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Confused about ICO tuition costs

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London22

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I was recently accepted to ICO and NECO and now comparing the two. For the longest time I thought NECO was going to be more expensive, but it's looking to be the opposite. I thought Chicago's slightly lower cost of living compared to Boston would even things out, but ICOs tuition is super high I'm just now realizing.

For example:
ICO 4 year tuition/education fees = ~$208k
NECO 4 year tuition/education fees = ~$170k
(without including living expenses/health insurance)

I'm so lost at how ICO is $38k more. Looking at their breakdowns they charge almost $57k for 3rd year and mid-high 40's for the other years. I had no idea they did this and thought they charged around the same price each year. (like $42k) Really bummed because I was looking forward to Chicago, but now I don't think I can go.

Does anyone know why their tuition differs so much each year? I thought schools typically charged less or relatively the same during 3rd/4th years
 

percyeye

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Sorry don't have an answer for this. But something else you should know is that loans for "graduate/medical" professions are actually accumulating interest while you are in school unlike your undergrad loans. So that $208K loan from ICO when you graduate will more than likely be $250-280K.
 
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contactspecs2020

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I was also between ICO and NECO -- ended up choosing ICO.

I'm not really sure what the difference in $38k is -- is it possible that you are including the cost of housing at the residential complex in first year? Even so, it shouldn't make that big of a difference between the two schools. If you have a lot of questions, I highly recommend talking to Bryan or someone from the admissions/financial aid department as they are really helpful in clearing up these things.

I did a very, very, very rough and quick calculation looking at my student account balance right now. I took out my RC rent (1st year only for me) and estimating my future tuition fees (got 4th year left) I'm ~180k. I also included the cost of equipment (entrance testing stuff, BIO, lenses, diagnostic kit), class dues, and notetaking services. I did not include club membership fees (range from $10-25/year), school events (ex: eyeball, quiz bowl, etc).

I do recall when we did start 1st year a lot of my classmates were saying that ICO was one of the pricier schools though.

I must say cost of living is much cheaper than Boston according to some of my friends from NECO.
There's a gentleman that rents out housing to ICO students exclusively and all of his property is within a 5 min walk from school. He charges $700 a head -- but if you're rooming with someone, usually whoever takes master room pays around $800 and the ones who live in the regular rooms pay around $650/month. Since you're so close to school, you don't have to worry about daily transportation costs to and from school. It also saves you a lot of time.
A couple of my friends at NECO are spending around $1800/month per head and are splitting an apartment with 3 classmates. They are responsible for getting to clinic (including satellite clinics).

Bottom Line: Double check if you are comparing apples to apples for tuition. Call ICO if you aren't sure. Boston rent > Chicago rent.
 
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London22

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Hello,
I was wondering what page or how you were able to find that tuition link? The one they have on their website is only the 2017-2018 version??
Thanks for your help!

When you go on their main website scroll all the way down and then click on "consumer information" in the white text with the grey background. (On here: Consumer Information | Illinois College of Optometry)

On that page if you look toward the bottom of the list on the left they have the 2018-19 cost of attendance and 2017-18 links.
18-19 link: http://www.ico.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018-19-COA.pdf
 
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contactspecs2020

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Thanks those are all really good points and info! Yes unfortunately I did call to verify with Bryan and the numbers were correct. :( It's because 2 of the years come out to roughly 61k and 55k for the tuition and fees alone.
http://www.ico.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018-19-COA.pdf
I currently live in Boston, and even with accounting for the cost of living difference in Chicago I would end up with 40k higher in loans after doing major crunching. I wouldn't be living in their dorms either and used $1100 rent/utilities as a rough estimate. The major price differences were in tuition/fees. However as much as I really wanted to move to Chicago the numbers wouldn't be worth it in my case. Might be for someone who isn't as far away or got scholarships. ICO really is an amazing school though. Overall, I really thought it would be the other way around cost wise, because Boston is soo expensive. I pay $1400 for a really small 1br with parking and thats a literal steal out here, which is just nuts lol.

Super bummed to not go to Chicago however I was recently accepted to SCO!! Which was my top pick and I loved it there! Fortunately that's also the school that saves me the most, so I'll be moving to TN this summer. :D So it all worked out! I'm down for the total culture change and low cost of living haha

i'm glad you were able to get your first choice! good luck with school =) Chicago will always be there to visit !
 
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