PCO salus or ICO?

  • ICO

    Votes: 13 86.7%
  • PCO salus

    Votes: 2 13.3%

  • Total voters
Jun 4, 2018
I know there are posts comparing the 2 but I am looking for some updated recent feedback on the 2 schools. I was accepted at both and I already paid a deposit at one of them but I am wondering what you guys think about each school.
My impression is PCO was a nicer school than ICO. PCO has brand new everything top of the botch technology and the over all school looked brand new. Really nice library with unlimited free printing. New classrooms with tv and microphones and all that good stuff. The clinic is also brand new and was beautiful. The area around the school did not look great, it looked like low income housing(with all due respect). I searched housing around salus and I’m having a hard time finding something I can see myself living in.

ICO looked old. Although their lab looked ok and the classroom was fine, the rest of the school didn’t look so inviting. The cafeteria looked gross. The random computer rooms and study areas looked depressing. The clinic also looked old.

I know ICO has a good boards and a great reputation and vast variety for externships which I love. They also have good resources like PCO in the classroom like TVs and recorded lectures. The area around ICO is not as bad it seems on these threads. I go to Chicago often which is why I’m even considering ICO. Staying north of the school is perfectly fine.

I don’t care about the RC or how close the clinic is to the school because I plan on living off campus and will have my own car so I am not basing my decisions on housing and commuting.

What do you guys think of each school? Which one would you pick?

Any insight from current students of each school?

Thank you!

Please excuse any grammar/spelling errors as this is posted without revision.
Oct 1, 2018
I was in this same situation a few weeks ago. PCO really appealed to me in the beginning but I chose ICO. I talked to students from both schools and I just got a better overall feeling from ICO. The area north of ICO is beautiful and you can easily travel around with the CTA trains. Living in the south loop is right downtown and a 10 min drive to ICO and youre surrounded by students and young professionals. I personally just did not like the area around PCO even though the campus building is really nice.
Looking at last year's NBEO scores, ICO students did better. This played a role in my decision as well.
I think one thing to consider is the class size. ICO has a bigger class but thats really down to personal preference.


2+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2016
  1. Pre-Optometry
I personally think you should consider how good/prepared of an optometrist you will become after coming out of the school. Thus, I believe boards, reputation and quality of education should be your main focus when making a decision. I think the asethetic of the school is less important as ultimately that wont help you do better on boards. Talking with several alumni of ICO they talk highly of the school and the schools effort for their students to excel. Im sure Salus is great too but if you have the chance to put yourself in a school with a long standing reputation and excellent boards i think you should! Best of luck :)


2+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2018
ICO's lecture hall, clinics, library, and 3rd floor have very recent renovations. Their cafeteria serves amazing food with a diverse menu. It was one of the best cafeteria experiences I've ever had.

Go with your gut though.
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