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Chimikins

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Hey everyone,

I'm currently hounding the internet for any programs/ scholarships that can potentially help me find a job and graduate with lesser debt after I graduate from vet school. I've only found one that I don't qualify for yet. Are there any more that you guys know of?

For anyone who studied large animal medicine I did find this one: https://nifa.usda.gov/program/veterinary-medicine-loan-repayment-program . I think the deadline has passed for this year, but it's something to look into next year. 25k a year towards your student loans as long as you work in an under-serviced area for 3 years.
 
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mmmdreamerz

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For what it's worth, the best repayment option out there right now is PSLF (Public Student Loan Forgiveness). The average veterinarian isn't going to qualify for it because you must work for governmental organizations or a not-for-profit, but if you can it'll save you a heck of a lot of money. PAYE and REPAYE loan options require that you pay tax on your forgiveness after your 20 or 25 year repayment period, where PSLF only requires 10 years worth of payments and there is no tax on said forgiveness. That can be a hundred thousand dollar difference. That being said, also a pretty good chance they could always do away with it.
 

battie

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For what it's worth, the best repayment option out there right now is PSLF (Public Student Loan Forgiveness). The average veterinarian isn't going to qualify for it because you must work for governmental organizations or a not-for-profit, but if you can it'll save you a heck of a lot of money. PAYE and REPAYE loan options require that you pay tax on your forgiveness after your 20 or 25 year repayment period, where PSLF only requires 10 years worth of payments and there is no tax on said forgiveness. That can be a hundred thousand dollar difference. That being said, also a pretty good chance they could always do away with it.

I had heard from a fellow first year here at U of I that this year was the first year that veterinarians were supposed to receive forgiveness and people had it fall through and are now stuck without forgiveness. Not sure on the primary source of this information, but it definitely makes me feel that it's not something to rely upon.
 
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JaynaAli

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My best friend was hoping to do VMLRP. She interviewed at a clinic in one of the designated underserved areas a couple counties over from her parents' home and it was made clear to her that potential the boss had gotten their area named as an area of need so that they could use the program. She definitely got the vibe that if she applied for it they wouldn't be happy at all. In the end, she didn't take the position and heard through the grapevine that the area wasn't funded that year anyway. It sounds good on paper, but I haven't personally heard from someone that actually was able to secure the funding though I'm sure those people are out there. I've been told they also focus heavily on people with ties to the area...these areas may be underserved, but they want you to stay long-term...not just get a free $75,000 and then move on.

Lots of people bring up the health professions/military scholarships, so I just want to put out there that those programs are often extremely competitive and while they are something to consider if you think that lifestyle may be right for you, it's not as simple as just applying.

I think October this year is the first time forgiveness under PSLF will occur (it was passed in October 2007 and you have to make 10 years of 'qualified payments', so no one should have reached forgiveness quite yet). We're close, and we'll see how it plays out. There is always talk of a cap on the amount forgiven or doing away with the program, so it will be interesting to see how the program changes once people begin to hit forgiveness and the government is faced with all those loans.

VIN has some good simulators and has a consultant that will go over loan options with students/vets. Many vets use PAYE/REPAYE/IBR and must plan for forgiveness 20-25 years down the line. It makes the debt more 'doable.' Will things be the same in 20 years? Will the programs even exist? It's impossible to predict for sure, but we go with what we do have. Minimize what you take out for loans, go to the cheapest option at an accredited school, get a job working a few hours a week if you can manage it (you won't get rich but hey it's a couple thousand a year), etc.
 
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mmmdreamerz

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My best friend was hoping to do VMLRP. She interviewed at a clinic in one of the designated underserved areas a couple counties over from her parents' home and it was made clear to her that potential the boss had gotten their area named as an area of need so that they could use the program. She definitely got the vibe that if she applied for it they wouldn't be happy at all. In the end, she didn't take the position and heard through the grapevine that the area wasn't funded that year anyway. It sounds good on paper, but I haven't personally heard from someone that actually was able to secure the funding though I'm sure those people are out there. I've been told they also focus heavily on people with ties to the area...these areas may be underserved, but they want you to stay long-term...not just get a free $75,000 and then move on.

