USC or UF?

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Dec 12, 2020
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Hey everyone! I got accepted into both USC and UF Pharmacy School for the upcoming school year. I'm a USC undergrad but am having second thoughts going to USC due to high tuition and some negative reviews of the school from previous students, but Florida is quite a bit far from home and I haven't been able to visit due to COVID. If I don't consider the cost difference (USC is about 13k/year higher than UF with scholarships), which school should I go to? Does ranking really matter between the two of them? What are their residency match rates? What would convince me to go to either school? Any opinions from current students and/or alumni would be hugely appreciated!

If it helps, the fields I'm interested in are industry and ambulatory care.
 
Jan 13, 2020
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Congrats! I was a USC undergrad and applied to both schools. Coincidentally, I also withdrew my applications from both (more interested in other schools) but know students/alumni from both and can give you some insight. Ranking doesn't really matter between the two of them since they're both effectively top 10 (I could go on about rankings but will save you the spiel).

USC: Extremely expensive and your experience there will be very reliant on whichever social circle (re:fraternity) that you join. It generally promotes community pharmacy over residency but of the students that apply for residency, ~75% match (including amazing residencies like Stanford & UCLA). You should understand that CA is EXTREMELY saturated. USC has some of the best connections for finding a job in SoCal (UCSF dominates Bay Area), but you're also just as likely to not find a job in CA. USC's connections will give you a slight edge but that edge could easily be made up by other things, such as landing a good residency (or fellowship if you've looked at that route).

UF: You mentioned you haven't visited Gainesville. Gainesville is a small town in middle of nowhere FL and I cannot emphasize enough what a change of pace it will be for you coming from a school next to DTLA. However, it is much cheaper (esp if you apply to be a FL resident after your first year to get public school tuition rate). It does boast the highest residency match numbers (I couldn't find the match rate percent, so the high numbers could just be correlated to the fact they have a high class size). It strongly promotes residency, but most students will match within FL.

TL;DR if you want a residency and don't care about location for school or residency, then UF is an easy choice. If you want a career in CA in the long run and willing to deal with the high tuition and social cliques of USC, then USC will give you some edge in CA positions & residencies (but you should be aware of the extreme competition in CA and the edge will not be a make or break in your career). Feel free to DM me if you have any questions!
 
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Dec 12, 2020
7
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Pharmacy
Congrats! I was a USC undergrad and applied to both schools. Coincidentally, I also withdrew my applications from both (more interested in other schools) but know students/alumni from both and can give you some insight. Ranking doesn't really matter between the two of them since they're both effectively top 10 (I could go on about rankings but will save you the spiel).

USC: Extremely expensive and your experience there will be very reliant on whichever social circle (re:fraternity) that you join. It generally promotes community pharmacy over residency but of the students that apply for residency, ~75% match (including amazing residencies like Stanford & UCLA). You should understand that CA is EXTREMELY saturated. USC has some of the best connections for finding a job in SoCal (UCSF dominates Bay Area), but you're also just as likely to not find a job in CA. USC's connections will give you a slight edge but that edge could easily be made up by other things, such as landing a good residency (or fellowship if you've looked at that route).

UF: You mentioned you haven't visited Gainesville. Gainesville is a small town in middle of nowhere FL and I cannot emphasize enough what a change of pace it will be for you coming from a school next to DTLA. However, it is much cheaper (esp if you apply to be a FL resident after your first year to get public school tuition rate). It does boast the highest residency match numbers (I couldn't find the match rate percent, so the high numbers could just be correlated to the fact they have a high class size). It strongly promotes residency, but most students will match within FL.

TL;DR if you want a residency and don't care about location for school or residency, then UF is an easy choice. If you want a career in CA in the long run and willing to deal with the high tuition and social cliques of USC, then USC will give you some edge in CA positions & residencies (but you should be aware of the extreme competition in CA and the edge will not be a make or break in your career). Feel free to DM me if you have any questions!
Thank you SO much!! This is was a super helpful read and gave me a lot of insight into each school that I didn't know of previously. I will definitely keep your points in mind (especially about the social cliques in USC and the residency info) and will let you know if I have any more questions! <3
 

moolman

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Mar 12, 2007
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If you plan on living in CA after graduation, go to USC, it's as simple as that.

But I agree with the above poster, don't go to pharmacy school, look at the employment rates for new grads, it's really bad and will be worse by the time you graduate.
 
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radio frequency

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Dec 18, 2012
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UF is considered a good school and is much, much cheaper. People from out of state won’t prefer one over the other. I’ve met plenty of UF grads who went on to residency. It is a good school. USC is not a better school.

