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Monday, September 19, 2016

AAVMC Introduces Web-based Educational Cost Comparison Tool

                                                                                      
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 19, 2016 – The AAVMC has introduced a powerful new web-based IT tool that will help veterinary college applicants and students make better decisions regarding the cost and course of their professional education. The Cost Comparison Tool (CCT) provides a convenient, transparent and reliable resource for estimating the cost of attending a veterinary medical college in the United States.

“Bringing this tool on line is an important step forward for the profession, for the academic institutions that support it, and for everyone who dreams of becoming a veterinarian,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “Educational debt is a complex problem, but we believe empowering people with information is a very promising strategy for improving this situation.”

The CCT allows users to compare data for resident and non-resident tuition as well as the cost of attendance. In addition, users can see the average size of the freshman scholarship award and the percentage of first year students receiving an award. The workbook’s software platform displays institutions on three interactive dashboards that users can adjust to highlight colleges that meet the specified criteria.

The tool was developed by the AAVMC following an idea that surfaced during the “Fix-The-Debt Summit” held in April of this year at Michigan State University. The current debt-to-income ratio (DIR) for recent graduates in veterinary medicine is about 2:1; experts believe that ratio should be about 1.4:1.

The existing DIR and rising educational costs represent a multi-faceted and ongoing challenge for the profession, one that is being addressed by a variety of stakeholders from professional practice, academia and the private sector who are collaborating on a 10-point action program. By combining its unique access to institutional data and relationships with prospective veterinary students in a single tool, the AAVMC has been able to make an important contribution to this effort.

“Increased transparency and accountability is important,” said Maccabe. “We think providing clear, easy to access data regarding the various components of financing a professional education will help applicants make comparisons, analyze opportunities and ultimately make better financial decisions.”

The CCT allows prospective veterinary students to research schools based upon a variety of financial criteria. The workbook features 12 data points for the 30 veterinary medical colleges in the United States. Of the featured data points, the interactive filters allow for six of these data points to refine the number of schools to only those that meet the user’s criteria.

The data in the CCT has been compiled from a number of sources in order to provide students with a standardized and regularly updated source about the major contributors to the cost of a veterinary medical education. Data for this current CCT is drawn from a number of sources including the last five years of the Comparative Data Report, surveys of AAVMC member institutions, and internal calculations.  

Throughout the development of the project, AAVMC institutional researchers collaborated with multiple partners, including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). Their assistance and feedback contributed a great deal to the quality of the final product, according to AAVMC Associate Executive Director for Institutional Research and Diversity Dr. Lisa Greenhill.

The AAVMC is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

See the tool at:

http://www.aavmc.org/students-applicants-and-advisors/funding-education.aspx



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AAVMC MEDIA CONTACTS:                                                                                             
Jeff Douglas or Jeanne Johnson                                                                                      
Phone:  202/371-9195, x144                                                                                           
Email: jjohnson@aavmc.org