Lots of people bring up the health professions/military scholarships, so I just want to put out there that those programs are often extremely competitive and while they are something to consider if you think that lifestyle may be right for you, it's not as simple as just applying.

I think October this year is the first time forgiveness under PSLF will occur (it was passed in October 2007 and you have to make 10 years of 'qualified payments', so no one should have reached forgiveness quite yet). We're close, and we'll see how it plays out. There is always talk of a cap on the amount forgiven or doing away with the program, so it will be interesting to see how the program changes once people begin to hit forgiveness and the government is faced with all those loans.

VIN has some good simulators and has a consultant that will go over loan options with students/vets. Many vets use PAYE/REPAYE/IBR and must plan for forgiveness 20-25 years down the line. It makes the debt more 'doable.' Will things be the same in 20 years? Will the programs even exist? It's impossible to predict for sure, but we go with what we do have. Minimize what you take out for loans, go to the cheapest option at an accredited school, get a job working a few hours a week if you can manage it (you won't get rich but hey it's a couple thousand a year), etc.

Yeah the VIN simulators are really nice. I've played with them a lot...definitely interested to see what happens with PSLF (and honestly all the loan programs given the new administration).
 

cheathac

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One thing I've been looking into is repayment through the NIH. Veterinarians do count, but I'm not sure what all is needed to apply. I'm interested in research with doing lab animal/pathology. Does anyone on here know anything about it? I might call/email someone and try to figure out what it's about.
 
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JaynaAli

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Yeah the VIN simulators are really nice. I've played with them a lot...definitely interested to see what happens with PSLF (and honestly all the loan programs given the new administration).
From what I've seen on VIN, IBR was passed by congress back when (2009ish I think) but PAYE/REPAYE were executive orders. I think that means that even if PAYE/REPAYE were taken away, IBR is a little more difficult to remove? It isn't as 'good' for the borrower typically, but at least we may still have that. I do think PSLF will change where there are more rules, but the question will be how much does it change and whether they only change it for new borrowers or if they will figure out how to make the changes affect everyone somehow. These loan repayment options are included in your master promissory note contract that you signed when you took out the loans, so they should continue to be available to you as described...but who knows for sure. I really, really wish we talked about this more during (and even before) vet school. I've spent a lot of time becoming more literate in it because I want to do what's best for me. I'm lucky that I have only a small amount of debt remaining (compared to average) but I have friends with loan balances >300,000 that have no idea what they are doing or how to best plan for their future and making it all work.
 
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mmmdreamerz

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From what I've seen on VIN, IBR was passed by congress back when (2009ish I think) but PAYE/REPAYE were executive orders. I think that means that even if PAYE/REPAYE were taken away, IBR is a little more difficult to remove? It isn't as 'good' for the borrower typically, but at least we may still have that. I do think PSLF will change where there are more rules, but the question will be how much does it change and whether they only change it for new borrowers or if they will figure out how to make the changes affect everyone somehow. These loan repayment options are included in your master promissory note contract that you signed when you took out the loans, so they should continue to be available to you as described...but who knows for sure. I really, really wish we talked about this more during (and even before) vet school. I've spent a lot of time becoming more literate in it because I want to do what's best for me. I'm lucky that I have only a small amount of debt remaining (compared to average) but I have friends with loan balances >300,000 that have no idea what they are doing or how to best plan for their future and making it all work.

Yeah, I'm a little obsessed with the numbers. I just can't imagine putting myself into debt without even a grasp of what I'm doing. I'm lucky to really not have much of anything from undergrad due to scholarships, but that will obviously change with vet school. I'm hoping at the very least that they don't mess with PAYE/REPAYE but I will be super surprised if PSLF stays intact how it is now. That is good to know about IBR at the very least...it seems like the new administration isn't as concerned about higher ed as primary education, so hopefully they don't screw with the good repayment options.
 

