Sep 3, 2010
10
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi Guys,

I'm trying to decide between SCO and SUNY.

I calculated the financial costs and SCO for me would be about $50,000 cheaper overall. (Damn NYC living expenses!)

I love NYC and didn't really like Memphis when I visited.

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)
 

jc812

Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2006
241
0
Status
Optometry Student
I'm going to assume you will be taking out a loan, as many of us do.

saving 50,000 over a 4 year period is a LOT of money. Really, this is school and it is temporary.. but a loan is as long as 10 to 30 yrs, however long u want to make it. 50,000 on top of whatever loan amount you take adds up to be MUCH MUCH MORE after interested is accounted for.

Yes, you should like the area that you live in, but you should also think about your future as well.

I am a student at SCO. It isn't bad, really.. Memphis isn't the best place to live in, but it is tolerable. I don't ever regret that I go to school here.. but it IS the only school I applied to.:love: Some of the staff/faculty here are wonderful. I can't speak for SUNY...
 
Apr 21, 2010
38
0
Status
Optometry Student
Just out of curiosity, did you calculate living expenses based on midtown manhattan or did you look at other burroughs? Many SUNY students live in astoria, queens at much more affordable rates with only a short commute. I'm a biased source though being from NY hah
 
OP
S
Sep 3, 2010
10
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
I tried to calculate it..

NYC Living Expenses per month

$800-$1100 for rent (I'm assuming Queens is around 700-900/month with a roommate?)
$600 for food, transportation and other expenses

so that is around $1400-1700 per month

Memphis would be

$500-600 for rent with a roommate, 10 minute drive to the school in a nice neighbor
$ 500 for food, transportation, others

so around $1000.

SCO called me again today and offered me even more scholarship money, enough to cover tuition and living expenses for one year... so basically I would only have to pay for 3 years.

I calculated I would save about $60,000- $70,000 over all for the 4 years.

I did calculate SUNY's in state tuition after the first year and the average per year is around $21,000 but the living expenses would be the same if not more than the tuition each year. Also, I don't know if I really want to live in NYC as a poor graduate student. haha so many amazing restaurants and shops... I know I would want to spend a lot of money...

I really loved SUNY's clinic and all the rotations you get to do, plus a lot of clinical research! But I really loved SCO's friendly atmosphere too and their clinic is awesome.

Right now, I'm 60% for SCO.

Any other thoughts? I really appreciate the feedback!!! :D
 
OP
S
Sep 3, 2010
10
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Can you tell me what your favorite thing and least favorite thing about SCO is? A student perspective is greatly appreciated :)
 

jc812

Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2006
241
0
Status
Optometry Student
SCO's administration in general is GREAT (Mike is awesome!). They will offer money to u without u even asking for it.. they do what they can to help you out. Did you ask for additional funds or did they just offer it? Also, what state are u from?

The financial aid department is wonderful, too.. everything is very organized. It may partially be due to my OCD filing system, but I feel like financial aid always updates and lets me know how much money I have out, projected amounts, interest rates, etc. I never experienced such help in undergrad, and I'm not sure how other schools are with financial aid.

As far as curriculum and faculty.. there are both positives and negatives for both. One thing, though is that they take evaluations seriously so they are ever evolving. I haven't decided whether this is a good or bad thing yet.
Also, I read another post about someone failing an anatomy class and them having no second chances. At SCO, I believe they will do the best they can to get you to the end.

I come from a big city, so I understand that Memphis is "not that great" and that it is ugly. I could not agree with you more. But if you look at basic essentials, Memphis has it... it's just on a smaller scale. There may not be a lot to choose from but at least there are places to go. It doesn't mean I don't miss the city, but that's what breaks are for. Besides, who needs the distraction when you're here to STUDY? Tell your friend to look at the Memphis Flyer for ideas on what to do out in the ugly city. There are some happening events.

I do not love Memphis, nor do I plan on staying here longer than necessary.. but it isn't unbearable. I'm sure you would adjust fine.

