What if I told you that for many people it costs over $200,000?
Are you scared yet? Shocked? I certainly hope so, because I was. When I left graduate school and began my journey to veterinary school I had no idea that vet school would cost that much and get me that much into debt, but it will. And I am fortunate enough not to have any debt from my undergraduate education to worry about paying off. There are students out there who have over 100k in student debt from undergrad who are now in veterinary school and will graduate with over 300k in debt.
Want to know what’s worse? As veterinarians, we will graduate with the highest debt-to-salary ratio of all professionals. The average income of a veterinarian right out of school is around 60k but that is highly dependent on where you work and in what field.
Don’t let me scare you too badly. Not all schools cost as much as Davis. However, despite being a public school with subsidized tuition, tuition and living expenses still amount to ~50k/year. Alhough there are less expensive schools out there, if you’re going to get into this profession, it’s best to go in knowing full-well what you’re getting yourself into. Many students are learning once they are already here what kind of struggle it will be to pay off their student debt once they graduate.
Of course, if you are fortunate enough to have a wealthy family or spouse who can cover the burdensome expenses of vet school, then student debt will be the last of your concerns!
Please see the DEBT & THE REAL WORLD section for more information on student debt, the job market, how to pay for vet school, and paying back loans. There’s also an interactive map provided by the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) that helps provide a cost comparison between schools across the United States and Caribbean.