The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $4.2 million in available funding to help eligible veterinarians repay a portion of their veterinary school loans in return for serving in areas of the United States lacking sufficient veterinary resources.
“Many veterinarians are facing insurmountable student loan debt, and they choose to work in urban locations that offer higher pay. This is causing a critical shortage of veterinarians in rural America,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “This assistance will help veterinarians return to rural America where they can provide needed services to our farmers and ranchers, and continue to keep our food supply secure from diseases of farm animals.”
Studies indicate significant and growing shortages of food supply veterinarians. A leading cause of the shortage is the heavy cost of four years of professional veterinary medical training, which can average more than $150,000. Without the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program to help relieve that financial burden, many veterinarians might otherwise select more lucrative career options in the urban areas, such as companion animal care.
Recipients are required to commit to three years of veterinary service in a designated veterinary shortage area. A map of veterinary service shortage areas by state is available online. Loan repayment benefits are limited to payments of the principal and interest on government and commercial loans received for attendance at an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-accredited college of veterinary medicine resulting in a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or the equivalent.
Thursday, April 6, 2017/ NIFA/ United States.