Anyone who frequents this blog knows that I am very upfront about the costs of veterinary school and the debt that the vast majority of veterinary students must face to pursue the career of their dreams. Debt is virtually unavoidable for veterinary students, that is, unless you happen to have money yourself or in your family or win the lottery, but for most of us, we just have to accumulate “negative money” in order to get by.
But we’re not the only ones in debt. The U.S. as a whole is in debt (and the government’s debt makes our debt look inconsequential). So what have they done to combat their own debt? They’ve increased ours.
Let me explain.
The way things have been for many years, was that if you were financially in need of loans, the government would provide you a certain amount of subsidized loans — money that you borrow and the interest on those loans is paid for by the government for the duration of your education until you graduate and begin to repay your loans. While the majority of the money that students with financial need borrow is unsubsidized, the interest saved on the money from the subsidized loans is significant. However, the consequences of our government’s desperate financial situation was new legislation that dictates that, starting July 1, 2012, students will no longer have subsidized loans.
That means increased debt for the profession that has the highest debt:salary ratio of all professions. While the AVMA and SAVMA do their best to fight this legislation and restore subsidized loans, we must face the possibility that this is the new face of veterinary education and be prepared to face increased debt as we pursue our veterinary dreams.