Paying for vet school


Now that you have successfully met all of the requirements for acceptance into vet school, how are you going to pay for four years of vet school? What is the cost? What are some of the resources available to you? Who can help you?

 Sources of Financial Support

Sources of financial support include: Personal/family funds, federal loans, institutional loans, scholarships, grants and private loans.

Financial Strategies and Tips for Avoiding High Debt

  • Check out the financial resource page for the CVM
  • Have a reasonable and simple budget of your expenses each month.
  • Have only one credit card and use it only for emergencies. Only charge what you can pay each month.
  • Maintain a fund for emergencies (i.e. car repairs, medical bills, pet vet bills etc.).
  • Little things add up! If you don’t purchase that cup of coffee at least once a week, you will save about $5 a week for a total of $20.00 a month and in a year, that’s a savings of $240.00.
  • Do you really need that new pair of shoes right now? Practice restraint on spontaneous shopping. “Window shop” instead.
  • Do things that are fun and won’t cost you anything (e.g. go to the lake with friends or family, get together with friends for a ‘potluck’ dinner).
  • Purchase an inexpensive accordion file to keep all of your loans and maintain contact with your lenders on a regular basis.
  • Speak with your financial counselor before your debt becomes unmanageable.
  • Eat at home or bring a lunch from home.
  • Check out the UIll online Wellness under Pressure toolkit

How do I repay my loans?

Consolidation: If you have multiple loans, you may wish to consolidate all of them into one loan. Contact your lender(s) for various options on consolidation. You may also contact the Direct Loan Origination Center’s Consolidation Department at 1-800-557-7392 or visit


Deferment is a postponement of repayment under certain circumstances. Again, consult with your lender for your options. Visit the website: for details on special circumstances for deferment of your loan payments.


A period in which your repayments are temporarily reduced or postponed. There are usually specific conditions under which a forbearance is granted. You will need to check with your lender.

People I Can Talk to/Resources I May Need



  • General Information: Federal Aid Programs1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)

Final Thoughts

Live like a student while you are a student so that you don’t have to live like a student while you are a doctor. Make sound and thoughtful financial decisions during your four years of Vet school which will impact, positively, the rest of your life.


“Another thing most don’t think of.. What does tuition look like for fourth year? Remember, clinical year is very different than your first three years; it has 3 semesters and can really bump up that tuition bill. Be aware of tuition hikes for fourth year and keep this in mind when making decisions.”

UMN CVM Student, Class of 2019

“Loans add up FAST, and what adds up even faster is interest. Unfortunately the debt to income ratio in vet med is killer, remember that when taking out loans now. That’s not to say don’t take out what you need, but there is a difference between what you want and what you need (I struggle with this).”

UMN CVM Student, Class of 2019

“Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships. You can’t complain about being poor if you don’t apply for scholarships (I do this and still don’t get them, so I allow myself to complain 😉 )”

UMN CVM Student, Class of 2019

“Paying for school can be a daunting task… It’s manageable, especially when you can decide what is most important to you and where you should spend with the money you do have.”

JABSOM Student, Class of 2004

“Make sure to complete and turn in the FAFSA as soon as the new year begins– just after Jan 1st, if you want a chance at getting good financial aid.”

JABSOM Student, Class of 2006


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Well-being Handbook Copyright © 2019 by Erin Malone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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