As you consider a career in veterinary medicine, be sure to investigate the cost and the many different avenues for financial assistance.
In the U.S. a student graduating from a veterinary college has, on average, $150,000 in debt. If that debt is paid off over 20 years (at a 5% rate), the monthly payment is nearly $1,000. At the same time, the average starting salary for a veterinarian is $60,000.
The federal government and some states offer loan repayment programs for veterinarians. The federal government also offers full-tuition and partial-tuition scholarship programs. TIP: When applying to federal and state programs, be sure to follow all instructions and be very thorough in your answers.
LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAMS
Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP)
The VMLRP was established by the National Veterinary Medical Services Act on December 6, 2003 and is the only federal program established exclusively for veterinary loan repayment. Veterinarians selected for the program practice for three years in a designated shortage situation in exchange for $25,000 in loan repayment for each year of service. NOTE: The qualifications for loan repayment are rigourous - read the website carefully.
Army Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (ADHPLRP)
This program repays up to $120,000 over three years to repay veterinary school loans.
State-funded Loan Repayment Programs
Nineteen states have established loan repayment or loan forgiveness programs for veterinarians. For more information, view the AVMA Report of State Veterinary Loan Repayment Programs.
FEDERAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
Armed Forces F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)
Qualifying students receive full tuition at any accredited veterinary, medical, dental, psychology or optometry program, plus a generous monthly stipend of more than $2,000. There is an active duty service obligation to the U.S. Army is one year of service for every year you receive the scholarship.
Adel A. Malak Scholarship Program
Saul T Wilson Jr. Scholarship Program:
The western states scholarship program (WICHE) offers tuition reduction at the OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine for residents of Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.
Read about two former OSU veterinary students who substantially reduced their debt by applying to the Army program and a USDA program.