Aug 22, 2013
2
0
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Optometry Student
I have just recently gotten into both schools. I know that PCO is more expensive and that it has a bigger class size. I am currently trying to weigh my options for both schools and was wondering if you all could put in your inputs!
 

EyEnStein 07

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Apr 6, 2008
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In my opinion, you should have decided at "more expensive". There arent many optometry schools and they arent ranked (although generally, most people accept SUNY to be one of the top schools). You should qualify for instate tuition after your first year at SUNY (assuming you are out of state). Also its New York City, which is probably exciting to everyone who isnt from NYC.

In terms of academics and research, I would say again that SUNY is probably one of the top schools in that regard. Ultimately the decision is yours but maybe make a list of what you liked about each of the schools, pros and cons and decide from there? Or post that list here to get more insight.
 
May 14, 2013
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SUNY is great but NY is very expensive for someone who isn't familiar with NY. The cost of living will be a lot upfront as rent can go from 1200 to 3000 a month.
 
Jun 5, 2013
33
8
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Pre-Optometry
SUNY is great but NY is very expensive for someone who isn't familiar with NY. The cost of living will be a lot upfront as rent can go from 1200 to 3000 a month.
At the same time, PCO is twice the cost of SUNY. And if you are paying $3000 bucks a month for rent, you are doing it completely wrong. Most SUNY students pay around $800 a month for rent. SUNY still comes out cheaper no matter what.
 
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May 14, 2013
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At the same time, PCO is twice the cost of SUNY. And if you are paying $3000 bucks a month for rent, you are doing it completely wrong. Most SUNY students pay around $800 a month for rent. SUNY still comes out cheaper no matter what.
800 is only if u share an apartment with other people. I live in NY and rent cost are very high right now.
 
May 14, 2013
24
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800 is only if u share an apartment with other people. I live in NY and rent cost are very high right now.
SUNY is cheaper but not many people have the upfront cost to live in a city like NY. Rent, Food, and Commuting cost, all add up as upfront expenses.
 
Jun 5, 2013
33
8
Status
Pre-Optometry
800 is only if u share an apartment with other people. I live in NY and rent cost are very high right now.
Which actually is what a large majority of students do.
Additionally, student loans are allocated for things like rent and living expenses. Total student loan cost will still be significantly better than PCO on average of $10,000 per year.
 

Loptometriste

5+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2012
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Optometrist
Also its New York City, which is probably exciting to everyone who isnt from NYC.
Not everyone wants to go there. If someone gave me a free vacation to NYC, I'd take it. Otherwise, I will live a fulfilled life without seeing it.

By the way, I also have never heard an optometrist or anyone in person speak about SUNY. Maybe in New England they do since it is close. I think a lot of the schools are relative to geographic location. 10 bucks if you live in eastern Iowa, people talk about ICO being one of the best, and if you live in western Louisiana, they talk about UHCO being one of the best, and you talk to someone in southern Washington, and they say Pacific is the best.

I am sure they are all good schools.
 
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Nov 4, 2013
69
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Optometry Student
Smaller class size and price tag would lead me to recommend SUNY. I know some people on here have been very negative toward PCO, and while I try to steer clear of that level of anger, I can see why people are upset. The big class size becomes an issue when you're doing hands-on techniques. Also, some of the learning equipment definitely needs to be replaced, and there needs to be more of it. Technology needs to be upgraded. Certain professors are not pleasant to work with. Are there some really great PCO instructors and doctors? Yes. Are there current quality issues? Yes, in regard to some academic portions. When you get to work at the actual clinic with patients, you will see a lot of different conditions, and there are some good doctors that you can work with.

PCO is the oldest opto school in the country, and I do believe that they were once a very high quality school, who pioneered in the career. Sadly, things right now are in a different state, and there are disappointments among some students. Not to say that all is bad, but with their hefty price tag, things should be better. I do not think that the school is justified in having such a high price tag. Don't jump down my throat, I'm just giving my opinions. But for me personally, I wish I had picked a different school. Talk to some SUNY people too, as I can't speak for that school. But I would take a good, long look at those prices.
 
