students are encouraged to evaluate their needs and obtain coverage independently.


Financial Aid

When can I expect to receive my financial aid award, and is there a deadline for applying for the following year?
Applicants who have completed their FAFSA and who have been accepted for admission will start to receive financial aid award letters online in October 2019. Students can apply for financial aid anytime after October 1 each year; however, we advise you to submit your FAFSA application by April 15 to ensure all of your financial aid steps are complete before the school year begins. Our school code is 001689. Prompt responses to any requests for information from the Financial Aid Office will ensure a smooth process. If you have any questions regarding your financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

When is tuition due?
Tuition is due on the first day of class for each quarter. Student statements will be available and viewable on the "My Finance" tab of the Student Portal (portal.ico.edu) site beginning 30 days prior to the due dates.  Paper statements are not mailed to students.  Payments can be made by check, bank draft or electronic funds transfer. Payments should be in U.S. dollars and made payable to Illinois College of Optometry. If you wish to make an electronic funds transfer, please contact the Business Office to obtain instructions and account information.



When will school begin for the class of 2024?
Classes start Monday, August 24th, 2020. The 2020-21 Academic Calendar is found here

What textbooks are needed for my first year of classes?
For a list of required and recommended textbooks, you can call ICO's Matthews Bookstore at 312-949-7471 or 877-678-5678. However, we highly recommend that you wait to purchase your books until after your arrival to campus.

How do I make accommodations with ICO for religious observances?
Requests for accommodations due to religious observances should be submitted to the Associate Dean for Academic Assessment and Records and Registrar within the first week of the fall quarter of the first year. A letter must be provided by a religious leader (pastor, rabbi, priest, etc.) indicating your religious affiliation and describing your observance. ICO will make every effort to provide fair and equitable accommodations. As a health care educational institution that provides visual care for our patients seven days a week, it is inevitable that students should expect quarter(s) with weekend requirements, thus the need for this notification for such consideration well in advance.

What's the first year class schedule like?
Here is a sample of the first year class schedule. All First Year students will receive a copy of their schedule in their mailboxes during orientation. Please note, the schedule is subject to change.

What practice management opportunities does ICO offer? 
Practice management is offered a variety of ways at ICO. There is a culmination of some core coursework, several electives including the private practice clerkship, as well as all the resources from our career center, Vistakon trips, the Kattouf Program for the Advancement of Independent Optometry and more.



Where can I find more information specifically for international students?
Many international students attend ICO, and we know that you have a unique set of inquiries. Please see our International Students FAQs page for answers about visas, work opportunities and more. 



Are first year students required to live in the Residential Complex?
No, however it is recommended, especially if you are moving to Chicago from out of state. It is the best place for new students to study, make friends, and adapt to professional school and the city. Refer to our Off-Campus Housing Guide for more information.

When can I expect to receive housing information?
Admissions will email the class when the housing application becomes available (usually in early spring). Housing for first year students is guaranteed as long as the RC Contract is submitted by the deadline. If your email changes between now and then, please contact our office as soon as you have a new email address.



Where can I find information about on campus jobs?
Job postings will be available during orientation.