The Vincent Salierno Scholarship

Rose and Vincent SaliernoBackground

Vincent Salierno was born in 1903 in Magliano Italy. From humble immigrant beginnings he established a successful optical company in 1941 in Newark, the Victory Optical Manufacturing Company grew to be a respected leader in the optical industry. Throughout his life, Vincent, known to his friends and family as Jimmy, was a generous and loved man. He supported an orphanage, a hospital, and a church in his place of birth.

Vincent was also on the Board of Directors of the Columbus Hospital in New Jersey. His family valued and continued his philanthropy and after his death in January 1973, his widow Rose established the Vincent Salierno Scholarship Fund with the American Optometric Foundation to provide scholarships to students in the field of optometry. Over the past thirty years over one hundred scholarships have been awarded. 

Award

Between two and five scholarships of $2,000 are awarded for each academic year with the award going to the school or college for application to the student’s financial aid. In either case, a W9 form (or W-8BEN if non-U.S. resident) must be submitted or on file. Awards are generally mailed 4-6 weeks after deadline.

The scholarship rotates among the North American schools and colleges of optometry. To see if your school is eligible this year, review the list below. The Foundation will contact each eligible institution. AOF will not accept applications directly submitted by a student.  Interested students should relay their desire for consideration to their institution award chair or financial aid representative who will provide a nomination form for completion and review by committee.

Eligibility

A first year student pursuing a Doctorate of Optometry degree is nominated by his/her institution for this scholarship. Second, third, and fourth year students of optometry enrolled in a full-time course of study are also eligible, but they must have a 3.0 (“B”) average for all course work taken thus far in optometry school. The Vincent Salierno Scholarship is eligible for automatic renewal provided that the recipient maintains a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and is enrolled in a full-time course of study leading to a Doctorate of Optometry degree. Continued eligibility shall be determined annually.

Application and Review Procedures

*Deadline for application is September 12, 2014.

The AOF informs the schools designated for the current year's program that it may seek candidates and provides the application. Only one student will be chosen by the appropriate scholarship and awards committee of the selected school(s), using their own judgment based on the criteria stated in this paragraph:

The Vincent Salierno Scholarship is intended for a student who has extraordinary financial needs and would otherwise be hard pressed, if not incapable, of meeting the financial requirements of attending optometry school. Therefore, financial need is the primary criteria for selection. In making the selection of a recipient, the awarding school may not use any criteria other than financial need as the primary reason for selection. Secondary considerations can include academic progress and/or career potential.

Application materials (aside from the transcript that should be mailed) must be sent in an electronic format (preferably a PDF) to the Foundation at: AOF@aaoptom.org by close of business on the day of deadline and include the subject title: "Salierno" and the "Institution name" when emailed.

Official transcripts mail to:
Vincent Salierno Scholarship
c/o Tracy Kitts, Foundation Coordinator 
American Optometric Foundation
2909 Fairgreen Street
Orlando, FL  32803

Rotation Schedule

The following rotation cycle may be altered by the AOF Board of Directors:

University of Missouri, College of Optometry -open for 2014 application
Northeastern State University, College of Optometry  -open for 2014 application
Inter-American University, School of Optometry
Southern College of Optometry
Illinois College of Optometry
Pennsylvania College of Optometry
Ferris State University, College of Optometry
NOVA/Southeastern University, College of Optometry
Southern California College of Optometry
University of Houston, College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry
Pacific University, School of Optometry
Midwestern University, Arizona College of Optometry
Rosenberg School of Optometry
Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
University of Waterloo, School of Optometry
Indiana University, School of Optometry
University of Montreal, School of Optometry
University of California, School of Optometry 
The Ohio State University, College of Optometry 
State University of New York, College of Optometry -offered for retention 2014/ 2nd yr. student
University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Optometry - offered for retention 2014/ 2nd yr. student 

Program notes

Prior to window open, guidelines for any given program are subject to change by the AOF and/or the award sponsor. Applicants are reminded to please review all information before submitting their application to ensure it meets all criteria.

All award recipients by application and acceptance of an award agree to allow the AOF and/or the sponsor of the program to which they applied to publish their name, image, institution information, and any statement or quote provided by the recipient. These will appear in a variety of media formats that will announce and promote the program including, but not limited to, the AOF and/or sponsor annual report, website, annual meeting promotional materials.