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Financial Resources for Optometry School?

optostudent2020

New Member
Mar 5, 2020
8
0
1
  1. Pre-Optometry
Hello everyone! I’m an incoming OD class of 2024 and I’m so excited to start my education this year! That being said, I am well aware of the cost of said education. My federal aid only yielded loans and my school’s scholarship website only has specific scholarships that don’t apply to me. How does anyone pay for school? Do people seriously only take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans? I feel like either I missed some sort of memo on how to reduce the cost or this is actually how the world works. Wow I’m so naive. Thanks everyone :)
 

docforeye

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2011
11
7
161
  1. Optometrist
Hello!

I just graduated last year. This is what I think about financing for the school.
A student can work part-time for the school if they hire tutors, or opticians which I highly recommend. You can study the classes' materials while tutoring which helps with board exam preparation. Being an optician can help you gain experiences about glasses, frames, lenses... valuable knowledge for your future work.

I did not work at all during my years and I think it was great. I had time to focus on my classes and passed the boards the first time which saved me a lot of money and allowed me to be licensed and start working right after graduating.
 
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UnicornOpt

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2018
54
44
96
Yes, you take out loans, invest in getting an education to hopefully succeed in becoming a doctor, then you start making more income to repay the loan.

Same thing with any business venture.

How do you start an ice cream parlor? Does anyone actually pay for their own startup? Well, if you don't have the disposable income already, you take out a loan because you are counting on yourself that you will make a successful business, then when you start earning profit, you repay the borrowed money. Makes sense.

But there is risk to opening up an ice cream parlor -- you might fail and not make it, but that can occur due to a myriad of other factors. Your ability to fail and not repay loans in optometry school can only occur if you 1) can't count on yourself to pass, and 2) job market conditions where you aren't a competitive applicant for jobs. However it looks like you would have more control over your risk paying back an optometry loan because it's based on your ability to not fail school, and you can do that right? Because if that risk does occur, not only did you lose years of potential employment, you also have no capital to repay back the loan (whereas the bankrupt ice cream parlor can at least sell their assets to recoup some cost).

It would be a tragedy to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans only for it to disappear because of the inability to cut it in college. Don't let that happen to you! Make good choices!
 

AcademicEyes

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2016
199
77
81
  1. Optometrist
Hello everyone! I’m an incoming OD class of 2024 and I’m so excited to start my education this year! That being said, I am well aware of the cost of said education. My federal aid only yielded loans and my school’s scholarship website only has specific scholarships that don’t apply to me. How does anyone pay for school? Do people seriously only take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans? I feel like either I missed some sort of memo on how to reduce the cost or this is actually how the world works. Wow I’m so naive. Thanks everyone :)

It can be very expensive and you're right, federal aid only yields loans. Many people have familial financial support to reduce the amount they have to borrow. I was not in this situation and I, too, found it very daunting to take out a large amount in loans.

What you can do is: work part-time as others have said, look for school-specific ways of reducing tuition (such as tuition reduction if you move far away during rotations), and look for outside scholarships. If I had not done that, I would have taken out at least $45K more in loans, which I find to be significant.

There's only so much you can do, so I would really weigh the benefits vs cons of any potential opportunity to reduce your cost.
 
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