If you must go to pharmacy school (and I wouldn’t recommend that, due to future job prospects), avoid USC and other high tuition schools.

There is absolutely no justification to the highway robbery tuition the USC charges.
You will never be able to pay back USC tuition on a PharmD salary. You will be poor for life if you choose USC. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t consider the cost difference, which is vast.
 

PharmtoCS

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Aug 2, 2011
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And even going to USC doesn't mean there will be job opportunities that allow you to stay in the area. I have known many grads who have have had to move away of SoCal permanently due to the lack of jobs there, plus the high cost of living and student loan burden.

And for the record, I would not recommend that you go to pharmacy school. Computer programming, finance, accounting, engineering, etc. are much better options. These career paths offer far better job prospects, pay as well as pharmacy if not better, do not require you to take out $200k+ in loans and spend an additional 4 years of your life in school, and most importantly do not force you to relocate thousands of miles away from home to the middle of nowhere just to be able to find a job after graduation.
 
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rxkrafted

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Apr 9, 2014
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If you are choosing pharmacy schools because you want to be a "doctor" and make a 6-figure salary, don't do it. No one calls you doctor but your ego and you will not make 6-figures if you account for your fat student loan debt. You will very much regret it after you graduate... Others have already provided info regarding the current state of pharmacy and it will not change after you graduate.
 
Dec 12, 2020
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  1. Pre-Pharmacy
UF is considered a good school and is much, much cheaper. People from out of state won’t prefer one over the other. I’ve met plenty of UF grads who went on to residency. It is a good school. USC is not a better school.

If you must go to pharmacy school (and I wouldn’t recommend that, due to future job prospects), avoid USC and other high tuition schools.

There is absolutely no justification to the highway robbery tuition the USC charges.
You will never be able to pay back USC tuition on a PharmD salary. You will be poor for life if you choose USC. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t consider the cost difference, which is vast.
Hi there! I was offered an updated scholarship that brings USC tuition to only around 8k/year more than UF. I saw that you mentioned USC is not a better school in terms of saving money, but at this point the difference could probably be easily made up by living at home, saving travel costs, etc. Other than tuition, is there anything else that you think makes UF better/more desirable than USC?
Thank you!
 

radio frequency

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Dec 18, 2012
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Hi there! I was offered an updated scholarship that brings USC tuition to only around 8k/year more than UF. I saw that you mentioned USC is not a better school in terms of saving money, but at this point the difference could probably be easily made up by living at home, saving travel costs, etc. Other than tuition, is there anything else that you think makes UF better/more desirable than USC?
Thank you!
That’s great, but are there any requirements to keep the scholarship? What will be your total bill at the end of school? $8k x 4 years is $32k more in tuition alone. That’s likely not worth it. But if you will be able to stay at home while going to USC, it could ultimately be cheaper. Maybe.

Honestly the job market for pharmacists is so bad right now you really need to pick the school that will give you the fewest loans at the end and the highest likelihood of passing the NAPLEX on the first try.
 
Dec 12, 2020
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  1. Pre-Pharmacy
That’s great, but are there any requirements to keep the scholarship? What will be your total bill at the end of school? $8k x 4 years is $32k more in tuition alone. That’s likely not worth it. But if you will be able to stay at home while going to USC, it could ultimately be cheaper. Maybe.

Honestly the job market for pharmacists is so bad right now you really need to pick the school that will give you the fewest loans at the end and the highest likelihood of passing the NAPLEX on the first try.
From the offer, there didn't look to be any requirements but I'm sure there's a minimum GPA cutoff. Total would be around 166k for the 4 years at USC, while for UF it is 134k (assuming I'm not able to get resident tuition down the line).

For NAPLEX, the pass rate at USC for 2020 was 95.14%, and 88.1% for UF in 2019 (couldn't find data for 2020). How important is the NAPLEX first-time pass rate, and is there a huge difference between 88% and 95%?
 

rxkrafted

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Apr 9, 2014
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From the offer, there didn't look to be any requirements but I'm sure there's a minimum GPA cutoff. Total would be around 166k for the 4 years at USC, while for UF it is 134k (assuming I'm not able to get resident tuition down the line).

For NAPLEX, the pass rate at USC for 2020 was 95.14%, and 88.1% for UF in 2019 (couldn't find data for 2020). How important is the NAPLEX first-time pass rate, and is there a huge difference between 88% and 95%?
I wouldn't say its a big difference but if you look at the national pass rate and the pass rate for each school, its been declining. Could be due to the addition of more questions to the exam or due to acceptance of lower quality students since schools have noticed a drop in applications because smart students realized the poor job market situation of pharmacists right now.
 
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