PCO vs ICO vs NECO

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by ronzroyce97, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. ronzroyce97

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hi recently got accepted to PCO, ICO, and NECO. I'm having trouble deciding between which school to attend.
    If any first years or beyond or other people who recently got accepted could provide input that'd be great. Here's my reasoning for each school.

    1. ICO

    Pros:
    - Offered a 40k scholarship, total cost of attendance is 290k-40k= 250k (does anyone know if these costs are accurate or not?)
    - Amazing board pass rates
    - Quarter system (allows people more opportunity to make up grades and study less for each exam)
    - clinic experience is amazing
    - dorms and clinic are next to the school
    - canadian optometry club
    - love the city

    cons:
    - area isn't the best around the school
    - Quarter system (you're tested weekly no time for a social life?)

    2. NECO

    Pros:
    - offered me a 20k scholarship, total cost of attendance is 275k-20k= 255k (does anyone know if these costs are more or less?)
    - Semester system (Im already used to this, more time for a social life?)
    - clinic experience is also amazing
    - canadian optometry club

    cons:
    - Have to commute from home to school, and to the clinic.
    - heard that board pass rates have dipped lately
    - boston is extremely expensive

    3. PCO

    pros:
    - offered me a 20k scholarship, total cost of attendance is 280k-20k= 260k (cost accurate or not?)
    - Semester system
    - clinic is good

    cons:
    - have to commute from home to school and to the clinic.
    -Board rates have been abysmal they had to revise the curriculum
    - clinic is like a 20 minute drive away will have to buy a car
    - not sure if they have a canadian club
     
  2. Olijnykm

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    7
    Congrats on your acceptances! I had a similar decision but between MWU, ICO, PCO, and IUSO. I ended choosing ICO and am super excited to go to in the fall of 2019. Here are a couple points that made me choose ICO:

    - During the interview I felt that ICO was the only school that really dug down into each applicants profile and got to know them individually. I felt that this was important and shows that they really do value their students. It was definitely not a typical 1 on 1 interview.
    - The staff and students were super nice and helpful and I definitely felt like it could be home for grad school.
    - ICO may not be in the best location but common its downtown Chicago and what's not to like about that! Public transport will help.
    - Clinic is on campus which means you don't need a vehicle and can save time traveling back and forth, which really will add up. If you do plan on bringing a vehicle, you could park it in the garage and no problem.
    - I am a Canadian student and I know there are a lot of Canadians that study at ICO
    - ICO is the oldest optometry school in America and has the largest alumni. Will potentially help with networking and job finding after grad.
    - Patient demographic is great, will be introduced to a lot of eye diseases
    - Clinical experience is top notch
    - Residence complex is right across the street, so I plan on living there the first year which will help ease the transition
    - Even though I have always studied a semester system, I believe a quarter system will help reinforce information with weekly tests
    - Board scores are good
    - 24/7 surveillance around campus by retired Chicago PD
    - Close to the Sox stadium which is dope, got the Bulls and Bears which is also sweet
    - Pool tables, ping pong, gym,
    - Good studying areas
    - All optometry students on campus which will be really helpful for studying

    All in all, I think what the most important deciding factor is if you could see a University as home for the next 3-4ish years. Pretty much where every you go for optometry school you can expect top notch education, and your grad school experience will be what you make of it!
     
    SKP957 and ronzroyce97 like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    ronzroyce97

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Yeah ICO is my top choice, however I remember seeing you comment on my other post about my ICO acceptance and how they wanted me to complete a degree, but i'm not going to have my degree, so the committee is going to get together again on December 14 and decide if I still get admitted. I hope I get to keep my scholarship, but I don't know what they'll decide. That's why incase I dont get in I need to decide if I go to NECO or PCO.
     
  4. mjblsp

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    I was in the exact position as you OP aha. I ended up choosing NECO for fall 2019 largely because ICO was ~$40,000 CAD (Canadian student too!) more but that would be less for you of course. Also, I liked the idea of getting to visit different clinics throughout the NECO network and being exposed to such a diverse patient population while also getting to experience the new CTC.

