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Which school to choose?

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by HazelEyes34, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. HazelEyes34

    HazelEyes34 Member
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    I just interviewed at SCO on Friday and UMSL on Monday. I found out Monday that I was accepted to both (yay!). SCO is giving me until Jan. 15 to decide, whereas UMSL is giving me only 2 weeks. I cannot choose between the 2 right now because both schools were just so different from each other. I have an interview at PCO on Jan. 5 and am still waiting to hear from SUNY and would like to choose between these 4 schools (I've kinda already decided against some of the other schools I applied to). So if anyone has any insight on SCO and UMSL, both good and bad, it would be greatly apprecaited!


    By the way, the interviews at both were very laidback, nothing to really be nervous about. At UMSL, they bascially tell you beforehand what they will ask you in interview. :oops:
     
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  3. gioiarioia

    gioiarioia SCO Class of 2010
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    First of all, congrats on your interviews and acceptances. I only applied to SCO (and will be attending in '06) so I can't really offer advice/perspective on other schools. However, rkl_OD2be was accepted at both and chose SCO (I'm sure I'm only telling you this first because he hasn't yet read your post). He might offer you some insight.

    As for the 2 week deadline at UMSL, call see if you can be granted an extension pending the PCO/SUNY interviews. Your amount of time extended might be limited, but 2 weeks hardly seems long enough given the circumstances (I'm sure many have this problem).

    You might also send some PMs to current students of the schools you want to know more about, from the student perspective (ie: why they chose SCO, UMSL, etc). One user name that comes to mind is sco1styear.

    The best advice I can give is for you to choose the school you feel best fits your needs/goals. Every school has something to offer! Perhaps I'll see you at SCO in '06. In any event, best of Luck!
     
  4. 4Eyes

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    Congrats on your acceptances!

    I'm a 2nd year at UMSL. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

    All the schools have their advantages, but I feel like I made the right choice for me. Good luck with everything. :)
     
  5. sco1styear

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  6. rkl_OD2be

    rkl_OD2be UMSL class of 2010
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    I was accepted at both UMSL and SCO, and I faced a similar situation. If you're a non-Missouri resident, one thing to consider is the fact that UMSL will cost at least $35,000 more than SCO to attend. That's a down payment on a house, or a really nice car.

    Send an e-mail, or call Dr. Bennett, and explain your situation. He gave me an extension on my deadline pending a decision from SCO. I'm told that he will not refuse any reasonable requests to extend a deposit deadline. It sure would be nice if all the schools had the same schedule for deposit deadlines, etc. to make situations like this easier...

    My observations on the two schools:

    Advantages of UMSL:
    1. Small class size (44)
    2. Dr. Bennett and Dr. Davis are at the forefront of keratoconus and contact lens research (I have keratoconus).
    3. Location: St. Louis is 300 miles closer to our family than Memphis

    Advantages of SCO:
    1. Higher passage rate for part 1 NBEO exam
    2. The clinic at SCO is state of the art...constructed in 2003...60 exam lanes...etc.
    3. Lower cost

    As Dr. Brown at UMSL put it: "It will be, in deed, a difficult choice--but you can't make a bad decision. Both programs are excellent and you will have an excellent education no matter which you choose."

    Best wishes on your other apps at PCO and SUNY.

    As for me, I'll be going to SCO next year. I'm an older "non-trad" student, and the goal is for me to get the best education for the least (debt) cost. For me, $35,000 more is just too much, and my personal opinion is that SCO is a better school.
     
  7. sembaruthi

    sembaruthi Junior Member
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    I say choose SCO.....its a great school.......NOT that the rest arent....dont wanna start any arguments :)
     
  8. HazelEyes34

    HazelEyes34 Member
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    Thanks to all of you that have replied so far. Since I am not a resident of either state, I will be paying out-of-state tuition. Does anyone know if you can apply for residency-in-state at either of these schools to lower tuition a little? I have already been told I have some scholarships at UMSL, but it will still cost more than SCO (as a non-res). Also, I will contact the school regarding this, but is an extension until Jan. 15 too long to ask for from UMSL? I honestly liked both schools equally but differently, and just have to keep weighing pros and cons until I can reach a decision!
     