JaynaAli

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Yeah, I'm a little obsessed with the numbers. I just can't imagine putting myself into debt without even a grasp of what I'm doing. I'm lucky to really not have much of anything from undergrad due to scholarships, but that will obviously change with vet school. I'm hoping at the very least that they don't mess with PAYE/REPAYE but I will be super surprised if PSLF stays intact how it is now. That is good to know about IBR at the very least...it seems like the new administration isn't as concerned about higher ed as primary education, so hopefully they don't screw with the good repayment options.

I think a plan he discussed at one point was to cap monthly payments at 12.5%? So that's between IBR and (RE)/PAYE even if things did change. But who knows what they'll do. We just need to constantly reevaluate and decide what is best at that time point.

Undergrad on scholarships is one of my #1 pieces of advice when high schoolers or parents of even younger kids ask me about being a vet/going to vet school. I actually made a little bit of money going to undergrad because I had a few thousand more in scholarships than my cost of attendance, plus a few (including a tuition waver) were 4 year payouts. My mom and I worked our butts off during high school to get as many as we could. I did a program where requirements for your 'senior' year of an animal science degree were met by 1st year vet school classes (so I graduated from undergrad in May after my first year of vet school), so it created a situation where the state paid the UG percentage of vet school tuition for a year. I had to make a call to the reagents, explain the situation, and get a special letter to approve it, but it wasn't much work. The animal science department tried to have me graduate in December of 1st year vet school because I only needed 6 more credits but I told them I didn't want to graduate until May because I was supposed to get about $1500 from the animal science department that spring and I wanted/needed that money and my advisor said that was fine. I say all that to point out that if you haven't used all of your available scholarship money to call the places and see if they'll work out a way to continue to award that money. It certainly can't hurt to ask.
 
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mmmdreamerz

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I think a plan he discussed at one point was to cap monthly payments at 12.5%? So that's between IBR and (RE)/PAYE even if things did change. But who knows what they'll do. We just need to constantly reevaluate and decide what is best at that time point.

Undergrad on scholarships is one of my #1 pieces of advice when high schoolers or parents of even younger kids ask me about being a vet/going to vet school. I actually made a little bit of money going to undergrad because I had a few thousand more in scholarships than my cost of attendance, plus a few (including a tuition waver) were 4 year payouts. My mom and I worked our butts off during high school to get as many as we could. I did a program where requirements for your 'senior' year of an animal science degree were met by 1st year vet school classes (so I graduated from undergrad in May after my first year of vet school), so it created a situation where the state paid the UG percentage of vet school tuition for a year. I had to make a call to the reagents, explain the situation, and get a special letter to approve it, but it wasn't much work. The animal science department tried to have me graduate in December of 1st year vet school because I only needed 6 more credits but I told them I didn't want to graduate until May because I was supposed to get about $1500 from the animal science department that spring and I wanted/needed that money and my advisor said that was fine. I say all that to point out that if you haven't used all of your available scholarship money to call the places and see if they'll work out a way to continue to award that money. It certainly can't hurt to ask.

Completely agree. I'm really trying to keep up and pay attention to any potential changes in the loan situation.

I had a lot of friends who went OOS for undergrad, which I always thought was insane because I live in a state with an awesome scholarship program for students who meet GPA/SAT requirements. I took advantage of that, got several nice scholarships for my university, and I honestly go to a school that is probably significantly cheaper than a lot of other public universities. I also took full advantage of my high school's AP program and this ultimately allowed me to finish with a degree in three years. With all that said, I totally agree that there are definitely ways to minimize debt in undergrad if you play it smart.
 

battie

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Completely agree. I'm really trying to keep up and pay attention to any potential changes in the loan situation.

I had a lot of friends who went OOS for undergrad, which I always thought was insane because I live in a state with an awesome scholarship program for students who meet GPA/SAT requirements. I took advantage of that, got several nice scholarships for my university, and I honestly go to a school that is probably significantly cheaper than a lot of other public universities. I also took full advantage of my high school's AP program and this ultimately allowed me to finish with a degree in three years. With all that said, I totally agree that there are definitely ways to minimize debt in undergrad if you play it smart.

