homie

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If a person chooses a school that costs between $30000 to $38000 per year does all of that money need to be borrowed? I am wondering if Optometry students get grants to help with school? I don't have much experience with finacial aid and would like to understand if there is a cap on the amount the government expects a student to borrow to make it through school. Do student have to pick schools based on their cost? If you know anything about the finacial aid system I would like to know if that should play a large roll in a student's school choice? Should it be the top reason?
 

KHE

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If a person chooses a school that costs between $30000 to $38000 per year does all of that money need to be borrowed? I am wondering if Optometry students get grants to help with school? I don't have much experience with finacial aid and would like to understand if there is a cap on the amount the government expects a student to borrow to make it through school. Do student have to pick schools based on their cost? If you know anything about the finacial aid system I would like to know if that should play a large roll in a student's school choice? Should it be the top reason?
I do not know the answer to your question but I will say that anyone who borrows $38000 per year to attend optometry school is making a mistake.
 

Commando303

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I do not know the answer to your question but I will say that anyone who borrows $38000 per year to attend optometry school is making a mistake.
I haven't visited this forum in some time; doing so, to-day, I've found this thread, and have decided to share my thoughts.

KHE, your statement implies just about every student in an O.D. program in the United States, right now, is making a mistake by being in his or her position. I'm unsure whether this was to be the heart of your point, or you're simply unacquainted with the current (2010) climate of professional schools, but such is the case.

Homie (I say, sweet user name), most (U.S.-based) colleges of optometry will charge ~$30,000/year, and, yes, most students in an O.D. program do borrow this amount; unless you qualify for in-state tuition at the school you attend, you'll do the same. The government does not hand out grants for garduate-school education as it does for undergraduate. Individual schools do spit out meager pittances, here and there, but, at the end of the day, the overwhelming odds are you will borrow the entire cost of attending school.

This will include tuition, equipment fees, rent, food, utilities, etc.; quickly run the numbers through a calculator (or scan the statistics of how much students in such courses of study are tending to borrow), and you'll find most persons, at the end of four years, walk out with debts of ~$140,000.00 (of course, how you opt to live will have a significant impact on how much you end up owing). Now, to whether cost should be your chief concern in deciding which school to select, no one but you can figure the answer.

Good luck.
 

Ryan_eyeball

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"and you'll find most persons, at the end of four years, walk out with debts of ~$140,000.00 (of course, how you opt to live will have a significant impact on how much you end up owing). Now, to whether cost should be your chief concern in deciding which school to select, no one but you can figure the answer."

Then you'll hear over the intercom at Cosco advertising $39 eye exams and walk in appointments available. Financially Optometry can be adequate if you charge what you're worth. I still believe if I had to do it over, I would have gone to Pharmacy school. My house will be paid off in 8 months, and then hopefully student loans in 3 years. After becoming debt free, I may get out of Optometry.
 

socal2014

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140,000k is not a big deal, if you pay back what you borrowed in a span of 25-30 years vs 5-10 years. Though, higher interest rates will force you to pay off the debt sooner, than later.
 

jmonte

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I'd second that tuition greater than 30k is a mistake. Even if that is what many schools are charging that does not make it ok. Please look at it logically. You will likely not default on this, which is what every school loves to point out. But the loan will cripple you financially. And the future climate of the profession is not so solid. The schools are running a business and the new schools are in it for the $$.

There is a balance between "following your dreams" and "being grounded in reality".
 

JMU07

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The amount you can borrow for aid depends on how much money you have and how much you'll need. You need to call the financial aid department of a school you're interested in. I didn't know anything about aid either until optometry school, but generally most students are able to borrow up to about $50,000 a year which will cover tuition and living expenses if you aren't stupid about your money. (this is at my school, anyway, I don't know how that's possible to live off of at schools with outrageous tuition). Good luck!
 

Commando303

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I'd second that tuition greater than 30k is a mistake. Even if that is what many schools are charging that does not make it ok. Please look at it logically. You will likely not default on this, which is what every school loves to point out. But the loan will cripple you financially. And the future climate of the profession is not so solid. The schools are running a business and the new schools are in it for the $$.

There is a balance between "following your dreams" and "being grounded in reality".
I'll grant you this: almost our entire orientation consisted of being told what a wonderful profession we've decided to enter, including in a financial sense. Sorry, but I feel schools are charging far more than they ought to for their O.D. programs; they also encourage/force students to buy a great deal more crap than they need.
 

blazenmadison

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they also encourage/force students to buy a great deal more crap than they need.
yea sco bought all our books/equipment for us. i think they just started making books optional?. I still have my worthless 4-dot, wolff wands, and schematic eye. the profit used to pay the bookstore employees. :thumbdown:
 

Commando303

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yea sco bought all our books/equipment for us. i think they just started making books optional?. I still have my worthless 4-dot, wolff wands, and schematic eye. the profit used to pay the bookstore employees. :thumbdown:
Our on-campus bookstore (at P.C.O.), I believe, is a private business, so the school (again, I believe) doesn't "profit" from its sales or hurt from lack thereof. I think no one buys any text books (be they "recommended" or "required"), but the problem is with equipment: At the point at which you have to buy it, you're grossly ignorant of what you'll need and what you'll forget you ever tossed to the back of your locker.

