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.

There are a variety of scholarships and loan repayment programs that make obtaining a veterinary medical education achievable.

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; do you want to own your own practice? Do you want to compete as a small companion animal business owner; do you want to pursue a career in research? Even those who accumulate 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. Access a veterinary salary calculator here.

This page outlines several scholarship and loan repayment/forgiveness options; 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 that 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. Students and prospective students are encouraged to contact AAVMC member institutions  directly about scholarship aid opportunities as many scholarships are awarded at the local level.

  • 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.
  • Zoetis and the AAVMC invite second- and third-year veterinary students to apply for the Zoetis/AAVMC Veterinary Student Scholarship Program. Each scholarship is $2,000 and eligibility criteria include academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership and career path. Over the first five years of this scholarship program, Zoetis has awarded scholarships to over 2,700 exceptional veterinary students. Applications are available at Vetvance.
  • The Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program is among the scholarships offered through the American Veterinary Medical Foundations. The scholarship awards $5,000 to qualifying second- and third-year veterinary students. Students attending international schools with 5- and 6-year programs should contact their administrative office to determine the school's eligibility requirement.
  • The American Veterinary Medical Foundation offers other scholarships as well. Learn more about the 2nd Opportunity Research Scholarship, the AVMA/AVMF Scholarship for Veterans and more here.
  • The Bayer Excellence in Communication Award awards scholarships totaling $72,500 to veterinary students at 28 schools across North America. The award, which is coordinated through individual schools, is designed to encourage development of effective communication skills among future veterinarians and offers eligible students the chance to compete for one $2,500 scholarship at each participating school by demonstrating strong communication skills with a client in a clinical setting. The national winner receives an additional $2,500.

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 and let us know.