I loved my undergrad for its cheapness. A few people in my class turn their nose at it because it was a small, open-enrollment state college in a rural area. But I graduated with no debt, and it's pretty cheap with no scholarships (10k/year living on campus w/ 15 credit hours a semester). It was OOS for me, but it was obviously much cheaper than either state university I applied to (CSU and U of Wyoming).
 
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deleted676737

Completely agreed re: undergrad debt

Unfortunately, even attemding one of the cheapest undergrad schools in my state, I still ended up over $45k in the hole. Up until my third year, vet school wasn't even on my radar as a possibility so I wasn't aware of the financial state of the profession and how important minimization of the debt was until it was far too late. I did terribly in high school and recieved very little in scholarships, and my family was in no position to help me out financially. Without those loans from undergrad, my total debtload would be in the range of $150k; with them, it's approaching $200k even paying IS tuition at one of the cheapest vet schools for IS.

What's even worse is that my undergrad debtload had the potential to be double what it was if it weren't for need-based awards like the Pell grant.

Hindsight is 20/20. Unless you're independently wealthy or have familial support, it's hard to do much to lessen the debtload of vet school outside of going to the most affordable school you're accepted to, especially if you're single. In general, it is easier to minimize the debt you incur in undergrad, and it will help if you can.

ETA: And, yeah, I'm also super concerned about the future of IBR/PAYE and other loan repayment plans, as well as forgiveness programs, under the new administration. Really. Freaking. Concerned.
 
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Coopah

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Completely agreed re: undergrad debt

Unfortunately, even attemding one of the cheapest undergrad schools in my state, I still ended up with over $45k total debt. Up until my third year, vet school wasn't even on my radar as a possibility so I wasn't aware of the financial state of the profession and how important minimization of the debt was until it was far too late. I did terribly in high school and recieved very little in scholarships, and my family was in no position to help me out financially. Without those loans from undergrad, my total debtload would be in the range of $150k; with them, it's approaching $200k even paying IS tuition at one of the cheapest vet schools for IS.

What's even worse is that my undergrad debtload had the potential to be double what it was if it weren't for need-based awards like the Pell grant.

Hindsight is 20/20. Unless you're independently wealthy or have familial support, it's hard to do much to lessen the debtload of vet school outside of going to the most affordable school you're accepted to, especially if you're single. In general, it is easier to minimize the debt you incur in undergrad, and it will help if you can.

ETA: And, yeah, I'm also super concerned about the future of IBR/PAYE and other loan repayment plans, as well as forgiveness programs, under the new administration. Really. Freaking. Concerned.

I second this, my undergrad was private and exclusive. I went for something entirely different that vet med/bio and figured it was the only debt I would have to pay off. Ugh, it's probably my biggest regret as I graduated with 100k+ in debt. Luckily I married the financial equivalent of a hermit :laugh::love:. We've worked our undergrad debt down to something manageable, but it's still more monthly than my overpriced rent :bang:. I wish I went to state school, but the past is in the past. I just wish someone else will realize before it's too late that the money isn't worth it if you are looking toward grad or professional school. Now I'm looking at another 150k+ for vet school, and while I'm extremely fortunate I got into a school that grant IS tuition after the first year, I'm still freaking out. Honestly I just can't trust the federal loan payoff options because I have no idea what's going to happen in 20+ years and there's not a contract or any paperwork saying you've entered into this program and if you satisfy all the requirements you're loans are forgiven. I'm aiming for the 10 year payoff amount, even though it's a HUGE amount of a monthly payment. With my spouse's income, it's doable. I'm not sure if I land an internship or residency how doable it will be, but I'm hoping my income after taxes can pay the vet loans, and my husband can pay living/undergrad loans.

To be completely honest these numbers feel like a giant axe hanging over me.
 
