bd722

ICO class of 2013!!!
10+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2008
89
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Optometry
I just got accepted at ICO this past weekend and it is my top choice for a lot of reasons. However, it is a very expensive school and I am worried about the loans that are going to accumulate after finishing optometry school. I think at my interview, the financial aid person said that we can have about $200,000 to pay back upon graduating!

So, to all that have graduated and paying off this debt, how is it going? Is it hard to do? How much are you writing a check for every month to pay this off and for how long or how many years? Will I be able to live somewhat comfortably? I am completely clueless when it comes to this...any info/advice would be great!

Thanks!
 

ddown

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2005
50
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
Make sure you take the time to crunch the numbers before you take on that type of debt. At the current interest rate of 6.8% it amounts to a monthly payment of approximately $1300/mo on a 30yr plan.

If you decide to go into private practice as an employee Im guessing you could expect to get somewhere in the ballpark of 75K a year to start, which is a take home of ~$4200/mo. After paying loans, your looking at about 3K to live on. Not quite rolling in the dough after 4 yrs of additional school.

If you decide to go with a corporate gig, then you may make more to start, but your long term prospects aren't as good. My advice, go the cheapest school you can, either way you will still be an O.D. if you have your heart set on it.
 

Ryan_eyeball

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2005
424
39
Kansas
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
Make sure you take the time to crunch the numbers before you take on that type of debt. At the current interest rate of 6.8% it amounts to a monthly payment of approximately $1300/mo on a 30yr plan.

If you decide to go into private practice as an employee Im guessing you could expect to get somewhere in the ballpark of 75K a year to start, which is a take home of ~$4200/mo. After paying loans, your looking at about 3K to live on. Not quite rolling in the dough after 4 yrs of additional school.

If you decide to go with a corporate gig, then you may make more to start, but your long term prospects aren't as good. My advice, go the cheapest school you can, either way you will still be an O.D. if you have your heart set on it.

Great post. I'm glad you're starting to think about what a payment will be when you graduate. I agree to go to the cheapest school, and has the most affordable living. If your parents live in one of the cities that have an OD school, I would live with them for as long as possible. Cost of living can be a huge amount of that $200k loan that you're about to take on.

Just realize that every year OD school tuition increases, insurance re-imbursements stay flat or drop, cost of doing business goes up with inflation.
 
About the Ads

bd722

ICO class of 2013!!!
10+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2008
89
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Optometry
That doesn't seem like a lot to be taking home after paying $1300 every month even after going through 4 more yrs of school. The 30 yr plan you speak of--I will be paying off loans for the next 30 yrs of my life after graduating?! I hope ICO really helps me figure out my financial aid plan.

Is it recommended to start out in a corporate setting after graduation since it pays more to help ease into the loan payments?
 

drbizzaro

Varilux/Essilor Advocate
10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2004
484
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
That doesn't seem like a lot to be taking home after paying $1300 every month even after going through 4 more yrs of school. The 30 yr plan you speak of--I will be paying off loans for the next 30 yrs of my life after graduating?! I hope ICO really helps me figure out my financial aid plan.

Is it recommended to start out in a corporate setting after graduation since it pays more to help ease into the loan payments?

No, I would not recommend starting out in corporate. The salary may seem higher to those who do not do a thorough job search, but if you really investigate the opportunities out there, you'll realize that corporate does not provide you with much benefit.

I would recommend starting in a private practice as an associate doctor.
 

JMU07

Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2006
1,152
2
35
VA
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
That doesn't seem like a lot to be taking home after paying $1300 every month even after going through 4 more yrs of school. The 30 yr plan you speak of--I will be paying off loans for the next 30 yrs of my life after graduating?! I hope ICO really helps me figure out my financial aid plan.

Is it recommended to start out in a corporate setting after graduation since it pays more to help ease into the loan payments?


ICO will help you. I know here at SCO we have an awesome financial aid department, but I'm sure the other schools do too. They'll help you though.

You can pay off loans early, but if you're going to be taking out that much debt it'll be a lot harder to do.
 

ddown

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2005
50
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
This is the big problem with optometry....large debts without a guarantee of a large enough salary to service them comfortably. Oversupply, which is another topic altogether, is a contributing factor. There are good opportunities out there, but they are getting harder and harder to find, especially if you decide to live in the larger metropolitan areas. Ive heard of colleagues graduating and having to piece together part time work for $275 a day without benefits in Southern California. With the opening of several new schools, the situation will become even worse.

The best private practice opportunities can often be found in rural locations. After residency I was offered a great opportunity at a rural private practice, but decided to stay at a VA hospital because I enjoy that working environment.

Im not trying to dissuade anyone from pursuing optometry, just make sure you are informed and plan accordingly to give yourself the best chance for success.
 

oceanblue392

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2008
149
0
Orange County, CA
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Optometry
I'm sort of resurrecting an old thread, but adding on to the original poster's questions...

With gov interest rates fixed at 6.8, would it be more financially beneficial to apply for an HPSP scholarship with the military?...Especially at a school like ICO which has one of the higher tuitions...

I've been researching the HPSP scholarship and been trying to get a better idea of the benefits and drawbacks of not having debt / being committed for 3 years after school. Anyone have any thoughts/concerns?

I do have a girlfriend, which is a major drawback for taking the scholarship...but on the other hand, no debt, traveling, serving the country are great benefits.

Thanks for any feedback!
 

