This article was last updated on July 31, 2015.
The long-term job outlook for the veterinary profession is sunny. But to become a veterinarian, you have to earn a four-year postgraduate degree, and the cost of veterinarian school has risen sharply over the last two decades. Becoming a vet tech requires less schooling — it can be accomplished with an associate’s degree. Trying to work while earning your certification, however, isn’t easy. Scholarships can be a great help for those working toward either career path. Here are some to consider.
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Saul T. Wilson Jr. Scholarship Program
These scholarships are for graduate students enrolled in veterinary medicine programs and for undergraduate students enrolled in biomedical sciences. Undergraduates must have completed at least two years of a four-year pre-veterinary medicine or other biomedical program, and graduate students must not have completed more than one year in a veterinary medicine program. To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen, and all recipients must agree to work for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service during school breaks. Average awards are $5,000 to $10,000.
Celebrating the human-canine bond and funded by AKC Humane Fund, this scholarship supports future veterinary practitioners and researchers. This award is intended for students who are pursuing educational programs that include responsible pet ownership in their curriculum. To be eligible, you must be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited U.S. veterinary medical school.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) Scholarships
This scholarship is for first-, second- and third-year students enrolled in veterinary school in the U.S. If you apply, you’re also considered for the Mildred C. Sylvester Scholarship, a $1,000 award for students from New Jersey, and the Winn Feline Foundation Scholarship, a $2,500 award for a third- or fourth-year veterinary student with a keen interest in the health and welfare of cats.
Westminster Kennel Foundation Veterinary School Scholarships
The Westminster Kennel Foundation funds this scholarship for seniors in veterinary school who have an interest in small-animal medicine. The award is $15,000, and it is granted based on academic merit and financial need.
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Scholarships
The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association administers two scholarships for veterinary school students: the Dr. Richard Kerns Scholarship and the Dr. Pedro Rivera Scholarship. Both are for $1,500. To be eligible, you must be enrolled in a U.S. college of veterinary medicine.
The Winner’s Circle Scholarship Program
Sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation and The Race for Education, this scholarship is meant to support veterinary students intending to enter equine veterinary medicine. The goal of the program is to award one scholarship per year to a deserving student at each of the 36 colleges of veterinary medicine in North America and the West Indies that sponsor a national chapter of the Student Chapters of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. To be eligible, you must apply during your third year for funding in the fourth year of the veterinary program. Average awards are $1,500.
Administered by The Race for Education, this scholarship is for undergraduates who want to pursue a career in pre-veterinary medicine in equine practice, equine science, racetrack management, equine business management or pasture management and other related fields. To be eligible, you must be under 25 years old, have at least a 2.85 GPA and have an annual household income of less than $75,000 or be financially independent from your parents. Average awards are $6,000.
Dr. Joseph and Sonya Landholm Scholarship
This scholarship supports the advancement of veterinary acupuncture and provides financial assistance to students and licensed practitioners. It is for veterinary students from Nebraska or licensed Nebraska practitioners who are members of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association. To be eligible, you must have the inclination to train for a certification in veterinary acupuncture. Average awards are $4,500, and the NVMA also lists other scholarship opportunities on its website.
The Harold Wetterberg Foundation Veterinary Medicine Scholarship Program
This scholarship targets students who have a connection to the state of New Jersey (current or former resident; graduate of a New Jersey high school, college or university). The committee gives preference to students who have a doctor of veterinary medicine degree and are currently enrolled in a postgraduate academic program in the field of veterinary medicine, and to dual-degree students (DVM/PhD, DVM/MS, DVM/MPH). It also considers veterinary students currently enrolled in the second or third year of the DVM curriculum.
The OSVS scholarship, from the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association, is awarded to someone who has shown an interest in animal rights in veterinary medicine and has worked to improve animal welfare in a clinical setting. The $2,500 award is given to a first-, second- or third-year veterinary student. Preference is given to those who graduated from a Rhode Island high school or college.
The Nashville Veterinarian Scholarship Award is given to 1 individual a year that demonstrates excellence in their pursuit of their DVM degree as well as a love for all animals. In order to be eligible for the scholarship, the student must have a 3.0 GPA or above. They may be in any year of attendance to an accredited college of veterinary medicine in the United States. Criteria for the scholarship also includes academic excellence, character, & leadership. The award for the scholarship is $1,000.
Veterinary technician scholarships
AKC/Hartz Veterinary Technician Scholarship Program
The American Kennel Club and Hartz Mountain Corporation fund this scholarship, which is designed for veterinary technicians. To be eligible, you must be a current, full-time student at an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited Veterinary Technician school and be a National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) student member or a member of a NAVTA Student Chapter. Awards range from $1,000 to $2,000.
Oxbow Animal Health’s Veterinary Technology Scholarships
Funded by Oxbow Animal Health, this scholarship targets veterinary technician students who show an interest in exotic animal health. Oxbow grants two awards of $500 each.
Veterinary student photo via Shutterstock.