kensabi

10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2007
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Pre-Optometry
Would anyone give me some tips on comparing the 3 schools? Clinical: PCO > OSU > NECO Board Passing rate: OSU > PCO > NECO Business Management: OSU > PCO ? NECO ? Research: OSU > NECO > PCO Tuition: NECO > PCO > OSU (out of state) Cost of living: NECO > PCO > OSU Average Graduate Income: NECO > PCO > OSU I am not sure if these are valid comparison, please let me know what you think. Thank you.
 

lkg2837

10+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2008
58
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AZ
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Optometry Student
As you can tell, NECO would be the most expensive school, while having the lowest board passage rates and entering stats... so if you can go to PCO or OSU, I would choose either of those over NECO. After that, from what I've gathered both schools are great, but OSU offers in-state tuition after one year (and Columbus has a low cost of living), which would make it a better deal over the 4 years (by ~13k just for tuition/fees difference)-- while offering a solid academic and clinical education, with the best business management classes as far as I know, and the option to do a lot of great research if interested.

Haha, okay, maybe I'm just biased 'cause I've just decided on attending OSU this fall.. but it was after a lot of thought and research. Anyway, I'd say OSU, or PCO, over NECO, but of course personal fit is a factor too.
 

kensabi

10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2007
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Pre-Optometry
lkg2837: Thanks for your input. I think OSU and PCO are great schools too. PCO is working on having a OD PhD program as well. I've talked to several OD's and most of them suggest PCO.
 

Commando303

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Mar 12, 2009
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When touring/being interviewed, I loved P.C.O.; the campus is beautiful, though the clinic is a bit aged. I hear good things about N.E.C.O., as well, though. O.S.U. isn't one of the colleges into which I've looked.
 
Jun 10, 2009
8
0
0
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Pre-Optometry
I had the same difficult options - so I can completely understand your dilemma - only I was also considering SUNY, Indiana & NOVA as well as PCO & OSU. In the end I had it narrowed down to SUNY & NECO - because they were closest to me geographically - but I feel like all of schools that I was admitted to would have been good choices.

Ultimately, I decided on NECO - I just LOVE Boston! The school is in a really safe area and it is such a stimulating city with all the universities right there and numerous graduate students.

The Clinical experience at NECO is amazing - because it is so varied - it exposes you to all types of optometric practices and you have access to some of the top medical facilities in the country. Further - you begin your clinical experience immediately/first year doing eye exams at the local elementary schools.

NECO's board rates have improved greatly and generally anyone that attends class and puts in the work will be successful. The majority of students that graduate from NECO do extremely well.

In the New England area, NECO has a very strong reputation. All the O.D.'s that I job shadowed had nothing but great things to say about NECO. I hope to settle in New England, so it made the most sense to me to get to know other optometrists in the New England area.

The biggest negative for me was the cost - that is a tough one - but all the schools are incredibly expensive.

There were aspects of every school that I loved, making the decision so difficult.

In the end, I believe all the schools are good - and you will get out of them what you put into them.

We were both lucky to have choices. Good luck to you!
 

Commando303

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Mar 12, 2009
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I had the same difficult options - so I can completely understand your dilemma - only I was also considering SUNY, Indiana & NOVA as well as PCO & OSU. In the end I had it narrowed down to SUNY & NECO - because they were closest to me geographically - but I feel like all of schools that I was admitted to would have been good choices.

Ultimately, I decided on NECO - I just LOVE Boston! The school is in a really safe area and it is such a stimulating city with all the universities right there and numerous graduate students.

The Clinical experience at NECO is amazing - because it is so varied - it exposes you to all types of optometric practices and you have access to some of the top medical facilities in the country. Further - you begin your clinical experience immediately/first year doing eye exams at the local elementary schools.

NECO's board rates have improved greatly and generally anyone that attends class and puts in the work will be successful. The majority of students that graduate from NECO do extremely well.

In the New England area, NECO has a very strong reputation. All the O.D.'s that I job shadowed had nothing but great things to say about NECO. I hope to settle in New England, so it made the most sense to me to get to know other optometrists in the New England area.

The biggest negative for me was the cost - that is a tough one - but all the schools are incredibly expensive.

There were aspects of every school that I loved, making the decision so difficult.

In the end, I believe all the schools are good - and you will get out of them what you put into them.

We were both lucky to have choices. Good luck to you!
You say cost was a factor in your decision. Isn't S.U.N.Y. less than half the price of N.E.C.O. (in-state tuition)? Did you feel the latter was so much superior to the former it was worth the extra money? I'm not trying to be judgemental or critical; I'm simply curious to what contributed to your choice.
 

kensabi

10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2007
10
0
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
When touring/being interviewed, I loved P.C.O.; the campus is beautiful, though the clinic is a bit aged. I hear good things about N.E.C.O., as well, though. O.S.U. isn't one of the colleges into which I've looked.
NECO is the school that I am not so familiar with. What have you heard is specifically good about them?
 

kensabi

10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2007
10
0
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
I had the same difficult options - so I can completely understand your dilemma - only I was also considering SUNY, Indiana & NOVA as well as PCO & OSU. In the end I had it narrowed down to SUNY & NECO - because they were closest to me geographically - but I feel like all of schools that I was admitted to would have been good choices.

