How Much Does It Cost to Go to Vet School?
Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”
If you love animals, a career in veterinary medicine could be a good career option. Keep in mind that vets are highly-skilled medical professionals who complete intensive studies before becoming certified to practice, which can be demanding as well as expensive.
However, becoming a veterinarian can also be very rewarding. And the good news is that there are several ways to cover the costs of veterinary school, such as student loans and financial aid.
If you’re wondering how much vet school is and how to pay for it, here’s what you should know:
How much is vet school?
Attending college has grown steadily more expensive over the past few decades, and veterinary school is no different.
The average cost of vet school for in-state residents has risen to $200,000, while students at out-of-state schools can expect to pay an average of $275,000, according to the Veterinary Information Network Foundation.
Because of the high cost associated with this long education period, you’ll likely need to rely on a variety of funding sources to cover their expenses, such as student loans as well as any scholarships and grants that they qualify for.
Factors that contribute to vet school costs
There are several factors that can impact how much vet school costs, such as:
- Residency: Generally, you’ll pay much less in tuition and fees to attend an in-state school as a resident than you would at an out-of-state school.
- School type: Public schools typically charge much less compared to private schools. This is mainly because public schools rely on federal, state, and local funding while private schools are privately funded.
- Living expenses: Your cost of living will vary depending on where you go to school and can include expenses such as housing, meal plans, and transportation.
Top 10 least expensive vet schools
To give you an idea of the range of vet school costs, here are the 10 least expensive vet schools, according to the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC):
|School||In-state tuition||Total cost
(4 years for resident students)
|University of Georgia||$87,316||$181,227|
|North Carolina State University||$78,479||$182,627|
|Kansas State University||$91,184||$188,952|
|Iowa State University||$110,352||$192,405|
|Texas Tech University||$88,000||$197,611|
|Washington State University||$102,040||$202,673|
|Texas A&M University||$99,929||$211,018|
|Virginia-Maryland Regional College||$100,629||$212,845|
|Mississippi State University||$106,896||$210,861|
Top 10 most expensive vet schools
And here are the 10 most expensive schools, according to the AAVMC:
|School||In-state tuition||Total cost
(4 years for resident students)
|University of California-Davis||$132,100||$289,597|
|Colorado State University||$155,295||$269,863|
|Ohio State University||$149,601||$269,032|
|University of Minnesota||$140,231||$265,242|
|University of Arizona||$141,657||$258,631|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||$122,690||$253,590|
|Michigan State University||$138,666||$252,436|
|University of Tennessee||$116,716||$248,051|
|University of Florida||$115,160||$239,479|
How to pay for vet school
If you’re ready to figure out how to pay for vet school, follow these five steps:
1. Fill out the FAFSA
Your first step should be filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your school will use your FAFSA results to determine what federal student loans and other financial aid you qualify for.
Keep in mind that some aid is given on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s a good idea to submit the FAFSA as early as possible.
2. Apply for scholarships and grants
Unlike student loans, college scholarships and grants don’t have to be repaid — which makes them a great way to pay for school. There’s no limit to how many scholarships and grants you can get, so it’s a good idea to apply for as many as you can.
You might also qualify for school-based scholarships depending on your FAFSA results.
3. Get a job or participate in a work-study program
Working during school could help you cover some of your school expenses. If you have financial need, you might qualify for the federal work-study program, which provides part-time jobs for college students.
These jobs are often on campus, though in some cases, you might work for a private nonprofit or for-profit employer that has partnered with your school.
4. Take out federal student loans
If you need to borrow for school, it’s usually best to rely on federal student loans first. This is mainly because these loans come with federal benefits and protections, such as access to income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs.
There are two main types of federal student loans that vet school students might qualify for:
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These loans are available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students regardless of financial need. Keep in mind that unlike with undergraduate subsidized loans, you’re responsible for all of the interest that accrues on unsubsidized loans.
- Grad PLUS Loans: This category of Direct PLUS Loan is available to students who want to pay for grad school or a professional program. Keep in mind that Grad PLUS Loans usually come with higher interest rates than other federal loans. They also require a credit check.
5. Use private student loans to fill any gaps
After you’ve exhausted your scholarship, grant, and federal student loan options, private student loans could help fill any financial gaps left over.
While these loans don’t come with federal protections, they do offer some benefits of their own — for example, you can apply at any time, and you might be able to borrow more than you’d get with a federal loan.
If you’re struggling to get approved, consider applying with a creditworthy cosigner to improve your chances. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one could get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.
If you decide to take out a private student loan for vet school, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your needs. Credible makes this easy — you compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes.
|Lender||Fixed Rates From (APR)||Variable Rates From (APR)||Loan amounts||Loan terms (years)|
|3.21%+||1.46%+||$2,001 to $200,000||7 to 20|
|3.23%+1||N/A||$1,000 to $350,000 (depending on degree)||5, 10, 15|
||0.94%+2,3||$1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance||5, 8, 10, 15|
|3.2%+||1.03%+||$1,000 to $99,999 annually
($180,000 aggregate limit)
|7, 10, 15|
|3.0%+7||2.35%+7||$1,000 to $200,000||7, 10, 15|
|3.33%+8||1.69%+8||$1,001 up to 100% of school certified cost of attendance||5, 10, 15|
|3.75%+||N/A||$1,500 up to school’s certified cost of attendance less aid||15|
|3.5% – 12.6% APR9||1.13% – 11.23% APR9||Up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance||15|
|Compare private student loan rates without affecting
your credit score. 100% free!Compare Private Loans Now
Is it worth it to go to vet school?
As of 2021, the average salary for veterinarians is $87,303, according to Payscale. However, you’ll likely be able to earn a higher salary as you gain more experience in the field. After working for five to nine years, the average salary rises to $90,338, while vets with 20 or more years of experience can expect to earn an average of $97,971.
The less you borrow in student loans, the better the return on investment will be for your vet schooling — so be careful to borrow only what you need.
If you decide to get a private student loan, remember to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.
See Your Rates
Checking rates will not affect your credit