I feel, overall, too many members of the administration — who've forgotten, personally, what a student loan is, even as a concept — concoct long and brilliant lists of trinkets they arbitrarily fancy students "should have." It might not seem like much when set by thousands of dollars of tuition, but little bits for crap like rulers and flashlights add up to an amount that stings when one becomes aware one could've easily held onto the money, instead.
 

jc812

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yea sco bought all our books/equipment for us. i think they just started making books optional?. I still have my worthless 4-dot, wolff wands, and schematic eye. the profit used to pay the bookstore employees. :thumbdown:
LOL at worthless 4-dot. In fact, they just made me buy one this semester that has yet to taken out of it's bag. =(

Books are NOT optional. Everyone buys all of the books the prof makes us buy. I think I have used 1/3 of them.:thumbdown: This needs to change.. books should be optional!!!!
 

eyestrain

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Our on-campus bookstore (at P.C.O.), I believe, is a private business, so the school (again, I believe) doesn't "profit" from its sales or hurt from lack thereof. I think no one buys any text books (be they "recommended" or "required"), but the problem is with equipment: At the point at which you have to buy it, you're grossly ignorant of what you'll need and what you'll forget you ever tossed to the back of your locker.

I feel, overall, too many members of the administration — who've forgotten, personally, what a student loan is, even as a concept — concoct long and brilliant lists of trinkets they arbitrarily fancy students "should have." It might not seem like much when set by thousands of dollars of tuition, but little bits for crap like rulers and flashlights add up to an amount that stings when one becomes aware one could've easily held onto the money, instead.
Pretty much. I was just looking through some of the books I still have from OD school the other day. Some anatomy book that cost a fortune. Some physiology book that also cost a fortune. A path book that was the same. I bet I cracked them 5 times total. I never understood the need for them when every prof just did everything on powerpoints anyway.
 

blazenmadison

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LOL at worthless 4-dot. In fact, they just made me buy one this semester that has yet to taken out of it's bag. =(

Books are NOT optional. Everyone buys all of the books the prof makes us buy. I think I have used 1/3 of them.:thumbdown: This needs to change.. books should be optional!!!!
the student government should tackle this issue. have your leadership make a resolution requesting the school make buying books 'optional'. especially since every professor teaches from powerpoint, we hardly ever open our books!
 

Meibomian SxN

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I'd second that tuition greater than 30k is a mistake. Even if that is what many schools are charging that does not make it ok. Please look at it logically. You will likely not default on this, which is what every school loves to point out. But the loan will cripple you financially. And the future climate of the profession is not so solid. The schools are running a business and the new schools are in it for the $$.

There is a balance between "following your dreams" and "being grounded in reality".
To every optometry student reading this, the above quote is definitely TRUE and should be read as sincere advice, not hostility towards the profession.
 

Commando303

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LOL at worthless 4-dot. In fact, they just made me buy one this semester that has yet to taken out of it's bag. =(

Books are NOT optional. Everyone buys all of the books the prof makes us buy. I think I have used 1/3 of them.:thumbdown: This needs to change.. books should be optional!!!!
Pretty much. I was just looking through some of the books I still have from OD school the other day. Some anatomy book that cost a fortune. Some physiology book that also cost a fortune. A path book that was the same. I bet I cracked them 5 times total. I never understood the need for them when every prof just did everything on powerpoints anyway.
What would be the penalty for not purchasing the books? Are you (Jc812; or, were you, Eyestrain) required to bring the books to class? Do they check whether you have?

We, too, are given syllabi that make it seem as if certain books are required; we just don't buy the stuff. Altogether, how is the policy requiring purchase of text-books enforced? If it isn't (and I do imagine such enforcement would be difficult to accomplish), why not just forgo making the purchases?
 

eyestrain

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What would be the penalty for not purchasing the books? Are you (Jc812; or, were you, Eyestrain) required to bring the books to class? Do they check whether you have?

We, too, are given syllabi that make it seem as if certain books are required; we just don't buy the stuff. Altogether, how is the policy requiring purchase of text-books enforced? If it isn't (and I do imagine such enforcement would be difficult to accomplish), why not just forgo making the purchases?
As I recall, I didn't touch most of the books that were "required". Like I said, most of our lectures were powerpoints and were made available as handouts or downloads. That's about all I ever studied from.

There were a handful of classes were we actually did use the books, but as far as being able to tell which you can or can't do without.....that's a good question. Ask upperclassmen, i suppose.
 

