For professional programs which lack an in-state school for students, the state of Louisiana contracts with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to essentially fund the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for Louisiana residents attending approved participating institutions.
As of 2012, there are four Schools and Colleges of Optometry which participate in the program for Louisiana students, and they are as follows:
Southern College of Optometry (SCO) = 9 annual contract seats
University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) = 8 annual contract seats
University of Alabama – Birmingham School of Optometry (UABSO) = 2 annual seats
Northeastern State University – Oklahoma College of Optometry (NSU-OCO) = 1 annual seat
As of 2011, requirements for students to receive the designated, recurring funding include:
-Must return to practice in Louisiana 1.5 years for every year accepting SREB funding
-Must be a Medicaid provider during the payback time
In the event a student who accepts SREB funding does not to return to Louisiana to practice, or chooses not to be a Medicaid provider, the funds they received would revert to a low interest student loan, and the loan remittance amount would be placed in a fund for use in future SREB contract seat loans.