Student Ambassador Blog Articles

Why I Applied to Only One Optometry School by SCCO Student Ambassador, Eileen Cheng

A series of articles written by SCCO Student Ambassadors, here is Eileen Cheng. To learn more about Eileen, where she is from, and why she chose SCCO, find her bio here listed alphabetically.

Why I Applied to Only One Optometry School 

By SCCO Student Ambassador, Eileen Cheng


In the summer of 2019, I visited Fullerton to spend time with one of my friends who was a 2nd year at SCCO. During that trip, she showed me around SCCO and even brought me in as a practice patient.

While sitting in the exam chair in one of the pre-clinic rooms, I remember seeing other SCCO students smiling and laughing as they practiced their clinical skills on each other.

Visiting SCCO’s campus in person and having my own interactions with current students left a lasting impression on me. As I entered my junior year of college and looked towards my post-graduation plans, attending SCCO became my dream.

Because I had my heart set on SCCO from the very beginning, when it came time to apply, SCCO was the only optometry school to which I applied.

While applying to only one school has its risks, it also has its benefits…

I believe that applying to only one school, my Dream School, made me a more competitive applicant as I was able to streamline my focus to getting into SCCO as opposed to dividing that focus to multiple applications across many programs. In addition, because I only had one application to complete, I was able to submit my application very early in the cycle, which is advantageous as many schools like SCCO operate on a rolling admission where applying early would be a distinct advantage.

By challenging myself to perform well while taking increasingly heavier and harder course loads throughout my undergraduate career, I was able to become a competitive applicant academically. By gradually increasing both the rigor and volume of my class schedule, I was able to develop crucial skills like time management and how to study effectively—two invaluable skills.

In summary, spending time early in the process and streamlining your choice for an optometry program will help you maintain focus on acheiving your goal of being accepted. Because there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what attributes an optometry program seeks when selecting for competitive applicants, by narrowing your choice ahead of time, you can focus your efforts more wisely on becoming just what that program is looking for and featuring yourself as a focused and seriously competitive applicant.

Don’t make assumptions. Talk directly to the admissions advisers at your top optometry school choice to discover what they look for in the competitive applicant—it just may surprise you!

For what my choice, SCCO, looked for in competitive applicants, watch this video/read this article.

If you have any questions for me, feel free to contact me at

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