How to Increase Your Chances of Getting into Your Dream School

SCCO is your dream school. You can’t wait to join over 7,000 optometrists who have earned degrees from the oldest optometry school in California. You’re so excited, you’re so nervous… you’re so scared your dream won’t come true… then what…what if you never get admitted…STOP. Pause. Breathe. We’re here to help.

We frequently have students share with us that SCCO is their top choice and want to know how they can increase their chances of getting into their dream optometry school. While some answers may be obvious such as meeting all of the academic minimums and knowing why you want to become an optometrist, there are other tips that could save you time, money, and stress as you work toward obtaining an acceptance letter. Straight from Admissions Officers, here are the top 3 things you can do to increase your chances of getting into SCCO.

Stay current with tips, events, and ways to connect!

1) Stay or get plugged into Admissions Resources. If you’re reading this article, you have a head start. No wizards behind the curtain in SCCO Admissions; we’re all about transparency with our process. We want you to be informed and educated about what SCCO looks for in a competitive applicant so you can submit the strongest application possible. We want to get to know you! To help with this, we host in-person and virtual events all year long, offer one-on-one advising sessions, and have a plethora of “on-demand” resources available on our website and blog to help you become a competitive applicant. Take advantage of the information and opportunities available. Join our monthly newsletter to have important information sent right to your inbox.

2) Timing is Everything. SCCO uses Rolling Admissions, which essentially means the sooner we receive your application, the sooner you can potentially qualify to interview and get that glorious acceptance letter. Bottom line: apply early. Now you’re probably thinking, “When is early?” Here’s our recommended timeline:

Admissions Events Page @

July- September: Work on your application through OptomCAS. Get it 90 percent ready to hit submit, then join our Summer Admissions Workshop, usually held in July (check here for events), to learn about ways to fine-tune your application. Make necessary adjustments, and hit submit. Also, during this time, use our resources and study for the OAT, then take it by October 1 at the latest.

September: Take the OAT or other standardized test. Alternate test scores are accepted, but the OAT is recommended for SCCO.

September-October: Come for your interview day! Our first interviews usually take place in September, and offers follow within a week or less of the interview.

If you need to adjust your timeline a bit, that’s fine; just make sure you hit submit by December 15th so you can be amongst the first applications we review when we come back from the holiday break in January.

Getting to know campus visitors.

3) Don’t be a Stranger. If SCCO is your top choice, let us know. While “EyeGiveAdvice2020” on may caution you not to put all your cards out on the table, we disagree. We spend hours reading essays, and letters of recommendation, pouring over transcripts, and shadowing experiences, all to try to get to know who you are as a person to see if you’d be a good fit for the MBKU family. We want to know if you have what it takes to become a doctor. Among other things, doctors are assertive, decisive, and have effective communication skills. Communicating that we are your top choice in your essays and on interview day is a great way to showcase these qualities.

If you’re reading this and you’re not sure if SCCO is your top choice or just in the top two, head back to #1 and #2 and apply the same strategy. At the end of the day, you’ll never regret being ahead of the game, and if you end up with acceptance letters to your top two schools, give yourself a pat on the back for working so hard to earn those offers, then reach out to admissions officers and current students at both programs to learn more. There’s no “best” optometry school, but we’re all pretty different, so there likely is a best one for you based on your values and career goals.

If you’re reading this and it’s between January and our March 1st deadline, apply anyway. We have around 100 seats in our incoming class, and while the seats are filled as the cycle goes on… you only need one. Put your best foot forward, have confidence in your journey, and hit submit. We look forward to getting to know you through your application and, hopefully, an interview soon!

Categories: Admissions

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