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So you’re thinking about (maybe…possibly…) going to vet school. Congrats! But now the question becomes: how I choose which vet schools to apply to? That’s where this post will come in handy!
First things first: you need to know all your options. The American Veterinary Medical Association recognizes 33 accredited veterinary colleges in the United States and 21 more around the world. You can narrow down these options by considering important factors like location, cost, and specialty.
Location, Location, Location
When narrowing down your options by location, you should think about which places offer the best fit for your lifestyle. Are you a big city person? You’d probably enjoy going to school at the University of Pennsylvania in the heart of Philadelphia, or at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. If subways and skyscrapers aren’t your thing, check out schools like Kansas State University and the Oregon State University. You should also consider factors like the local cost of living (usually higher in a city), how easy it is for you to come home when you want, and if you can participate in your favorite hobbies. Cross-country skiers might not choose the University of Florida as their top choice, for example. This map is a great resource to start organizing your top schools by location.
Would You Rather: Vet Specialty
It’s also important to think about what kind of veterinary science you’re interested in practicing. You certainly don’t have to pick one particular focus right now, but schools provide various options for specialty programs, internships, and networking opportunities. The University of Minnesota is home to the Leatherdale Equine Center, making it an ideal school for future vets who want to work with horses, while aspiring large animal vets should look for programs with an on-site or nearby farm animal hospital like the one at the University of Tennessee.
Show Me the Money
Finally, it’s important to answer that terrifying question: how much does vet school cost? Though no accredited veterinary program will be substantially less expensive than the rest, there are various levels of affordability. If you live in a state that has a veterinary school, in-state tuition can be much lower than out-of-state. There are available scholarships that can support your vet school tuition, and some schools offer work-study arrangements where students work on campus and receive reduced tuition or a stipend to support their living expenses.
No matter your wish list of school requirements, it’s most important that you attend a program that supports your academic and personal growth. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of admissions counselors and student advisors during this process! Use the statistics and data points on the school’s website to judge whether the price of their tuition is worth it.
For even more tips about how to choose a vet school, check out this blog post from Loop Abroad.