Ultimately, I decided on NECO - I just LOVE Boston! The school is in a really safe area and it is such a stimulating city with all the universities right there and numerous graduate students.

The Clinical experience at NECO is amazing - because it is so varied - it exposes you to all types of optometric practices and you have access to some of the top medical facilities in the country. Further - you begin your clinical experience immediately/first year doing eye exams at the local elementary schools.

NECO's board rates have improved greatly and generally anyone that attends class and puts in the work will be successful. The majority of students that graduate from NECO do extremely well.

In the New England area, NECO has a very strong reputation. All the O.D.'s that I job shadowed had nothing but great things to say about NECO. I hope to settle in New England, so it made the most sense to me to get to know other optometrists in the New England area.

The biggest negative for me was the cost - that is a tough one - but all the schools are incredibly expensive.

There were aspects of every school that I loved, making the decision so difficult.

In the end, I believe all the schools are good - and you will get out of them what you put into them.

We were both lucky to have choices. Good luck to you!
I've calculated the 4-year tuition cost for out of state student for OSU and came out to be around 120,000 and for NECO is 135,450. I actually have family in Newton, and I can probably commute and save about 5000 on rent, which means 20,000 saved in 4 years. In addition, equipment and health insurance for NECO is somewhat cheaper than OSU. I heard parking is expensive in Boston though? actually, the fact you mentioned about starting elementary schools eye exams the first year is very interesting. I think the clinical experience in Boston is probably better than OSU due to the population. I am a hands-on person, so clinical is an important factor to me! Thank you for you input! :)
 

lkg2837

10+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2008
58
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0
AZ
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Optometry Student
I just wanted to put some figures out there, and anyone can make of them what they like. (and use the resources to investigate the schools they're deciding between, if different) I do realize picking a school is a very personal choice, and not entirely about finances, but it's worth considering..

According to opted.org Profile of Entering Class 2009, tuition and fees for out-of-state students would be as follows:
NECO: 4 x 36,564 = 146,256
PCO: 4 x 30,530 = 122,120
OSU: (49,056) + (3 x 19,995) = 109,041

And cost of living index:
Boston= 128, Philadelphia= 92, Columbus= 86
(http://www.bestplaces.net/col/)

Just things to keep in mind if finances are important to you. =)
 
Jun 10, 2009
8
0
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Based on the financial information the schools handed me when I interviewed ..... this is what each school would cost you (as an out of state student that converts to an in-state student) for all four years. FYI - some schools don't allow you to become an in-state resident. OSU & SUNY do allow you to.

These figures are all based on the schools estimates. These amounts include estimated living, books, tuition, equipment, travel, etc. From what I hear, these estimates are all very high (hope that to be true) as the cost of each school is truly staggering. Here's the break down:

SUNY (out of state one year & in-state for 3) = $177,233
OHIO STATE (out of state one year & in-state for 3) = $214,315
PCO/SALUS (out of state) = $215,575
Indiana (out of state) = $219,852
NECO = $225,456
NOVA = $262,800 * Nova claimed to have the most accurate estimates - because they included absolutely everything - and claimed that many schools underestimate the costs * Not sure if that is true, but that is what we were told.

So - to answer your question Commando - SUNY is much less expensive then NECO (but certainly not 1/2 the cost) - and believe me - I agonized over the decision because SUNY very much appealed to me as well. The cost of NECO was definately on my list of "negatives." But - when I looked a little closer, I do expect my cost to be significantly lower then NECO estimated because I was able to get an apartment (with my own bedroom) within walking distance from school (with three roommates that also attend NECO). Also, I won't need a car - so I will save money there. Plus my family & friends are in the New England area - so I would save on travel expenses. Although the cost in the Boston area is high, if you get a few roommates you can live pretty inexpensively. And once you learn the ropes you can find the affordable places to go - as Boston is a college town, so they cater to the college budget in many ways.

As I said before, I felt like all the schools were very good schools and each school had qualities that I loved - ultimately all the schools I considered would help me reach my goals. So in the end, it just came down to a quality of life decision for me as well as just knowing in my heart that NECO was the right school for me.

Oh - and one last note - NECO does have an OD/PhD option - they work in conjunction with Boston University (a neighboring university).

Good luck everyone with the big decision!
 

Commando303

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2009
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So - to answer your question Commando - SUNY is much less expensive then NECO (but certainly not 1/2 the cost) - and believe me - I agonized over the decision because SUNY very much appealed to me as well. The cost of NECO was definately on my list of "negatives." But - when I looked a little closer, I do expect my cost to be significantly lower then NECO estimated because I was able to get an apartment (with my own bedroom) within walking distance from school (with three roommates that also attend NECO). Also, I won't need a car - so I will save money there. Plus my family & friends are in the New England area - so I would save on travel expenses. Although the cost in the Boston area is high, if you get a few roommates you can live pretty inexpensively. And once you learn the ropes you can find the affordable places to go - as Boston is a college town, so they cater to the college budget in many ways.
Thanks.