5+ Year Member
May 20, 2014
Current/Future optometry students. What was the main factor in your decision to go to a school over another? Was it the curriculum, cost, "feeling", prestige of school, combination of a few things? I am having a hard time focusing on the decision and any insight will help.
Nov 5, 2014
Optometry Student
For myself it was proximity to family and the type of school environment best suited to ensure my success. I started college at a large 40,000+ student population school. The last half of my education I transferred home to a smaller independent satellite school within the same university institution and saw measurable differences in my academic performance. Plus I don't think it was a coincidence having a family support system either. ICO ultimately became my first choice through research and visiting the campus. Although it has one of the larger matriculating class sizes, its location provides an insulated environment. Another consideration was my desire to be a strong clinician. There are few schools that provide you with as many opportunities to interact with patients that are as diverse. I am not interested in research so I looked for schools that provided the best clinical opportunities. This obviously is very important if you see yourself going into private practice someday and in general it imbues a lot of value into you as a candidate for job positions. Really the factor of negligible consequence was cost. By and large most schools are fairly similar with a few outliers being lowest and highest in cost.

There are many more factors that I considered but these are a few. Hope it helps.
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Aug 19, 2015
I, uh, actually made a spreadsheet of the factors i considered important. The big ones are "proximity to a medical school my boyfriend is applying to," "cost," and then stuff like how much the school seems to be involved in community service, how pretty it is, and how convenient it is to travel to/from home from there.


10+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2008
  1. Pass on the new schools: Accreditation, too many unknowns on quality of the clinical experience, bias against by OD's who do may offer you a job later, classmates will be low achievers (fall back school)
  2. Cost. Include cost of living for the area. Does school have contract with your home state?
  3. Proximity/access to family. Will you be able to get home for short breaks/holidays/emergencies easily?
  4. Location. Get out of your comfort zone & spend 4 years somewhere different/exciting.
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