315 Veterinary Students Awarded $630,000 in Scholarships through Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program in 2020

Annual scholarship program surpasses $7 million in funds awarded over 11 years

PARSIPPANY, N.J.—April 6, 2020— Zoetis and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) today announced the awarding of $630,000 in scholarship funds to 315 second- and third-year veterinary students at 33 colleges of veterinary medicine through the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program for 2020.  Each scholarship award is valued at $2,000.  Now in its eleventh academic year, the Program has awarded $7.3 million, helping to offset education expenses for more than 3,600 veterinary students. 

“The Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program is a part of our Commitment to Veterinarians platform and is one of the ways we support students’ career paths in Veterinary Medicine. The scholarship helps to alleviate the student debt load associated with a veterinary education,” said Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Veterinary Medical Services and Outcomes Research at Zoetis. “In 2019, the overall average debt load of veterinary students was more than $170,000.1 Earning a veterinary medical degree is challenging enough without the added stress of debt. Our goal with this scholarship is to help lessen the financial worries experienced by student veterinarians.” 

Courtney Hughes, a third-year veterinary student enrolled in the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has twice won the scholarship, and the funds have enabled her to begin building a future in Emergency and Critical Care medicine.  “As a 2019 scholarship recipient I used the funds to attend the 2019 International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium in Washington D.C., where I connected with veterinary criticalists and learned more about this area of medicine in which I plan to practice.  The 2020 award will allow me to complete externships in emergency medicine before applying for small animal rotating internships the following year.  I am beyond thankful for Zoetis and the opportunities I have been able to pursue because of this scholarship.” 

The Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Award operates as part of Zoetis’ Commitment to Veterinarians™, a platform created to support leadership and diversity among future veterinarians, while also helping to offset the significant costs associated with a veterinary education. More than 1,200 applicants from universities throughout the United States and Caribbean were evaluated for academic excellence, financial need, diversity, leadership and career interest. Students applied through VetVance®, a free educational resource sponsored by Zoetis that provides students and recent graduates with online content relating to professional development, business skills, professional stewardship, financial literacy, personal wellness, and much more.  Scholarships are awarded to students in all areas of professional interest, including food animal medicine, small animal clinical medicine, research, government services, public health, and organized veterinary medicine.  Among the 2020 awarded scholars:   

• 34% are from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds

• 31% are studying mixed animal medicine 

• 12% are studying to practice food animal medicine  

• 26% are going into small animal practice  

• 4% are going into equine exclusive clinical practice  

• 14% are entering academia, public health, government, and industry

• 12% will go into other areas such as Lab Animal, Wildlife or Zoo/Exotic Animal

“Student debt is one of the top concerns for young veterinarians,” said Dr. Andrew Maccabe, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. “Debt can have a significant impact on a veterinarian’s finances and life choices throughout their career. We are proud to partner with Zoetis to award these scholarships to many exceptional veterinary students and help ease that burden.” 

About Zoetis
Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 65 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and precision livestock farming. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2019, the company generated annual revenue of $6.3 billion with approximately 10,600 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include 49 veterinary medical colleges throughout the world. www.aavmc.org

For further information contact
Garnetta Santiago, MA, LVT 

1Average debt among veterinary students was $176,920 in 2019. According to the Annual Data Report 2019-2020 [Internet]. Washington, DC: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges; 2019 January p. 1-59. Available from: http://www.aavmc.org/About-AAVMC/Public-Data.aspx



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