Number of Applicants to Veterinary Medical Colleges Soars 19 Percent Year-Over-Year

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2020 — The number of applicants seeking admission to veterinary medical college during the 2020-21 admissions cycle rose 19% year-over-year. Preliminary data show that a total of 10,273 applicants submitted applications this year, compared to 8,645 last year. Over the past several years, the number of applications has grown about six to seven percent year over year. 2020-21 cycle applicants each applied to an average of 4.89 different schools.

A total of 44 veterinary medical colleges belonging to the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) use VMCAS to process veterinary school applications. 

A significant rise in the application submit rate was also noted during the cycle. The submit rate, which is the number of applicants who begin and complete the application process with the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), rose to 79%. That has historically averaged about 72-73%.

The number of applicants seeking admission to veterinary college has been growing steadily in recent years. However, nearly tripling the annual year-over-year growth rate is remarkable.

The specific factors responsible for the extraordinary increase remain unclear, however, several things could have contributed. The AAVMC opened this year’s cycle in January as opposed to May to enable applicants to have more time to construct their applications. The AAVMC’s Office of Admissions and Recruitment also presented more informational webinars and increased communication with applicants.


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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