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SUNY v. SCCO v. UCBSO

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by princesspinknes, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. princesspinknes

    princesspinknes Junior Member
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    Can anyone tell me what the differences are between these three schools' main focuses and curriculums? Why would anyone want to go to one and not any of the others? please help!! I'm considering applying to them but my only real reason is bc 1. i want to stay in cali or 2. i want to see ny. i dont think thats a good thing to put on the app LOL
     
  2. 4Eyes

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    I think wanting to stay in California is perfectly reasonable. You can say that if you make it sound good. :) I think location is one of the hugest factors people consider when choosing an optometry school. It was definitely a major factor for me.
     
  3. EyeBaller

    EyeBaller SUNY-O Class of 2008
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    Did you go see the schools yet? If you didn't then you should try and go to an Open House. I know it could be hard to travel across to NY, but personally I think if you've seen the schools it's easy to find reasons why you like/don't like them. Of course, telling a school how impressive their facilities are etc in the interview can't do you much harm either!

    SUNY definitely has a tough curriculum (I can't speak for the other schools), it's challenging but of course do-able! In terms of clinics and the facilities available it's up there with the best. A huge variety of clinics and equipment.

    Don't worry, you're not alone with the "I want to see NY" reason for coming to SUNY. I'd say at least 40% of our class is from California and most of them just for the 4 years to "see NY!"

    Good luck!
     
  4. iiiimonica

    iiiimonica 4 eyes on me
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    if you are a California (knows how to party) resident, tution will be much cheaper at Cal. (If I remeber right it's at least 50%). I'm not sure if SUNY gives in state after one year - you might want to find that out.

    SCCO is gorgeous absolutley beautiful! SUNY is really really nice and New York - a town so nice they named it twice. Cal is ...well not so nice (preclinic anyway) but being part of UC Berkeley is amazing, the activities and local area, football {GO BEARS!} and all the other stuff going on.

    SCCO and SUNY have large classes ~100, Cal has a smaller class ~60. All three schools are great and all three have tough curriculims. Visit each school to get a feel for the program.


    Good luck :luck:
     
  5. EyeBaller

    EyeBaller SUNY-O Class of 2008
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    SUNY class size is usually around 72-74.

    And, yep, you can get in-state at SUNY after 1 year. Brings tuition to around $13,000.
     
  6. iiiimonica

    iiiimonica 4 eyes on me
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    Good to know!
     
  7. eye2eye

    eye2eye Member
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    I really wanted to go to SUNY to because of it being in NY and all...but honestly I visited NY and SUNY and just didn't totaly feel comfortable and happy there... NY is nice...its awsome...but just NOT FOR ME!!! I really liked Pennsylvania!!! so concider applying to PCO as well!

    visit SUNY...visit PCO... (one trip you can make it to both and maybe even the one in boston)
     
  8. scvcstar

    scvcstar Optometrist
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    You must be talking about the "Why SCCO?" questions ;) Well I finally just finished that essay (yes I know I'm VERY behind...ahhhhh) and here's my bulleted list of reasons (come up with your own):

    [snip]

    I was able to write over a page using those points as an outline. =)

    I def want to stay in cali too...1st choice Berkeley, backup SCCO. I LOVE SCCO though...beautiful place, after going to UCSD I think I've turned into a socal girl. =P
     
  9. still_confused

    still_confused Senior Member
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    SCCO is an awesome school with great clinics and is simply just gorgeous.

    However, I must say that if you live close to school, its er...kind of boring. There is almost no night life even though there is Cal State Fullerton and a law school near it. Its in a nice suburb and do not let the brochure fool you. Unless you can afford a car, you are not going anywhere. Public transportation is horrible there so you will definetly need a car if you want to go to the beach or go into downtown LA to hit up some clubs.

