Class Profiles: Debunking Myths About Applicant Competitiveness

The Class Profile for the current first year class is located  in the section entitled, “Most Requested FAQs.”

I’m taking this opportunity to share class profile information and to debunk some of the myths and false conclusions drawn from this class profile information:

“Does SCCO actively recruit female Asian Californians?”

I always get a kick out of this question because that’s what the numbers indicate—we do have many female Asian students from California. However, the answer to this question is “No.” We don’t actively recruit female Asian Californians. We have no quotas for any classification of student. Every applicant competes on their own merit.

We are a private institution. We are not mandated to reserve seats for in-state students, or any classification of students. We just get a great deal of California applicants; in fact, California is the biggest contributor to the national applicant pool for optometry. It’s a big state with a large population and SCCO is in California, what can I say? As far as the majority of our students being Asian, just check out undergrad institutions in California and you’ll see that these numbers correlate.

SCCO strives to admit the most diverse student population possible! The more diverse the class, the better the experience is for every student.

SCCO's Incoming Class of 2017 on Orientation Day

SCCO’s Incoming Class of 2017 on Orientation Day

“Does an applicant need an overall GPA of at least 3.37 (the average GPA listed in the class profile) to be accepted?”

The answer is “No.” The data you see here are figures tabulated after the class is admitted. Yes, some admitted students have GPAs that drive those averages higher. Don’t look at your 2.95 GPA and think that you don’t have a chance to receive an interview invitation just because it’s below the class averages listed here. If you want more information about how SCCO considers your GPAs (both overall and pre-requisite) as part of the admissions process, email me at and ask for the FAQ entitled, “The Academics—The First Qualifying Round.”

“Does an applicant need an OAT Academic Average score of 332 (the average OAT score listed in the class profile) to be a competitive applicant?”

By the same logic used to answer the question about GPAs, the answer is “No.”So don’t labor with misconceptions! As an applicant and new to this process, often “you don’t know what you don’t know.” The point is that I am here to help. You can always email me with any questions you have. Later, I’ll debunk myths about such topics as “taking a gap year hurts my application,” “completing prerequisites at community college, and “not being a science major,” all misconceptions I have to address constantly.

PS…After reading this article, this comment was posted on the Facebook Group for Pre-Optometry Students by a 3rd year student in our program, Matt Love:

Back when I applied a few years ago (although I have a feeling things haven’t changed), I found SCCO to be the most fair and considerate of the schools I applied to concerning the academic round. Grades and scores matter, but SCCO seems to take an extra step at checking out the WHOLE application (even willing to overlook a bad grade or two,  ). Also, I have to say, I LOVE the diversity of students in our classes. So many married folks, people with real work experience, some are great at research, others super creative or great with patient care, so many with great potential to be amazing doctors. It’s crazy fun to think that the smartest people in our class include English majors, an ex-pro baseball player, foreign nationals, studious parents, you name it! Everyone has something great to offer the rest of us. ~ Matt Love, SCCO Class of 2015

My response to Matt’s comment:

Thank you Matt, for posting this. I always look forward to your comments. So many times, when seeking a program, whether consciously or unconsciously, applicants want to choose a program that reflects their own demographic. This should NEVER be the objective when choosing a learning environment. One should seek to expose themselves to the most diverse learning environment as possible, in patients and classmates. I try to explain the “regional education” a student will get in from the Southern California learning environment. This is the time that you should seek to be exposed to those different from your own tribe! SCCO strives to give our students that experience. Thanks again Matt!!! ~ Dr. Jane Ann Munroe, Assistant Dean of Admissions, SCCO

Click on this picture to see a alum of the Orientation BBQ on Flickr

Click on this montage to see an Album of the Orientation BBQ on Flickr

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