    It was tough declining ICO's offer as it seemed like a perfect situation with everything at your fingertips, great board scores, and a large network of alumni. ICO's interview was definitely the most enjoyable and refreshing but at the end of the day it was just too expensive. The only issue with NECO it seemed was the travelling which isn't really a problem for me being a commuter in undergrad already.

    By the way, PCO mentioned they do have a Canadian club when I interviewed there.

    Best of luck with your decision! Feel free to pm if anything!
     
  5. OP
    OP
    ronzroyce97

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Pm'd you!
     
  6. OP
    OP
    ronzroyce97

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Update: Got offered 40,000 by NECO. This decision just became a whole lot more difficult..
     
  7. bcalter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Why did your scholarship change? I also currently have only 20k, and I am wondering how you could have them reconsider how much they gave you. Thank you!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    ronzroyce97

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Well I asked them if they could consider offering me more because:

    1. I'm Canadian the exchange rate between CAD and USD is gonna make it harder to pay for tuition and even pay my debt after.
    2. I told them that another institution if offering me more money.

    But the thing is I hadn't put my deposit down yet so I don't know if that'll make a difference or not. You can ask for a re-review not sure if they'll bump it now though cause its rolling and seats are probably getting filled up. What were your stats btw?
     
  9. bcalter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Yea, I also got offered more than double the scholarship at another school, so I could maybe make that as a good argument as well. I have decent stats, so I thought I would have been a good candidate for a scholarship. My OAT was 370AA/TS and my GPA is 3.93. I don't know if it would be worth mentioning, but I could add that I had a good fall semester this year. I really have no clue what they would consider haha
     
    #9 bcalter, Dec 23, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
    ronzroyce97 likes this.
  10. bcalter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hi again! I was just curious if I could ask you a few more questions about how you exactly went about writing email/calling etc. If you can help me out at all, could you send me a direct message? I would really appreciate it! Thank you!
     
    ronzroyce97 likes this.
  11. Don't go to NECO. There have been a lot of issues for current students and learning the material from the professors/ resources provided by the school. If you're struggling in a course you're not going to get a tutor until the professor thinks you need one (and they ping-pong you back and forth). The scheduling of classes is astonishing terrible especially with the commute to the clinic site back to the school from lab to lecture and vice versa. ICO is actually a much better school compared to NECO, and you might want to consider ICO over NECO because the board pass rates are so much better.
     
    skra7 likes this.
  12. bcalter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    That’s sad to hear :( I haven’t chosen yet but NECO is in my choices. What school would you choose instead (out of all of the schools)? I know it’s hard to know what resources all the schools have, but did you originally have your own second choice when you applied?
     
    ronzroyce97 likes this.
  13. OP
    OP
    ronzroyce97

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Yeah I was already leaning towards ICO, but I'm just having a bit of an issue with them right now cause of my degree. And wow I had no idea that NECO was like that, the culture of the school to me seems really supportive and engaging I've had family and other friends attend NECO in the past.
     
  14. The faculty is supportive and so are other students. However, they clearly slipped up somewhere. They say they offer tutoring, but they don't give it to the students until after midterms which is something they decided to do because people wouldn't show up. However, that punishes students who would have benefited from tutoring and would have actually taken advantage of it. On top of that NECO is incredibly behind when it comes to technology for students. Yes their new preclinic site is amazing, but I'm talking about the technology in the school. They still send mass emails to students about updates or changes in schedules with sometimes not a lot of time left. On top of that they are terrible at making schedules for students. They should have an online system for classes and labs at this point, but they don't and they just send a large file for students to look at their own schedule and everyone else's schedule. It's pretty annoying and straight up embarrassing that they are still this far behind.
     
    happyOD and ronzroyce97 like this.

Share This Page