More Demand Than Ever for Veterinary Medical School Application Fee Reimbursement

Jeff Douglas or Jeanne Johnson
Phone: 202/371-9195, x144
Email: or

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 13, 2020 — More veterinary medical school applicants than ever before applied this past year to take advantage of a an application reimbursement program. The program is offered by the Association of American Veternary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS).

After an almost six-fold increase in fee reimbursement requests exceeded the program’s allotted budget of $50,000, the AAVMC’s Board of Directors approved increasing the budget to cover all qualified applicants for the 2020-21 cycle. The deadline was also extended from September 15 to September 30, 2020.

The VMCAS Fee Reimbursement Program began in 2014 and offers a limited number of fee reimbursements to financially disadvantaged applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis. The program reimburses the first application fee ($220). Applicants are still responsible for fees for additional programs and any supplemental fees.

Eligibility is based on income, or parent’s income if the applicant is claimed as a dependent, as reported on the most recent Federal Income Tax Return. Approval is tied directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ poverty level guidelines.

The VMCAS 2021 cycle saw a record growth of 19 percent in the applicant pool, as well as an increase in fee reimbursement requests from 181 awards totaling $38,915 in 2020 to 1,051 totaling $231,120 for 2021.

“From our institutional research work, we know there is a direct correlation between the number of schools an applicant applies to and their likelihood to receive an offer of admissions,” said the AAVMC’s Director for Recruitment and Admissions Affairs Diana Dabdub. “We continue to explore ways to reduce barriers for applicants and the most vulnerable—underrepresented communities.”

The average applicant applies to between four and five (4.89) schools. Dabdub added that extending the deadline made a big difference since many requests came in during that extended time period, after applicants had completed their school applications. 


The member institutions of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) promote and protect the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the environment by advancing the profession of veterinary medicine and preparing new generations of veterinarians to meet the evolving needs of a changing world. Founded in 1966, the AAVMC represents more than 40,000 faculty, staff and students across the global academic veterinary medical community. Our member institutions include veterinary medical colleges and schools in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand as well as departments of veterinary science and departments of comparative medicine in the U.S.

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