New Tool Lets Prospective Students Estimate Cost of Veterinary Education

October 11, 2016
Sarah Handzel, BSN, RN

A new online tool is aimed at creating price transparency for students considering veterinary school.

It’s no secret that the cost of a veterinary education is substantial. Veterinarians already in practice know this, but what about someone who is thinking of becoming a veterinarian? If you know any such people, there is a new tool available that could help them estimate the cost of a veterinary education. Provided by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the web-based cost comparison tool allows prospective students to consider most options when choosing a college.

Prospective students are increasingly concerned with the rising cost of higher education, especially if they have spoken with recent veterinary school graduates. Therefore, it is critically important for these prospects to take the time to consider the variety of costs associated with becoming a veterinarian in order to make a plan for dealing with them.

The cost comparison tool allows users to view financial data from 30 colleges around the country. Information is provided on a state-by-state basis for resident and non-resident tuition costs, which can be adjusted for colleges where state residency is established after one year. Average annual increases in tuition are included, as is the amount of institutional scholarship aid awarded and the percentage of students who actually received financial assistance in the form of scholarships. Filters can be applied to narrow down college choices based off all these factors.

Prospective veterinary students can also look at the average amount of total loan debt that is accumulated by students enrolled in each veterinary program. However, the cost comparison tool does not factor in additional college financial obligations, like the cost of living for the area around each school. Therefore, prospective students must thoroughly research each college location for more detailed information about the cost of living and expected personal expenses.

“Educational debt is a complex problem, but we believe empowering people with information is a very promising strategy for improving this situation” said Andres T. Maccabe, AAVMC Chief Executive Officer, in a press release that accompanied the introduction of the cost comparison tool. “We think providing clear, easy access to data regarding the various components of financing a professional education will help applicants make comparisons, analyze opportunities and ultimately make better financial decisions.”

Data for the cost comparison tool has been drawn from many sources, including the last five years of the Comparative Data Report, surveys of AAVMC member institutions, and internal calculations.