  9. sco1styear

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    If you could let us know what your pros and cons of the schools were maybe we could help add to or take away. That might be helpful to you, it's hard for me to know what you need to know to help you with a decision.
     
  10. rkl_OD2be

    rkl_OD2be UMSL class of 2010
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    I asked the questions about "becoming" a resident after the first year for tuition purposes. The short answer is "No" for both schools. Missouri has a tax-credit for the non-residents (any state income taxes you or your spouse would pay can be applied to your non-resident fees for that year). SCO, being a private school, does not have the state income tax credit.
     
  11. eye_candie

    eye_candie eye_candie
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    go to sco! hehe i went to the interview the same day u did and i really liked it there. i got accepted to nova too, but i'm 90% sure i want to go to sco. i also have interviews at pco, ico and scco. i'll prollie cancel them, but i do want to go see scco. the cost of living and tuition in cali is a lot more than memphis so i don't really know if i should go for the interview (plane ticket isn't cheap either)...sigh what r their pros and cons for sco and scco??? anyways sco...yay they're super nice and their clinic was freakin awesome :D
     
  12. sco1styear

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    SCCO is supposed to be our "sister" school and supposedly things are very similar. I've never been so I can't say for sure, but that's what I've been told.
     
  13. eye_candie

    eye_candie eye_candie
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    thanks sco1styear!
     
  14. HazelEyes34

    HazelEyes34 Member
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    It seems everything I look at can be both a pro and a con! Class size for instance...I feel the small class size at UMSL would be great, but from what I'm told, they split you up at SCO so the individual classes are still not very big (is that correct?) The clinic at SCO was absolutely amazing, but I was unable to compare it to the clinics (4 total?) at UMSL because HIPPA regulations kept us from touring it. There does seem to be more to do in St. Louis, but it is somewhat similar to the city I grew up in. I would kinda like a change, and Memphis seems to offer more culture and diversity. The board passage rate was higher for SCO, but couldn't that possibly be just because it is a larger school? For example- if 2 people don't pass at UMSL, it would cause a greater decrease in stats than at SCO. The staff at both were outstanding- very helpful and personable. SCO seemed to really have that "Southern hospitality", while UMSL had more of a small-town, everyone helps everyone type feel. Cost of living and tuition would be lower at SCO however. SCO does seem to really be moving forward in a positive direction, but at UMSL they also stated they would be opening a new school by the time I would be in my third year. I think I liked the fact that SCO was not attached to a university, but could this be seen as a con too? Definitely a dilemma still. If there are any grads of either of these schools, would you change anything about going there, anything you wish you would have known beforehand, etc. Thanks everyone!
     
  15. jcaco

    jcaco Member
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    do you know how they are similar? thanks! :)
     
  16. sco1styear

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    At SCO we all have class together but we are split up for labs (approximately 25 a lab group). Even with all of us in class, it doesn't seem like a lot and I graduated high school with only 88!
    I agree with the board passage rate and class size...but with 125 people in a class and a high passage rate, I think it's impressive that the school can have so many students pass.
    I don't know what the con would be for not being attached to a university. I personally like it and the fact that we don't have classes with other students going into a different profession allows the professors to help emphasize things that will be important to us.
    And HIPPA kept you from touring the clinic? That's strange, did they say exactly why?


    Oh, and I have no idea how SCCO and SCO are supposed to be similar. Anyone?
     
  17. 4Eyes

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    Actually, at UMSL, all of the classes are JUST optometry students. You might get a physiological optics grad student in one of your classes, but they're "eye people" too. :)

    I know not all schools attached to universities are so separate, though. It seems like UMSL is just attached to the university because it's the only they had the money to get started. I feel totally detached from the rest of the school. I'm fine with that though because undergrad already feels like it was forever ago. :laugh:
     
  18. eye_candie

    eye_candie eye_candie
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    hi

    this question might sound stupid, but promise not laugh k? i know ppl go out to beale street, and it seems like all they have is blues and jazz. but do they have hip hop clubs? pls tell me they do, i'll die if i won't be able to dance to hip hop whenever i have the time to get away from school. i pretty much don't dance to anything else..haha:D


     
  19. sco1styear

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    Much more hip hop and much less jazz than you would think. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of places to dance! :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  20. eye_candie

    eye_candie eye_candie
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    hooorayyyyyyy ;)

     

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