Entries in Loan repayment (1)


USDA accepting applications for veterinary loan repayment program

A federal notice has gone out requesting applications for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), which will provide up to $25,000 of student loan debt relief per year for a minimum of three-years service in designated shortage areas across the United States.

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which is running the program, also released maps of state- and federally-designated shortage areas on its website, along with eligibility requirements, FAQs and application forms.

Applications will be accepted until June 30, with awards being offered by September 30.

Dr. Kevin Dajka, director of the Membership and Field Services Division at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), says the VMLRP is a great opportunity for recent veterinary school graduates to pay off a substantial portion of their student debt, while providing a much-needed boost to critically underserved areas of veterinary medicine.

"Graduates coming out of veterinary school are carrying about $130,000 in educational debt," said Dr. Dajka. "The VMLRP will help ease this financial burden for a number of veterinarians, while encouraging them to practice in areas of the country and profession that are in desperate need of veterinary help, such as rural America and food supply veterinary medicine."

AVMA leaders, who have spent the better part of the last decade championing this program and its funding, are thrilled that federal debt relief will soon be made available for veterinarians working, or willing to work, in underserved areas.

"This is the culmination of years of effort by America's veterinarians and by the USDA to get this program launched," said Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the AVMA. "The AVMA is committed to continue working with NIFA to ensure the program is successfully implemented, and we will continue to advocate for annual funding for this program and to make the program tax exempt."

For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA media relations assistant, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell).