Many people don’t know that in order to become a veterinarian, one must complete around eight years of higher education. This much schooling can be expensive. So, veterinary scholarships are all the more important in ensuring that students can reach their career goals!
Keep on reading to find out more about the top scholarships for prospective veterinarians, including eligibility criteria, awards, and deadlines!
Jump ahead to…
- How to win veterinary scholarships
- Resources for prospective veterinarians
- Frequently asked questions
- Additional scholarship categories to explore
How to win veterinary scholarships
Now that you’ve got some great veterinary scholarship opportunities, it’s time to get applying! It’s important to put some real effort into each of your applications, as most opportunities receive many applicants. We can help you ace your applications with our guides on how to start a scholarship essay, how to write a winning scholarship essay, and how to respond to “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” prompts. Here are a few more guides worth checking out:
Resources for prospective veterinarians
The IVSA boasts of being the largest veterinary students’ association in the world, so you know that they can offer some stellar networking opportunities. In addition to conferences, veterinary literature, and connections to scholarship opportunities, they also run international veterinary exchanges, allowing students to see the differences in veterinary practice across countries. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!
The AVA (American Veterinary Association) has a special branch devoted entirely to helping students succeed in their education. They offer a variety of scholarships, access to journals, events, job opportunities, and financial planning resources, among other things. Check out their benefits page to get a full idea of all they can offer!
Frequently asked questions about veterinary scholarships
Can you go to vet school for free?
Yes! While there are ways to attend vet school for free, you should keep in mind that there are a few strings attached. For example, one can receive full tuition (plus a $2,000 monthly stipend!) while in school by serving in the Army as a veterinarian. Alternatively, if you’ve already graduated and then decide to sign up for the Army, you can partake in a loan repayment program that can pay off up to $50,000 of your student debt (over the course of three years). If you’d rather not serve in the army, you can also take part in the USDA’s Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program. For each year (for up to three years) that a student works in an area with a shortage of practitioners, they can receive up to $25,000 towards their student loans.
Additionally, if you aggressively apply for veterinary scholarships, you may be able to attend vet school for free through your collection of scholarship awards.
Is veterinary school expensive?
Unfortunately, yes. The cost of vet school largely depends on whether your school is public or private. Cost also depends on whether you reside in the state of your university. The estimated total cost of attendance for four years of vet school ranges from $150,000 to $420,000. To get a better understanding of cost, by location, we recommend checking out this helpful “Cost of Education Map” provided by the VIN Foundation.
How long does it take to become a veterinarian?
Most students take eight years of higher education to become a veterinarian; four for undergrad, and four for graduate school. It’s an intensive process that prepares students to care for the lives of animals and make the best choices for their health. Some students end up completing the degree in slightly less or more time, but on average, it requires eight years worth of courses.
Can veterinarians qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Veterinarians who go on to work in the public service or nonprofit sector may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, meaning the remaining balance of their federal loans would be forgiven after ten years of payment. However, keep in mind that the rules to this program are strict, so if you plan on taking advantage of it, make sure to educate yourself on all of its caveats before taking out loans.
What should I major in in undergrad to go to veterinary school?
Typically, an undergraduate major in the hard sciences, especially one related to biology, is the best bet if you hope to attend veterinary school. The University of Massachusetts writes that students of all majors end up going to veterinary school, but they have to ensure they take the required courses, which typically fall under the categories of “sciences applied to working with animals (e.g., animal sciences, wildlife biology) or in basic sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, zoology)”.
Additional scholarship categories to explore
- Top biology scholarships
- Top scholarships for grad students
- Easy scholarships to apply for
- Top no-essay scholarships
- Top community service scholarships
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