    Berkeley and definetely SUNY has the danger element but are still safe. You wont be bored at berkeley for sure! but in my experience you will have to deal with the "cocky" factor at berkeley which really turned me off. Maybe it was the person i interacted with i dont know. SUNY has the location but some people dont like the fact that the school is just in a building (clausophobia???) . Nobody can compete with berkeley in terms of name recognition but until a formal ranking is compiled and posted, every school will claim they are "among the best" (i have heard that "we are the best" from a berkeley student) which you should take with a grain of salt.

    you really cant go wrong with these schools or any school for that matter. its all about personal preference (and where you got in) but choose carefully you are going to to spend the best 4 years of your life there!
     
  10. Squint

    Squint Squint
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    Exactly what do you mean by the "cocky factor"?
     
  11. still_confused

    still_confused Senior Member
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    it was just my overall experience, from the ppl i talked with.

    for example, when i asked how is the retention rate, they will say the best instead of giving me exact numbers. When asked about board scores , again its "the best" without specifics. they really made it seem like ucb was the best opt school and while it may be true, the reasons they gave were ridiculous, like we have nobel lauretes, but they fail to mention they dont even teach at the optometry school. All the schools i talked to said that all the schools give you a good education while berkeley says they and only they can give you the "best education at a world renowned university" again this might be true but they struck me as "its all us" attitude that really got to me. And my personal favorite was "so what school is your backup" they assume that everyone wants to go to berk as their first choice and never thought ppl could apply to them as the backup school!

    its my experience and im just sharing them, if you have a positive one please share! take my ramblings with a grain of salt, afterall im just another poster online!
     
  12. EyeBaller

    EyeBaller SUNY-O Class of 2008
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    Hahaha.. I love it.. I mean everyone know's SUNY is the best... :smuggrin:

    Seriously though.. as the previous poster says.. take anything you read on the forum with a grain of salt. It's all opinions... yes they may be valid but everyone's experiences are different.
     
  13. iiiimonica

    iiiimonica 4 eyes on me
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    my experience with the student affairs folks go out of their way to let all applicants know that they are other wonderful programs (SUNY's name does come up a lot, as does SCCO and UHCO) yeah they have "we are the best attitude", but cmon Cal is a pretty special place (esp now that our football team is not too shabby!), so it is easy to get carried away with the rah rah we love Cal attitude. you should see what happens when someone mentions Stanfurd, hearing 700 people hiss at once was a experience! it took me awhile to adjust as an undergrad, but i learnt that having bear pride is the reward you get for surviving such a hard school.

    as for asking who is your backup, that is just good old fashion practicality. Cal is the first choice for most students who apply (95+%) because of all the damn prereq's you have to do to be able to apply. asking what your back up plans are is common with all schools, as is asking what is your first choice.

    ps GO BEARS!
     
  14. alferec

    alferec Future Army OD
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    I wrote a post regarding SCCO and UCBSO before, although of course I might be a little more biased towards SCCO, I must admit! http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=4037346&postcount=2

    My main reasons for applying to SCCO were:
    1) Very diverse population therefore wider range of pathology
    2) An extensive clinical rotation program (some international rotations too)
    3) Excellent location

    I didn't add this, but SCCO's clinic is AMAZING!!! It's very modern and you feel very important when you walk into it. You have to see it to know what I mean.
     
  15. iiiimonica

    iiiimonica 4 eyes on me
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    i 10000% agree with this. no school (well none of the 6 i saw) can even compare. SCCO is so beautiful and you feel important to be in such a nice place. i ended up sticking with UCBSO as my first choice because of location (i live 30 minutes away and my husband can't leave his job),tution (1/2 as expensive if you are in state), and i had all those Cal t-shirts :laugh:

    i think eveyone should see SCCO :love: :love:
     
  16. scvcstar

    scvcstar Optometrist
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    I dunno about the retention rate, but as far as I know and heard, their board pass rates have consistently been 100% except for one time when one person didn't pass.

    And honestly, I don't think Cal's gonna be my backup school, their academic standards are so high that I'm working really hard to get in. SCCO's more like the backup school for me haha.