Last edited:
Nov 4, 2013
69
34
Status
Optometry Student
SUNY is cheaper but not many people have the upfront cost to live in a city like NY. Rent, Food, and Commuting cost, all add up as upfront expenses.
The PCO area is actually fairly expensive if you want a nice apartment right near the school. It's in a pretty well-to-do suburb of the city. Sure, you can move farther from the school and get cheaper rent, but you'll have a longer commute and possibly not feel as safe.
 

drumstix

Got room for 1 more if you still wanna go to Aspen
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2013
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Side Question for the New Yorkers: how often do you guys get blackouts? (i.e. Electricity goes out?) it seems like once a year or something like that where a solar flair or some other thing knocks off the entire electrical grid of the northeast from Toronto to NYC lol
 
OP
B
Aug 22, 2013
2
0
Status
Optometry Student
Thank you for all your feedback and it helped while making my decision! I will be attending SUNY next year :)
 

montr0n

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2013
28
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
I have just recently gotten into both schools. I know that PCO is more expensive and that it has a bigger class size. I am currently trying to weigh my options for both schools and was wondering if you all could put in your inputs!
Hey Birds, may I ask you when your interview was and how long it took for them to respond to you about your acceptance at PCO?
 
Sep 2, 2010
134
2
Status
Pre-Optometry
800 is only if u share an apartment with other people. I live in NY and rent cost are very high right now.
The majority of SUNY students (except maybe this year's first year class, which is either loaded or really stupid about their money) live in Queens or Brooklyn. This way, we pay around $800 in rent but live in nice size apartments and have our own rooms. If you want to live in Manhattan, you'll be paying $1200 to share a 1-bedroom with 3 people.

Cost is one issue, and people have made their points. Some more thoughts to ponder:
-Student body. SUNY's is always stressed out, everyone is a gunner, and people are generally type A.
-Curriculum/ teachers. SUNY's is a disaster. Disorganized, teachers are horrific at what they teach. We have some great clinical professors, though. Recognize that while SUNY's test scores may be great, they are really a reflection on the kinds of students that attend SUNY more than the preparation we receive.
-Proximity to family/ friends/ significant other. You may not get a lot of time off, depending on the school (ex: we got 8 days off for winter break last year). This may sound silly, but it will be a huge determinant of your happiness.
-Where is the clinic? Being an elevator ride away from clinic is a big plus when you're stressed and lugging around a ton of equipment.

Good luck with you decision!
 

EyEnStein 07

Senior ɸ Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2008
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Not everyone wants to go there. If someone gave me a free vacation to NYC, I'd take it. Otherwise, I will live a fulfilled life without seeing it.

By the way, I also have never heard an optometrist or anyone in person speak about SUNY. Maybe in New England they do since it is close. I think a lot of the schools are relative to geographic location. 10 bucks if you live in eastern Iowa, people talk about ICO being one of the best, and if you live in western Louisiana, they talk about UHCO being one of the best, and you talk to someone in southern Washington, and they say Pacific is the best.

I am sure they are all good schools.
As i said, there are no formal rankings. True not everyone wants to go to NYC, but i didnt exactly say that everyone did. All i said that for many people, the idea of new york city is exciting. During my interview, three of the other students were from the midwest/west coast and they were all excited about nyc. By the way, if you were given the choice of a free vacation to New York City or Elkins Park, Pennsylvania...which would you take? ;)

Ultimately what matters is the OD degree. But my original point was that the decision should have been made at "more expensive", a point i still stand by.

