Get Help Paying for a Veterinary Medical Education
Are you concerned about the potential high cost of a veterinary medical education? Here are some options that could help.
Higher education is a much better investment than almost any other alternative, even for the "Class of the Great Recession," according to an analysis from the Brookings Institutions. And despite the costs of a veterinary medical education, there are new loan repayment and forgiveness options, as well as scholarships, that make obtaining a veterinary medical degree financially achievable for those who desire it.
It helps to plan ahead because veterinary medical salaries can vary greatly. Do you want work as a part-time associate while you raise a family, or do you want to own your own practice? Do you want to compete as a small companion animal business owner, or pursue research? Even those who end up with debt that is typical for medical professionals ($100,000-plus) can minimize the impact of that debt by choosing career paths that either take advantage of loan repayment and forgiveness programs, or that offer more lucrative salaries. Learn more about veterinary salaries here.
In the meantime, this page outlines some loan repayment/forgiveness and scholarship options, but the AAVMC encourages you to explore on your own as well, particularly at the state level, where many attractive but little-known options exist that vary by state. Also, each college has scholarships which prospective students could inquire about and a number have scholarships for dual degree students seeking graduate degrees such as the Ph.D. in discipline-based research programs.
SOME LOAN FORGIVENESS AND REPAYMENT OPTIONS
Federal Stafford loans are fixed-rate student loans for undergraduate and graduate students attending college at least part-time.
Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, borrowers can have payments forgiven after 10 years in exchange for working full-time in certain public service jobs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) that will pay up to $25,000 each year towards qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve for three years in areas where there is a designated shortage of veterinarians.
Income-based repayment is a new way to make paying your loans more manageable. This site can help you to navigate your options.
Due to a shortage of food supply veterinarians, many states offer loan repayment programs for veterinarians who practice food supply veterinary medicine. View a list of participating states and get more information.
On August 5, 2012, the AAVMC Board of Directors received the
Student Debt Initiative Report, a study and recommendations on how AAVMC and its member schools and colleges can help veterinary medical students better manage their educational debt.
SOME SCHOLARSHIP OPTIONS
The U.S. Army Veterinary Corps offers a full-tuition scholarship, plus a monthly allowance, in exchange for military training and reserve service. Learn about a veterinarian who benefited from the program.
The Harold Wetterberg Foundation Veterinary Medicine Scholarship Program provides scholarships in amounts up to $15,000 per year to students who have a connection to the state of New Jersey (current or former resident; graduate of a New Jersey high school, college or university). Preference is given to students with a DVM degree currently enrolled in a post-graduate academic program in the field of veterinary medicine, and to dual degree students (DVM/PhD, DVM/MS, DVM/MPH). Consideration is also given to veterinary students currently enrolled in the second or third year of the DVM curriculum. To apply, and for more information, visit our Wetterberg page here.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) offers an Animal Health Student Scholarship Program that focuses on meeting the ongoing needs of the veterinary profession.
In addition to awarding scholarships to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students attending accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States, the AVMF selects one applicant to receive a scholarship from the Winn Feline Foundation. This $2,500 award is given to a 3rd or 4th year veterinary student who demonstrates a keen interest in cats.
The Winner's Circle Scholarship Program, sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation and The Race for Education, is designed to encourage and support veterinary students intending to enter equine veterinary medicine. The goal of the program is to award one scholarship per year to a deserving student at each of the 36 colleges of veterinary medicine throughout North American and the West Indies that sponsor a national chapter of the Student Chapters of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (SCAAEP).
The AAVMC's work includes ongoing support for both public and private initiatives designed to reduce veterinary student debt through scholarships and loan-forgiveness programs. Do you know of other loan or scholarship options that students should know about? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.