Hi, I'm currently 34 and have worked as a ophthalmic tech, optician and optometric tech for the past 8 years and I'm currently thinking of going to optometry school... I have lots of courses but I'll have to take all my science over again... Do you think that age would keep the school from admitting me if my grades and tests were at least 3.5 or up? Just don't want to waste all that time and it's my age that keeps from getting in and have all that debt and nothing to show for it?
Thanks
Kathy
 

Loptometriste

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Sep 12, 2012
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Optometrist
Academic performance is one thing, but I don't think a school can discriminate against you based on things like age, sex, or religion.
 

TheWeeIceMan

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Nope, you aren't too old. There is a guy on here that is doing med school in his 50s. Check out the non-trad forum. It's typically for pre-MD/DO, but the same advice probably applies.
 
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sky019

7+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2011
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Optometry Student
like everyone said, age is not a problem! I have a classmate who is in his 30s :)
 

mathcod

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Shouldn't be a problem. I've seen NYPD, airforce pilots, journalists in their 40's graduate with an OD.
 
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Mar 31, 2013
24
8
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Optometry Student
Most schools require that yours coursework be within a certain timeframe (past 5-7 years is what I recall seeing) and OAT typically from the past 2 or 3. If you can still do well on the OATs, I think that will put to rest a lot of the worry about your schooling being too far in the past. I'm 28 and, if anything, your age is helpful because it increases class "diversity."

Your career experience is definitely a boon, too, because they know that after that many years in the field that you still want to be an optometrist, your interest isn't fleeting. I think your age is nothing but a positive. Go for it!
 
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Jul 22, 2013
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I don't think you are too old to apply at all.

My concern would be the debt and having enough time to get out from under it.
Being in the work force though for that long means some money to start off that most 21-23 year olds do not have! Go for it if you want to!
 
Mar 6, 2014
7
2
Hi, I'm currently 34 and have worked as a ophthalmic tech, optician and optometric tech for the past 8 years and I'm currently thinking of going to optometry school... I have lots of courses but I'll have to take all my science over again... Do you think that age would keep the school from admitting me if my grades and tests were at least 3.5 or up? Just don't want to waste all that time and it's my age that keeps from getting in and have all that debt and nothing to show for it?
Thanks
Kathy
Kathy, I am in my late 40's and was just accepted to Optometry school (yea!!!). Legally they can't deny you admission due to your age, but that doesn't mean that they won't try. As my adviser told me, "You have to be strong in all areas, because you can't GIVE them any reason to say no to you." I feel very grateful to have had an interviewer that saw all that my 'maturity' brought to the table, but not all of them were that way. One of my top choice schools offered me an interview which was uncomfortable right from the get go. The first question out of his mouth was "Being a non-traditional student, how do you think you are going to feel being the oldest person in all of your classes?" - like this would be my first time of that happening! That really set the tone and wasn't the last inappropriate question he asked. I didn't know about this forum when I first started going back- probably a good thing, or I might have lost my focus! As I talk to others already in Opt school there are more and more of us in the classes. I have heard from several professors that if there is a prejudice against older students it is because several before us have given us a bad reputation and they aren't as inclined to take the chance. As I have heard it, "when a person in a non-traditional students life (spouse/kids) has their life fall apart- so does the non-traditional students life." I'm sure this is more true for women than men, but still a poor assumption for them to make. I made sure that the admissions board was well aware of my commitment to the school, the field and to my path. Keep us updated on what you decide and how it is going.
 
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Feb 13, 2014
6
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Pre-Optometry
Kathy, I am in my late 40's and was just accepted to Optometry school (yea!!!). Legally they can't deny you admission due to your age, but that doesn't mean that they won't try. As my adviser told me, "You have to be strong in all areas, because you can't GIVE them any reason to say no to you." I feel very grateful to have had an interviewer that saw all that my 'maturity' brought to the table, but not all of them were that way. One of my top choice schools offered me an interview which was uncomfortable right from the get go. The first question out of his mouth was "Being a non-traditional student, how do you think you are going to feel being the oldest person in all of your classes?" - like this would be my first time of that happening! That really set the tone and wasn't the last inappropriate question he asked. I didn't know about this forum when I first started going back- probably a good thing, or I might have lost my focus! As I talk to others already in Opt school there are more and more of us in the classes. I have heard from several professors that if there is a prejudice against older students it is because several before us have given us a bad reputation and they aren't as inclined to take the chance. As I have heard it, "when a person in a non-traditional students life (spouse/kids) has their life fall apart- so does the non-traditional students life." I'm sure this is more true for women than men, but still a poor assumption for them to make. I made sure that the admissions board was well aware of my commitment to the school, the field and to my path. Keep us updated on what you decide and how it is going.
This is interesting to me. Can you tell us more about your path to opt school please?
 
OP
Krazegrl98
Jan 7, 2014
3
0
Pell City, Alabama
Most schools require that yours coursework be within a certain timeframe (past 5-7 years is what I recall seeing) and OAT typically from the past 2 or 3. If you can still do well on the OATs, I think that will put to rest a lot of the worry about your schooling being too far in the past. I'm 28 and, if anything, your age is helpful because it increases class "diversity."