Thank you for all your feedback and it helped while making my decision! I will be attending SUNY next year :)
Im glad you made your decision :)


Side Question for the New Yorkers: how often do you guys get blackouts? (i.e. Electricity goes out?) it seems like once a year or something like that where a solar flair or some other thing knocks off the entire electrical grid of the northeast from Toronto to NYC lol
Uhh it depends on where you live, but its really not that often in my knowledge. I think saying that its annual is pushing it and its not even in all areas when it happens. During hurricane Sandy, people in certain areas had black outs, which was ofcourse expected. The last time I had a blackout was during the 2003 New York City Blackout <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_2003>
 
Aug 25, 2013
12
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Smaller class size and price tag would lead me to recommend SUNY.
Just FYI, at my interview at SUNY recently, we were told that the state of New York told SUNY to create more OD graduates. So the incoming class is 100 this year. I've spoken to a third year and she was saying with the current students, it's sometime a dash to use lab equipment to practice. Imagine 100.
 

EyEnStein 07

Senior ɸ Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2008
837
6
East Coast
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Side Question for the New Yorkers: how often do you guys get blackouts? (i.e. Electricity goes out?) it seems like once a year or something like that where a solar flair or some other thing knocks off the entire electrical grid of the northeast from Toronto to NYC lol
Just FYI, at my interview at SUNY recently, we were told that the state of New York told SUNY to create more OD graduates. So the incoming class is 100 this year. I've spoken to a third year and she was saying with the current students, it's sometime a dash to use lab equipment to practice. Imagine 100.
They said this during my interview as well...but did you see the new labs they are building/built? One of the labs just opened this year, with brand new equipment. Was that part of your tour? I'm also fairly certain that they said the construction is not completed yet.
 

Commando303

10+ Year Member
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Mar 12, 2009
911
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P.C.O. does not adequately have its sh!t together, in my opinion.

No experience with S.U.N.Y., except the interviewers can be penis-like.

New York City seldom has power-outages. The P.C.O. area has several. (This isn't something by which to make your decision of which optometry school to attend.)

Good luck.
 
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Sep 29, 2013
57
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No experience with S.U.N.Y., except the interviewers can be penis-like.
I believe that has changed a lot in the past couple years. It is no longer interrogation style like people used to say on here. This has been true with everyone that I've spoken with that have had recent interviews.
 

Commando303

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Mar 12, 2009
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I believe that has changed a lot in the past couple years. It is no longer interrogation style like people used to say on here. This has been true with everyone that I've spoken with that have had recent interviews.
I would not say it was by any standard an "interrogation." It simply was something between not being pleasant and being unpleasant.
 
Jan 16, 2013
55
13
31
Status
Optometrist
No, it doesn't. Lots of incompetence.
Sadly, quite true. Sure, there are some very dedicated professors, but the incompetent and uncaring ones overshadow the good. The administration really needs to get a handle on some things. One can only hope that things will actually start to get better soon, like they've been saying. As for now, there are other schools in the nation with higher student satisfaction and much lower tuition rates. As others have said, do your research and consider all options.
 
Aug 6, 2013
27
4
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I interviewed at PCO. I wasn't too impress to be honest. But their clinic seemed pretty awesome I will say that. You just need to really think about where you want to be for four years !! :)
 
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drumstix

Got room for 1 more if you still wanna go to Aspen
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2013
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Optometrist
Sadly, quite true. Sure, there are some very dedicated professors, but the incompetent and uncaring ones overshadow the good. The administration really needs to get a handle on some things. One can only hope that things will actually start to get better soon, like they've been saying. As for now, there are other schools in the nation with higher student satisfaction and much lower tuition rates. As others have said, do your research and consider all options.
seems like they were better "back in the day," then? if you look at SUNY faculty, a lot of them are from PCO.
 

drumstix

Got room for 1 more if you still wanna go to Aspen
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2013
263
108
Status
Optometrist
A lot are from PCO? Most SUNY faculty are from SUNY. Very few are from PCO.
don't know where it went, but i remember seeing SUNY faculty and a number of them were from PCO. i looked online and didn't see that list i am referring to. anyways, not important