JMU07

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What would be the penalty for not purchasing the books? Are you (Jc812; or, were you, Eyestrain) required to bring the books to class? Do they check whether you have?
It's included in our tuition so everything is purchased when they get our loan money. It's all done for us.
 

blazenmadison

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To every optometry student reading this, the above quote is definitely TRUE and should be read as sincere advice, not hostility towards the profession.
Shouldn't you be addressing this to PRE-optometry students? It's too late for those students that signed on the dotted student loan line.

100,000 is the most anyone should pay for their OD/PharmD degree. 150,000 is the most anyone should pay for their MD/DDS degree.
 

eyestrain

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Shouldn't you be addressing this to PRE-optometry students? It's too late for those students that signed on the dotted student loan line.

100,000 is the most anyone should pay for their OD/PharmD degree. 150,000 is the most anyone should pay for their MD/DDS degree.
I just don't understand how anyone could get out of OD with less than $100,000 debt. Does everybody have rich parents helping them out or something?
 

4Eyes

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Yeah, I'm not sure.... 100k for tuition alone is doable. Factor in living expenses, and we're definitely talking more than that. So I don't know if we're all talking about different things. Tuition alone vs. tuition + living expenses.
 

JMU07

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I just don't understand how anyone could get out of OD with less than $100,000 debt. Does everybody have rich parents helping them out or something?
Some people do. If I hadn't had to borrow so much for living expenses I could've easily stayed under 100k.
 

4Eyes

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Certainly the exception though and not the rule. Unless you have rich parents like others have mentioned, you'd have to at least be able to live with your parents or some other relative who will let you freeload. :p Some are fortunate to go to school in their hometown. Most of us are not.

Assuming very low (relatively speaking) tuition...say, $18k/year. There's $72k for four years. And assuming NO extra expenses for equipment and books, that gives you $7,000 a year to live on to stay at $100k for all four years. Not possible under normal circumstances.
 
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jc812

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Assuming very low (relatively speaking) tuition...say, $18k/year. There's $72k for four years. And assuming NO extra expenses for equipment and books, that gives you $7,000 a year to live on to stay at $100k for all four years. Not possible under normal circumstances.
Well, that's not likely....
 

Commando303

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Some people do. If I hadn't had to borrow so much for living expenses I could've easily stayed under 100k.
Well, it's Christmas Eve, and I'm terribly bored. Let's see what makes a reasonable bare minimum:

In-state tuition: $20,000/year X 4 years = $80,000

Equipment: $3,000

Rent: $600/month X 12 mos./year = $8,400 X 4 years = $28,800

Food: $20/week X 52 weeks/year = $1,040 X 4 years = $4,160

Gasoline (gallon/week): $2.50/gallon X 52 weeks = $130 X 4 years = $520

Misc. (clothes, hygiene, clowns): $20/month X 48 months = $960

TOTAL: $117,440

I've not taken into account text books, which some people say they must purchase; I've used close to the lowest rate of tuition anyone will get (if you work with an amount of $28,000/year, say for out-of-state tuition, and leave alone all other figures, the TOTAL comes to $149,440); I've used a lease-rate assuming room-mates and all-inclusive of utilities; I've been more than stingy with food; I've assmued gassing up only to get to and from school, which I've placed only ~2 miles from home, and I've used the low rate of only $2.50/gallon of fuel; and I've been an all-out bastard with regard to miscellaneous costs. Also, I've omitted likely-necesssary payments, such as for automobile and renter's insurances.

In this probably unrealistically ideal situation, at the end of four years, BEFORE INTEREST, the example yields debt of far more than $100,000.

Let's plug in the interest, allowing the maximum loan at 6.8% A.P.R. to be $20,000/year, and the rest to incur 7.9%:

$20,000/year X 4 years = $80,000, at 6.8% --> $85,440

$117,440 - $85,440 = $32,000

$32,000, at 7.9% --> $34,528

GRAND TOTAL: $119,968

(Again, work with $28,000/year, for out-of-state tuition, instead, and the GRAND TOTAL comes out to be, $151,796.)

Perhaps it's not so reasonable for established O.D.s to snigger and sneer at the thought of new graduates' deciding to work at Wal-Mart for a few years, straight out of school.
 
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4Eyes

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Well, that's not likely....
That was the point. =)

Aha, Commando put far more effort into it than I did. Personally, I need more in my budget for clowns. :p

It'd take some impressive skills to eat well on $20/week...??
--> in other words, not possible afaik
 
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As a father of two with a disabled wife, the financial aspects of choosing a program were a priority for me. I looked not only at the tuition and fees; but also, the cost of living for the area, schools, and social services availability. I will also be re-entering the armed forces and taking advantage of the HPSP.

There are not too many individuals who can attend school without having concern about costs. If you want to be an optometrist, pharmisist, MD, astronaught, or vet; there will be some cost incurred. Everything worth having in life requires hard work. For some it means working hard to pay off the huge ammount of debt you incur chasing the dream.

It'd take some impressive skills to eat well on $20/week...??
I spend roughly $400-$500 monthly on groceries. You can't feed your family ramen for every meal.