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PCO vs ICO vs NECO

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by ronzroyce97, Dec 6, 2018 at 9:10 AM.

  1. ronzroyce97

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    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

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    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. ronzroyce97

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    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

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    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. ronzroyce97

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    Pm'd you!
     

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