Veterinary school applications have increased by more than 6% two years in a row, according to the AAVMC.
The number of applicants applying for admission to member institutions of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) continues to rise, according to final data compiled at the end of the annual application cycle.
A total of 7,507 individuals applied through the AAVMC’s Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) for admission to the class which begins their studies in fall 2018. That compares to 7,077 applicants who applied during the prior year admissions cycle and represents an increase of about six percent. The total number of applications submitted was 36,638, which rose about seven percent over last year, when 34,134 applied. Each applicant applied to an average of 4.88 institutions, which also slightly increased.
This marks the second straight year that the number of applicants has increased about six percent year-over-year.
A recently published report by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests opportunities for careers in veterinary medicine will grow 18% by 2026 as a result of increased demand for companion animal care and food production and security.
"Veterinary medicine offers a wide variety of rewarding career opportunities in many different sectors of the profession, including clinical care, food security, public health, and biomedical science,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “Our responsibility to promote global health and well-being continues to grow, and it’s encouraging to see that we have a deep and talented pool of applicants who are willing to rise to the challenge."
Qualified applicants were reimbursed $17,220 through the VMCAS Fee Reimbursement Program, which is now in its fourth year of operation. The goal of the program is to provide financial assistance related to the application process for students with demonstrated financial need. This year, VMCAS received 103 requests for reimbursement and 84 qualifying requests were granted.
Overall, the VMCAS system ran very efficiently over the course of the annual application cycle, according to AAVMC Director of Recruitment and Admissions Tony Wynne. However, heavy damage wreaked throughout the southeastern United States and the Caribbean by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria affected the ability of many applicants to complete their application packages on time.
As a result, AAVMC Admissions and Recruitment Committee officials extended the application deadline from September 15 to September 29, and allowed Puerto Rican applicants until October 13 to submit components of their applications.
The AAVMC is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean Basin, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.