College of Veterinary Medicine

Financing Your Education

Financing your veterinary medical education requires careful planning, good money management skills, and a willingness to make short-term sacrifices to achieve long-range goals.

Many of you have applied for and received some type of financial assistance during your undergraduate education. This will help you become somewhat familiar with the process, and to understand that the rules and regulations governing programs can, and do, change periodically.

As a professional student, you will be entering a partnership with the financial aid office, which will require you to complete the appropriate financial aid forms accurately, meet required deadlines, and submit any additional information that may be requested. In return, the financial aid office will determine your aid eligibility and make awards based on available programs. Your financial aid eligibility takes into account the cost of your education minus any other available resources. Amounts of assistance and the school policies for awarding assistance vary from one veterinary medical school to another, and from year to year.

Your education is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, and one of your most important goals should be to maximize the return on all of yourinvestments. To reach this goal, you must take an active role in managing your financial resources. You need to understand and implement good financial practices. To get you started, here are some good financial habits you should adopt:

  • Do not use credit cards to extend your lifestyle.
  • Budget your money just as carefully as you budget your time.
  • Distinguish between wants and needs. Before you make any purchase, you should ask yourself, "Do I need this, or do I want it?"
  • Be a well-informed borrower. If you have not previously taken an active role in understanding the differences between various student loan programs, now is the time to do it.
  • Borrow the minimum amount necessary in order to maximize the return on your educational investment.
  • Be thrifty. Live as cheaply as you can. Remember, you are a student.

What is the most important piece of advice for making the most of your educational investment? Don't live the lifestyle of a DVM until you have completed your education. If you live like a DVM while you are in school, you may have to live like a student when you are a DVM.1

1 Copyright credit to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, VMSAR 2006
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