I am not one that enjoys having loans (are you?). I will bear the "alright" and save the "luxury life" for later.. for when I am grown, and making a living. I only applied to SCO bc it made the most logical sense to me. Board passing rates were great, the school is not to shabby, The Eye Center is impressive, and hey.. tuition is low. The city is crappy.. not the school. It isn't a deal breaker to me.

I hope this helps..
 

JMU07

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2006
1,152
2
33
VA
Status
Optometrist
Yeah... I agree with everything jc has said. Memphis isn't "pretty", but there is a LOT of stuff to do here, there's a lot of history, museums, good nightlife, family attractions, etc. I'm also counting down the days til I get out of here, but that's because I can't wait to be back home.

SCO was the only school I applied to as well. Keeping debt as low as possible is important, but you need to go somewhere where you'll feel comfortable. If you think you'll like SUNY better, go there.

Another plus for SCO is that it doesn't really snow here. And if it does snow enough to cover the ground, school always at least gets delayed, if not closed. No snow plows here. :D
 
Jul 14, 2009
35
0
New Jersey
Status
Optometry Student
Being a New Yorker, I can give you some insight on my end. I absolutely love living in Manhattan. I lived here throughout undergrad and theres never a dull moment. The SUNY campus is right across from Bryant Park which usually hosts shows and ice skating rink throughout the winter. When I had an apartment with one roommate on the UES my rent was $1199 (for my half) plus utilities (cable, internet, electric) usually another $150 during the winter months. During the summer my electric bill was as high as $250, and I was hardly there but when I was the air was on. Regardless of where you live in in NYC you will need to have a monthly subway pass which i think now its up to around $100, which with my favorite MTA (note heavy sarcasm), the fair keeps going up. You are looking at 30minute to hour commute one way every day within Manhattan. Sometimes the commute is smooth, other days its a complete headache with delays etc. Good thing is that because SUNY is on 42nd Street, there are TONS of trains, so you can really live anywhere.

I love manhattan, and I have had a great experience living here. I will miss it sorely when I move to PCO. However, if its a $60,000 difference, I am sure that money can be used various ways. Down payment on a house, wedding, college fund for your kids, etc. Maybe you can do an externship in Manhattan?
 

blazenmadison

10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2006
432
5
Status
Optometrist
Read this article
http://finance.yahoo.com/college-education/article/111460/is-the-college-debt-bubble-ready-to-explode


When I was deciding between ICO, PCO, and SCO...there was a 25k total difference in tuition between ICO/PCO and SCO. I chose SCO because of the lower tuition. In the end...I got the same degree as my counterparts at ICO/PCO with one exception....less debt. Student loan debt will be the end of optometry and private practice. Average student loan debt for optometry students are approaching 150k (same as medical schools!..except MDs produce more income). Unless you have rich grandparents or plan to live in a cardboard box eating ramen for the rest of your life, I would chose the most affordable school. Private optometry schools including the news one controlled by private osteopathic medicine colleges are doing harm to the profession and its students by selling unreal expectations. I have a friend who graduated this past May. He is licensed but cannot find a full-time job this past 6months. He is doing fill-in work wherever he can but I dont know how he is going to handle loan repayment in a few weeks. He is probably going to have to file for economic hardship or forbearance.


Student loans are real!!!! Short-term pain for long-term gain!
 
OP
S
Sep 3, 2010
10
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
SCO offered me the academic scholarship. I didn't ask for it. I'm from Maryland!
 
OP
S
Sep 3, 2010
10
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Thanks for the feedback and resources everyone!

I'm pretty set on SCO now. :) Just need to mail in my deposit soon!
 

Meibomian SxN

10+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2008
706
2
Status
Optometrist
.....
SCO called me again today and offered me even more scholarship money, enough to cover tuition and living expenses for one year... so basically I would only have to pay for 3 years.

Any other thoughts? I really appreciate the feedback!!! :D
Go where the money savings is, congrats on the scholarship!