Your career experience is definitely a boon, too, because they know that after that many years in the field that you still want to be an optometrist, your interest isn't fleeting. I think your age is nothing but a positive. Go for it!


So where do you go to optometry school?
 
May 10, 2014
6
3
Status
Optometrist
We had several students in their 30's and 40's even a few in their 50's. all with experience and all well educated BUT i will say that while the schools don't discriminate against age, the older students almost always struggled with the material and courses in comparison to the youngsters. I have no reasoning for this but they did often times struggle with the science part of the curriculum and excelled in the practical part of the curriculum..
 
Jan 24, 2014
141
27
We had several students in their 30's and 40's even a few in their 50's. all with experience and all well educated BUT i will say that while the schools don't discriminate against age, the older students almost always struggled with the material and courses in comparison to the youngsters. I have no reasoning for this but they did often times struggle with the science part of the curriculum and excelled in the practical part of the curriculum..
Exactly what information in this paragraph do you think will benefit the original poster? Do you want her to give her career goals a careful second look because in your experience the older students have struggled academically? I don't believe she asked about whether or not random internet strangers thought she was capable of excelling in Optometry school. Probably because she already knows she is.

"Schools don't discriminate against age." Your post should have ended there.
 
Jan 26, 2012
152
23
Chicago, IL
Status
Optometry Student
We had several students in their 30's and 40's even a few in their 50's. all with experience and all well educated BUT i will say that while the schools don't discriminate against age, the older students almost always struggled with the material and courses in comparison to the youngsters. I have no reasoning for this but they did often times struggle with the science part of the curriculum and excelled in the practical part of the curriculum..
I have not seen this in my school.
 

mathcod

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Dec 2, 2008
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I have not seen this in my school.
I went to your school and saw it in my class (x2) and the current graduating class (x2). Of course we can't stereotype and it really does depend on the intelligence of the individual. Regarding OP, non-traditional students shouldn't be at a disadvantage if they've got the ability, but you need to make sure your science courses aren't out of date for admissions to count them. Airforce Dave I believe had to retake some science courses even though I believed he had a nursing background.

Popular press article to check out if you want regarding non-trads in ICO:
http://www.icobackup.dreamhosters.com/component/k2/item/518-ico-matters-cover-story
 
Jan 26, 2012
152
23
Chicago, IL
Status
Optometry Student
I went to your school and saw it in my class (x2) and the current graduating class (x2). Of course we can't stereotype and it really does depend on the intelligence of the individual. Regarding OP, non-traditional students shouldn't be at a disadvantage if they've got the ability, but you need to make sure your science courses aren't out of date for admissions to count them. Airforce Dave I believe had to retake some science courses even though I believed he had a nursing background.

Popular press article to check out if you want regarding non-trads in ICO:
http://www.icobackup.dreamhosters.com/component/k2/item/518-ico-matters-cover-story
I'd probably rephrase that I've seen non-traditional students have struggles with school, but not anything entirely out of the ordinary when you consider the optometry school population as a whole. The phrase I just took issue with was "compared to the youngsters." A whole lot of students struggle with optometry school and I think it's way too easy to see an older student struggle and say it's because of their age or circumstances. But it's all individual, and the younger students just don't have age to blame for their struggles.

When five 22-24 year olds drop out like flies after first quarter, it's because of whatever reason it was, but when the 35 year-old drops, it's automatically because they were older. I hear it a lot, and it doesn't give people much credit for being individuals.

Dave was a good guy! Haha. He's had an interesting life.
 
Last edited:
Jan 24, 2014
141
27
Regarding OP, non-traditional students shouldn't be at a disadvantage if they've got the ability, but you need to make sure your science courses aren't out of date for admissions to count them.
The OP has already mentioned that she is retaking her science courses.
 
Aug 26, 2014
1
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Sure. Is there a way to message me your specific questions? I would love to help you avid some of the mistakes I made along the way:)
Hi, it was really encouraging to read your post. I am 37 year old prehealth student and a mother of 3 young boys all under 15. I did have my college courses transferred to the university I am in ( bachelors from Pakistan) and I am currently doing my pre reqs for Optometry School. I would love to get some tips from you on how to be able to quickly be done with the pre reqs and also look good on my resume in order to combat the competition. .. Also I worried about the intense curriculum of ICO ( where I hope to go). Is it doable with family commitments and other obligations too. Please give your input... Will be most appreciated. Thanks !
 

Absolute Vision

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2008
140
0
California
Status
Optometrist
SK 5... I started optometry school at the same age as you, and I was a father to 2 young boys. As long as you have a solid daily routine regarding your school work and family commitments, you should be able to succeed in optometry school. Fortunately, I had help from my mother-in-law who would pick up my kids after school and watch them until 7 pm. On week nights, I would spend about 3 hours per night with my kids. I would study whenever I had the chance which is usually in between classes, and after 10 pm. On weekends, I would study on Saturdays for about 4 hours and then it's family time for the rest of the weekend. I hope that helps.