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Chimikins

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Whoa, thank you all for taking the time to respond. This has been super informative. Would you guys mind giving me your feedback on something?

I've recently applied for a scholarship through the USDA that pays ~15k a year on tuition. It's a small pilot program. I received an email today saying that further materials will be needed because I have moved on to the next round.

It's a scholarship program that basically works as a feeder program. If I'm accepted and complete the program, I'm guaranteed 15k a year off tuition, paid internships during summers/ breaks, and a salaried job upon graduation with alllllll the benefits. The catch? My first 16 weeks after my 1st year of vet school are going to be working in slaughterhouses in whichever city they ship me off to. And for every year that I choose to benefit from the program, I have to dedicate 1 year working for the government after I graduate from vet school. I don't have to stay in the slaughterhouses. I can go into policy, ethics, epidemiology, research, and more. Those first 16 weeks suck. And I've never been to a slaughterhouse before, but I've seen videos of them online, have participated in necropsies (rhinos, cows, macropods, dogs, and cats), and I've seen animals die before. I just don't know how I'll react to mass slaughter every day for 16 weeks, hahahahaha. ******opinions/ stories on what it's like in a slaughterhouse are much appreciated*****

Public Health interests me, a lot. I LOVED microbiology, parasitology, and every lecture in college about epidemiology (totally aced those classes). And of course I love veterinary medicine. But I'm not sure that this is something that I 100% want to do. I love wildlife medicine, but the job outlook in that field is unbelievably grim and that work is in low demand. In a perfect universe, I would be traveling all over the world saving all the animals. But I don't live in a perfect world. It'll be a struggle to land a full time permanent job in a top 10 zoo.

Real world doesn't work perfectly. Real world has loans. Real world means I need to be financially independent and on my own to battle these thousands of loans by myself.

If you guys were in my situation, would you commit to the program if you were accepted?
 

Coopah

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Whoa, thank you all for taking the time to respond. This has been super informative. Would you guys mind giving me your feedback on something?

I've recently applied for a scholarship through the USDA that pays ~15k a year on tuition. It's a small pilot program. I received an email today saying that further materials will be needed because I have moved on to the next round.

It's a scholarship program that basically works as a feeder program. If I'm accepted and complete the program, I'm guaranteed 15k a year off tuition, paid internships during summers/ breaks, and a salaried job upon graduation with alllllll the benefits. The catch? My first 16 weeks after my 1st year of vet school are going to be working in slaughterhouses in whichever city they ship me off to. And for every year that I choose to benefit from the program, I have to dedicate 1 year working for the government after I graduate from vet school. I don't have to stay in the slaughterhouses. I can go into policy, ethics, epidemiology, research, and more. Those first 16 weeks suck. And I've never been to a slaughterhouse before, but I've seen videos of them online, have participated in necropsies (rhinos, cows, macropods, dogs, and cats), and I've seen animals die before. I just don't know how I'll react to mass slaughter every day for 16 weeks, hahahahaha. ******opinions/ stories on what it's like in a slaughterhouse are much appreciated*****

Public Health interests me, a lot. I LOVED microbiology, parasitology, and every lecture in college about epidemiology (totally aced those classes). And of course I love veterinary medicine. But I'm not sure that this is something that I 100% want to do. I love wildlife medicine, but the job outlook in that field is unbelievably grim and that work is in low demand. In a perfect universe, I would be traveling all over the world saving all the animals. But I don't live in a perfect world. It'll be a struggle to land a full time permanent job in a top 10 zoo.

Real world doesn't work perfectly. Real world has loans. Real world means I need to be financially independent and on my own to battle these thousands of loans by myself.

If you guys were in my situation, would you commit to the program if you were accepted?

I know nothing about slaughter houses but I imagine that job is mostly inspecting for food safety, it wouldn't be slaughter 100% of the time. I would definitely look into it some more, it sounds like a great opportunity!
 
