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I agree with both of the comments listed above.
Truly, pedigree follows you everywhere. I have several friends who went to different OPT schools who wish they would've chosen a better one now that they've graduated. Working in a hospital setting, so many physicians ask where each of us went to school. Those who went to private or less-prestigious institutions are absolutely fighting a stigma...even though we have the same job. Simply put, you cannot escape the reputation your institution has.
If you're working in corporate or rural private practice, does that matter? Probably not. No one who is getting an eye exam at Walmart is asking if you went to Harvard; however, if you are looking at working in a competitive work environment, prestige absolutely matters.
As for history, yes, Salus has historically been a well-respected institution. However, recent Board score outcomes, faculty, and administrative changes have absolutely tarnished the reputation at present. In the end, you have to ask yourself if your institution is more interested in the bottom line (money) or academic excellence.
That judgement call is yours to make!
I think the above comment is not fully accuarate and is a very subjective opinion on this topic. It can be summarized as saying go to what you think is the best school for you and do the best you can while at said school.
Because a lot of what is said above is just personal experience. Sure, not all MDs may be familiar with Arizona College of Optometry, but they have some of the highest board passage rates in the country.
And not all private schools have large class sizes. Chicago College of Optometry has ~60 students per class, while the “NIH funded” Nova has ~120 students per class.