Smart Ways to Pay for Vet School: You know in yourself that going to Vet school is as expensive as it can be. So you are probably looking for other options available, rather than taking out a student loan. Yes, you have other options like scholarships and grants. So I will be helping you highlight smart ways to pay for Vet school.
The harsh reality is that the average educational debt for 2019 veterinary school graduates was $143,757.82. The average for only those 2019 veterinary school graduates with debt is $167,534.89 and over 20% has at least $200,000 in debt.
There are factors beyond your control, such as rising tuition, that contribute to the increasing debt load.
However, you should take charge of your financial future and make reasonable decisions that will contribute to your long-term future and stability.
Vet School Education
Veterinary school is expensive. A veterinary degree can cost as much as a medical school degree and more than the average U.S. home mortgage. However veterinary new graduate starting salaries are about ½ to 1/3 of a new physician’s income.
You might be focused right now on just getting into veterinary school, but choosing a school without thinking about the price can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
To save yourself heartache and years of financial stress, commit to applying smarter. To date, no study shows that your income as a veterinarian increases because of the school you attend or the amount you pay for your education. Thus, there is no “Harvard effect” for veterinarians.
Smart Ways to Pay for Vet School 2020
Get help paying for vet school by filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By doing this you become eligible for vet school financial aid. The smart ways to pay for Vet school are;
Moreover, by filling out the FAFSA, you’ll be eligible for scholarshipsand grants offered by the school you attend. You may have to complete additional forms to receive the funds.
Here are a few ways to get started looking into grants and scholarships:
Go to scholarship search engines and look specifically for veterinarian scholarships.
Specific universities offer loan repayment programs while you are in school. For example, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine accepts five first-year students into a loan repayment program offering $20,000 per year for up to four years. In exchange, you agree to practice in rural Kansas.
Another way of paying for your Vet school is by applying for a student loan.
Best Student Loan for Vet School
When you take out federal student loans, it’s important you know what each type of loan means and what the loan limits are. The general order you should take out loans to pay for vet school is:
1. Subsidized Direct Loans
Subsidized Direct loans are only available to undergrad students. So if you’re just starting your eight-year path to vet school, then you should take out these student loans first.
These loans are at the top of the list because the government pays any interest that accrues while you’re in school.
The total amount you can take out in subsidized student loans is $23,000. This can go pretty fast when you’re in undergrad, so you’ll need to turn to the next best loan, too.
2. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
Unsubsidized student loans are available to both undergraduates and graduate school students.
These are the next best option to pay for vet schools because they carry a lower interest rate than PLUS loans and remain eligible for federal borrower protections.
Undergraduates can’t take out more than $57,500. Therefore, graduate or professional students have a total loan limit of $138,500. That number includes all federal loans taken out as an undergrad.
3. Direct PLUS loans
The Direct PLUS loan, or Grad PLUS loan, is for graduate and professional students only. The Grad PLUS loan is last on the list because the interest rate is high at 7.08%.
This loan also is eligible for forgiveness programs, but only if you do a direct consolidation loan right after you exit your grace period. The Grad PLUS loan also requires an additional application and credit check.
The only reason the order in which you take out federal loans would change is in the case of PLUS loans. Because they carry a high-interest rate, you can compare your PLUS loan options to private student loans.
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.
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.
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.
Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, borrowers can have payments forgiven after 10 years in exchange for working full-time in certain public service jobs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) that will pay up to $25,000 each year towards qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve for three years in areas where there is a designated shortage of veterinarians.
Income-based repayment is a way to make paying your loans more manageable. This site can help you to navigate your options.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Program encourages promising young researchers and scientists with DVMs or other health professional doctoral degrees to pursue research careers by repaying up to $35,000 of their qualified student loan debt each year.
Army Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (ADHPLRP). This program repays up to $120,000 over three years to repay veterinary school loans.
Federal Faculty Loan Repayment Program(administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) This program will repay up to $40,000 in student loans for eligible health professions faculty. Participants should also receive matching funds from their employing educational institution.
State-funded Loan Repayment Programs. A number of states have passed legislation establishing their own loan repayment or loan forgiveness programs for veterinarians. Therefore, for more information, view the AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Department’s Summary Report of State veterinary loan repayment programs.
Finally, if you do decide to look for private student loans to pay for vet school, keep in mind that some lenders may require payments right away. And also;
The total amount you need to fill the gap
The loan origination fees — PLUS loans are at 4.236%*
The private loan monthly payment and loan term
The interest rates you’re offered on private loans compared to PLUS loans
Whether the interest rates you’re offered are fixed or variable
Whether the lender offers any kind of flexibility for hardships or death
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