KHE

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2005
3,351
362
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
I just got accepted at ICO this past weekend and it is my top choice for a lot of reasons. However, it is a very expensive school and I am worried about the loans that are going to accumulate after finishing optometry school. I think at my interview, the financial aid person said that we can have about $200,000 to pay back upon graduating!

So, to all that have graduated and paying off this debt, how is it going? Is it hard to do? How much are you writing a check for every month to pay this off and for how long or how many years? Will I be able to live somewhat comfortably? I am completely clueless when it comes to this...any info/advice would be great!

Thanks!

When you graduate, take the longest possible repayment schedule that you can get. 30 years, if preferable.

That doesn't mean you have to pay it off over 30. But it will give you the flexibility during the early lean years where cashflow will be king. Don't lock yourself into a huge, needlessly large student loan payment.
 

jupiterOD

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2008
19
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
200K !!!!!! I think that is wayyyyy too much money for an OD degree, my plan for 100K in OD debt makes my sightly sick thinking about, shouldn't one of the current eye docs try to dissuade students who plan to take on 200K !
 

eyestrain

Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2005
863
2
South Dakota
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
200K !!!!!! I think that is wayyyyy too much money for an OD degree, my plan for 100K in OD debt makes my sightly sick thinking about, shouldn't one of the current eye docs try to dissuade students who plan to take on 200K !

Unless you're independently wealthy or your folks have some serious cash to spend on you, 200k isn't that hard to reach. Four years of out of state tuition alone runs around 120k. And as Cosby would say, YOU HAVEN'T EATEN YET!
 

fjpod

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2006
68
7
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
Let me preface my remarks by saying that I think optometry is a rewarding profession, and you can make great money if you are inspired, work hard, and network with the right people. But, I have a problem with borrowing money for living expenses. I think it is a bad business decision... at any time in your life. This may seem harsh, but business is harsh. Borrow what you need for tuition and books only. You may need a part-time job to do this, or a benefactor. If you didn't go to optometry school, you would have to eat and live somewhere anyway. (spoken by an OD who graduated with $25k in debt in 1978.)
 

EyeWitness

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2008
129
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Optometry
If you didn't go to optometry school, you would have to eat and live somewhere anyway. (spoken by an OD who graduated with $25k in debt in 1978.)[/quote]

Yeah, but wouldn't it be way easier to eat and live if you were working full time and not going through an Optometry program?
 

plshelpme

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2009
11
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Optometry
If you didn't go to optometry school, you would have to eat and live somewhere anyway. (spoken by an OD who graduated with $25k in debt in 1978.)

Yeah, but wouldn't it be way easier to eat and live if you were working full time and not going through an Optometry program?[/QUOTE



WHo cares, three years living with family, can be enough to finish 3/4 of the 200K
 

OpticalBlackOut

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2008
410
55
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometrist
I'm sort of resurrecting an old thread, but adding on to the original poster's questions...

With gov interest rates fixed at 6.8, would it be more financially beneficial to apply for an HPSP scholarship with the military?...Especially at a school like ICO which has one of the higher tuitions...

I've been researching the HPSP scholarship and been trying to get a better idea of the benefits and drawbacks of not having debt / being committed for 3 years after school. Anyone have any thoughts/concerns?

I do have a girlfriend, which is a major drawback for taking the scholarship...but on the other hand, no debt, traveling, serving the country are great benefits.

Thanks for any feedback!

Hi oceanblue, did you find more information on the HPSP scholarship? Other than the army website, of course
 

blysssful

SUNY c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
817
8
NYC
Status (Visible)
  1. Optometry Student
This post may be helpful:

First, I'd caution that if you see HPSP as just a way to pay for school, you'll be disappointed and maybe downright unhappy for 3-4 years. If you like the idea of serving your country and the idea of some unique experiences prior to settling into a long term position, it may be the thing for you.

My experience:
Signed up for HPSP in my first year. They pay a monthly living allowance, ALL school expenses, and all books/equipment (which are yours to keep after leaving the military). Did my officer basic training between 3rd & 4th year (exercise in AM, classroom all day, and on the golf course by 4:30).
Did 2 of my 4th year rotations on military bases, so I was paid active-duty pay for 1/2 of my 4th year while everyone else was scrambling for loans to cover the last 6 months of school.

I listed 3 places I'd like to be stationed, and was assigned to one of them. Took 1 month off & then could start practicing mid-June before the rest of my classmates were even licensed.

Military optometry allows you to practice full-scope for procedures/prescribing and you'll either be assigned to a large hospital where you work alongside ophthalmology, or to a smaller clinic, where you may be in charge from day one. I got to experience both and saw more pathology than many of my friends doing residencies.

You will be expected to participate in some non-clinical military activities, but as an O-3 officer, won’t be assigned many duties. During my 3 years of active duty, I saw patients from 8-4, took Wed PM off and was on-call for the ER every 3rd week. About once a month would take a day for weapon training, attend military lectures, etc. I spent 3 weeks in Haiti doing humanitarian aid and was also EMT certified. All national holidays were 4 day weekends and all CE trips were paid for. I had accumulated 80 days of paid vacation when I left, which allowed me to get full pay for the first 3 months in my private practice.

My undergrad was paid with academic & a football scholarship and my only student loans were $25K for the 1st year of opt school. When I left the military after 3 years, I’d saved enough to make a down payment on an existing private practice and a home. Overall, a great experience!
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.