Zoetis and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) this week announced the awarding of $630,000 in scholarship funds to 315 second- and third-year veterinary students at 33 colleges of veterinary medicine through the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program for 2019. Each scholarship award is valued at $2,000. The announcement was made at the 2019 Student American Veterinary Medical Association Symposium in Athens, Georgia. Now in its tenth academic year, the Program has awarded $6.7 million, helping to offset education expenses for more than 3,300 veterinary students.
“The objective of the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program is to help alleviate the student debt load associated with a veterinary education and to empower students to achieve their dreams,” said Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Veterinary Medical Services and Outcomes Research at Zoetis. The overall average debt load of veterinary students was more than $130,000 in 2018. Earning a veterinary medical degree is challenging enough without the added stress of debt.
Our goal with this scholarship is to help lessen the financial worries experienced by student veterinarians.”
For Kyle Granger, a third-year veterinary student enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, the scholarship provides financial support to explore supplemental educational opportunities. “Winning the scholarship enables me to expand my future in small animal medicine, by gaining experience in business administration and organized veterinary medicine,” said Granger, who will undertake multiple externships during the summer of 2019. “Without the scholarship, pursuing those opportunities would have presented a significant challenge to my budget.”
The Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Award operates as part of Zoetis’ Commitment to Veterinarians™, a platform created to support leadership and diversity among future veterinarians, while also helping to offset the significant costs associated with a veterinary education. More than 1,300 applicants from universities throughout the United States and Caribbean were evaluated for academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership and career interest. Students applied through VetVance®, a free educational resource sponsored by Zoetis that provides students and recent graduates with online content relating to professional development, business skills, professional stewardship, financial literacy, personal wellness, and much more. Scholarships are awarded to students in all areas of professional interest, including food animal medicine, small animal clinical medicine, research, government services, public health, and organized veterinary medicine. Among the 2019 awarded scholars:
- 37% are from racial and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
- 35% are studying mixed animal medicine.
- 11% are studying to practice food animal medicine.
- 21% are going into small animal practice.
- 4% are going into equine exclusive clinical practice.
- 18% are entering academia, public health, government, & industry.
- 11% will go into other areas such as Lab Animal, Wildlife, Zoo/Exotic Animal & Other.
“Student debt is one of the top concern for young veterinarians,” said Dr. Andrew Maccabe, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. “Debt can have a significant impact on a veterinarian’s finances and life choices throughout their career. We are proud to partner with Zoetis to award these scholarships to many exceptional veterinary students and help ease that burden.”