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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Veterinary Tuition Freeze?

It's no secret that the costs of aquiring a veterinary degree are skyrocketing.  Just look at my blog over the last year or two and you'll see many discussion on this issue.  New graduate debt is increasing annually while starting salaries are decreasing, further widening and already significant debt-to-income ratio.  It's not uncommon for newly minted vets to start a job for a salary of $65,000 while trying to pay off $200,000-300,000 in debt.
There have been many studies, articles, and debates on the subject of veterinary tuition and debt.  Everyone in the profession and many outside of it are well aware of the issues.  But the problem is that so far it's only been examination and talk.  Nobody is actually doing something to combat this issue.
At least one student is trying, though.  I came across an article today about Ashley Hall, a veterinary student at the University of Minnesotta.  She has been meeting with school administrators and state legislators to try and address the problem of burdensome tuition and debt load.  The College of Veterinary Medicine has frozen tuition for a year, but she is trying to get this extended to mirror some human medical schools.  In many human programs the student is guaranteed to be the same for all four years in the program, and they are protected against rate hikes during their studies.
While this is not an ultimate solution, it's a step in the right direction and at least an attempt to start fixing the problem.  We need to move from talk to action and actually try to start solving this issue.  It's the right thing to do for future vets and will help strengthen the profession.