How to Pay for Vet School
- Vet school is a big investment with four-year tuition costs ranging from $78,479 – $155,295 for in-state students and $131,200 – $285,367 for out-of-state students.
- Knowing the cost of school and your earning potential can help you determine if you will get a return on your vet school investment.
- Federal aid, scholarships, and federal and private vet loans can help you pay for vet school.
So you want to be a vet? It’s a great career path that’s sure to bring you joy, challenge, and of course, great companions. But to make your plan a reality, you’ll need to figure out how to pay for vet school. Read on for some helpful information and tips.
What will your veterinary education cost you?
Will you attend a public or private school? One in-state or out-of-state? Your choice will greatly impact the cost. According to the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges’ (AVMCs’) Cost Comparison tool, four-year tuition costs ranged from $78,479 – $155,295 for in-state students in 2022 while out-of-state four-year tuition costs were between $131,200 – $285,367.
The high cost of vet school is why according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the average debt for vet school graduates with debt in the U.S. is $179.5k and why you need to do your homework so you know what you can expect.
Is veterinary school a good investment – for you?
Veterinary school is a big investment, but is it worth it? To determine that, look at vet salaries in your targeted geographic area and program of study. Then determine if your future career income will support the cost.
As you make that calculation, be sure to factor in the opportunity cost of what you would have earned if you were working during the years you’re in vet school. Vet school could take as much as eight years to finish. Yes, eight years!
How to pay vet school
If you do decide to move forward and invest in veterinary school, you’ll need to take a careful look at your financial situation and the options available. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use savings. Have you or your parents or partner set aside any money to pay for vet school? If not, you could consider delaying your plans to attend school until you’ve had time to save.
- Look at your debt. Do you have undergraduate debt you need to re-pay? Inventory your existing student loan and other debt and determine if you can afford to take on any more.
- Apply for scholarships and grants. Nothing makes school more affordable than free money available with scholarships and grants. Talk to your Financial Aid Office and ask about opportunities that may be available.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the best way to be considered for government or “institutional money” (that is, money from the school) that can bring down the cost of school.
- Consider federal loans. You can also pay for vet school with loans from the federal government.
Some federal loans – like Grad PLUS loans – come with relatively high interest rates and origination fees but offer some benefits that aren’t available with private loans, including debt forgiveness programs if you work in public service or for a qualifying organization.
You could also be eligible for income-driven repayment. Compare interest rates and terms carefully before you decide on borrowing for school.
- Look into private loans. If you receive financial aid and scholarships but still need help meeting the total cost of college, look into private loans available with private lenders. Private loans often come with lower rates and no fees. Unlike federal loans, they are based on creditworthiness and your income.
If you don’t have the income or credit to qualify, you can increase your chances of approval at lower rates and terms by applying with a co-signer. Another way to save on interest expenses is to apply for a private loan with a state non-profit lender that can offer lower interest rates on student loans than for-profit competitors.
- Refinance after graduation. If you’re concerned about meeting your monthly loan payments when you finish school and your loans enter repayment, you could refinance into one loan.
There are many good reasons to refinance, including lowering your interest rate, shortening the term of your loan to reduce interest fees, lengthening the term of your loan to reduce monthly payments, or even removing a co-signer.
The most important thing to know about paying for vet school is that you do have options. And with some research, knowledge, and sound planning, you get to make your career as a vet come true.
Take along a trusted companion in your vet school journey – Brazos
For more than 40 years, Brazos Higher Education has been helping make education more affordable for students and parents in Texas. As a non-profit, we can offer you low rates and personal service to get you where you want to be – in vet school. Contact us today!