Veterinary College Scholarships

By Stacy Zeiger , last updated December 22, 2011

People who love to work with animals should consider a career as a veterinarian regardless of their current financial situation, as there are a number of scholarships available for veterinary studies. Becoming a veterinarian requires obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biology or other scientific field and then obtaining a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, which usually takes around four years. The cost of the education required to become a veterinarian adds up quickly, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average veterinarian makes around $90,000 a year, making the cost of the education worth it in the end. Scholarships and fellowships help make attending veterinary school even more affordable for future veterinarians.

Oxbow Animal Health offers multiple scholarships for students pursuing different levels of veterinary medicine. The Undergraduate Companion Animal Interest Scholarship provides $1,000 to undergraduate students who are considering a career related to pet health or veterinary medicine. Students attending veterinary school with an interest in working with exotic animals may apply for a $1,000 Exotic Interests Scholarship. A $500 scholarship is also available for veterinary technician students with an interest in working with exotic animals. The company, which is based in Nebraska, also offers a $500 scholarship for a high school senior in Nebraska who is interested in pursuing a career involving animals.

Canidae Pet Foods provides for vet school scholarships each year. Scholarships are worth $2,500 and candidates are awarded the scholarships based on their commitment to the company’s responsible pet ownership initiative.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation offers scholarships for students pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine. Scholarships from the general scholarship program are awarded in $1,000 with priority given to students considering non-traditional areas of veterinary medicine, such as working in an animal shelter or focusing on disaster preparedness and response. In addition, students from New Jersey who apply for a general scholarship have the opportunity to earn an additional $1,000 in scholarship money. Once student who receives a $1,000 AMVF scholarship will also receive $2,500 from the Winn Feline Foundation.

As an alternative to scholarships, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsors the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. Under the terms of the program, veterinarians who agree to serve for three years in an area that faces a shortage of veterinarians become eligible to receive up to $25,000 a year in loan forgiveness. Approximately 50 veterinarians are approved for the program each year and those accepted for the program have the ability to choose from a list of underserved areas in which to serve.

Another government opportunity for veterinarians is the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Health Professions Scholarship Program. Those enrolled full-time in a college of veterinary medicine have the opportunity to earn a full-tuition scholarship and monthly stipend while completing their education. The Army also pays for all books and students receive second lieutenant status in the U.S. Army Reserve. In exchange for receiving the scholarship, students become members of the Army Reserve and must attend a 45 day active duty training program. Upon graduation, students are obligated to serving three years of active duty and five years of reserve duty as part of the U.S. Army.

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