    But remember this. It doesn't matter what school you go to, even if it's Puerto Rico (er don't take that as an insult if you go there, I'm not saying ANYTHING, ok? =P)...it's whether YOU are a good clinician and whether YOU have worked hard to become one, wherever you go. You could graduate from the top of your class and be a jerk. And what do you call the person who graduates at the bottom of your class? You still call them Doctor! This joke is something one of my optometrists always tells me...3 of the doctors in the group practice went to Berkeley, one went to ICO, and he went to Nova...and he said it doesn't matter, they're all still good doctors now, they're all still people, they're not necessarily to be more respected than a plumber (he also loves to tell me that even doctors are at the mercy of their plumber when they come over to their house), they just happen to be good at taking care of eye problems.
     
  17. scvcstar

    scvcstar Optometrist
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    I went to SCCO's Open House...I LOVED it too! But then again, I go to UCSD for undergrad so I am definitely in love with socal. But Cal is my first choice also because of location (my hometown is about 45 minutes away, plus my brother went there for undergrad so I've come to love Berkeley's city) and more importantly, cost. I want to avoid taking out loans for as long as possible. If I go to Cal, no need...but if I go to SCCO, I don't have a choice but to take loans. So that's an important factor to me, although I love both schools and if money/location were not an issue, I probably would've chosen SCCO.
     
  18. diva15

    diva15 Junior Member
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    is there a limit of words to the scco essays???

     
  19. alferec

    alferec Future Army OD
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    I'm not too sure, but I wrote one page per essay, three paragraphs each page. I did that mostly because it's best to get straight to the point. If you think about it, these admissions people are reading hundreds of essays so it might be to your advantage if you can be as concise as possible. Just IMHO.

    But ultimately, your best bet is to call the school...the student affairs office at SCCO is always
     
  20. still_confused

    still_confused Senior Member
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    ask them if its the FIRST TRY PASS RATE. People pass...eventually. Noone goes through four years of schooling and doesnt keep trying until they pass. I only warn you this because that is what SUNY told me when I asked them on the phone. Good thing my interviewer clarified that thier ultimate pass rate is 100% but first time is 92%.

    I remember UCB was in the 90s for first time while SCCO is in the 85+. Also take into account SCCO has a bigger class so the chances of failure is probably statistically higher.

    The rates are irrelevant IMO (on a personal level but very important on a instituional level) because pass rate is determined by effort put forth by the student. Every school prepares you but no school will hand out OD degrees. You earn it. Just because a school has 100% pass rate doesnt mean you will pass if you dont try!
     
  21. scvcstar

    scvcstar Optometrist
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    I agree essays should be concise. However, I forgot to add that my essays were over a page because I 1.25-spaced them for easier reading. I know schools always give guidelines based on single-spacing, but if I were an admissions officer, I'd rather people give me something 1.5 or double spaced to read. I did 1.25 because it's not too much to make it look like a rough draft of a manuscript or something, but is easy on the eyes and still professional-looking. Just try it and you'll see what I mean, you can always change it back to single-space. =)

    Berkeley has a huge character limit...I think one of my friends misunderstood "character" to be "word" and she ended up writing an 8 page personal statement thinking she was still under the limit. Now THAT is a LONG essay! She got in though and she'll be going to UCBSO this fall.

    I mailed in my application to SCCO on Aug 28, so hopefully it got there today!!
     
  22. princesspinknes

    princesspinknes Junior Member
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    whats the character limit for berkeley? 500?
     
  23. scvcstar

    scvcstar Optometrist
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    well based on last year's essays (since this year's isn't out until the 7th), the personal history statement essay has a 8,000 character limit, and the statement of purpose essay has a 12,000 character limit. you can see how someone might've thought it was a 12,000 WORD limit and wrote like 8 pages. =P (is that right? i can't be bothered to check) but actually i did check once how many pages it was supposed to be based on the number of characters and it's like 2 pages. i forget for which one. just don't forget to do a word & character count when you're done.
     

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