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Awapi

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@Chimikins I'm in public health (5+ years as an epidemiologist) and love it. That said, I work closely with our stateDA and USDA partners and what their veterinary medical officers do for public health is very different from what many people expect, it would be interesting to get very specific information on what your job options would be post-DVM and seeing if you could talk to anyone who has done the program.

Also, Dept of Ag varies GREATLY by state. Our state has an awesome Dept of Ag and vet officers work closely with us on zoonotic investigations when animals are directly involved, but I know neighboring states whose Dept of Ag pretty much exclusively does plant/produce stuff and will decline assisting Dept of Public Health with investigations, even when their Ag staff is interested in helping out. I would imagine that working for Ag in those states would be very different from working for Ag in my state (both states have Veterinary Medical Officers).

Do you know if you have a say in where you are assigned after graduation? I think that would greatly sway my decision in your place.
 
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mmmdreamerz

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Whoa, thank you all for taking the time to respond. This has been super informative. Would you guys mind giving me your feedback on something?

I've recently applied for a scholarship through the USDA that pays ~15k a year on tuition. It's a small pilot program. I received an email today saying that further materials will be needed because I have moved on to the next round.

It's a scholarship program that basically works as a feeder program. If I'm accepted and complete the program, I'm guaranteed 15k a year off tuition, paid internships during summers/ breaks, and a salaried job upon graduation with alllllll the benefits. The catch? My first 16 weeks after my 1st year of vet school are going to be working in slaughterhouses in whichever city they ship me off to. And for every year that I choose to benefit from the program, I have to dedicate 1 year working for the government after I graduate from vet school. I don't have to stay in the slaughterhouses. I can go into policy, ethics, epidemiology, research, and more. Those first 16 weeks suck. And I've never been to a slaughterhouse before, but I've seen videos of them online, have participated in necropsies (rhinos, cows, macropods, dogs, and cats), and I've seen animals die before. I just don't know how I'll react to mass slaughter every day for 16 weeks, hahahahaha. ******opinions/ stories on what it's like in a slaughterhouse are much appreciated*****

Public Health interests me, a lot. I LOVED microbiology, parasitology, and every lecture in college about epidemiology (totally aced those classes). And of course I love veterinary medicine. But I'm not sure that this is something that I 100% want to do. I love wildlife medicine, but the job outlook in that field is unbelievably grim and that work is in low demand. In a perfect universe, I would be traveling all over the world saving all the animals. But I don't live in a perfect world. It'll be a struggle to land a full time permanent job in a top 10 zoo.

Real world doesn't work perfectly. Real world has loans. Real world means I need to be financially independent and on my own to battle these thousands of loans by myself.

If you guys were in my situation, would you commit to the program if you were accepted?

Slaughterhouses are a not quite what PETA would want imagine, honestly.

That being said, I honestly have very little interest in Public Health, so I would probably not be very happy with that trade-off. If that kind of stuff interests you, it's sounds like an awesome deal.
 
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deleted498041

Whoa, thank you all for taking the time to respond. This has been super informative. Would you guys mind giving me your feedback on something?

I've recently applied for a scholarship through the USDA that pays ~15k a year on tuition. It's a small pilot program. I received an email today saying that further materials will be needed because I have moved on to the next round.

It's a scholarship program that basically works as a feeder program. If I'm accepted and complete the program, I'm guaranteed 15k a year off tuition, paid internships during summers/ breaks, and a salaried job upon graduation with alllllll the benefits. The catch? My first 16 weeks after my 1st year of vet school are going to be working in slaughterhouses in whichever city they ship me off to. And for every year that I choose to benefit from the program, I have to dedicate 1 year working for the government after I graduate from vet school. I don't have to stay in the slaughterhouses. I can go into policy, ethics, epidemiology, research, and more. Those first 16 weeks suck. And I've never been to a slaughterhouse before, but I've seen videos of them online, have participated in necropsies (rhinos, cows, macropods, dogs, and cats), and I've seen animals die before. I just don't know how I'll react to mass slaughter every day for 16 weeks, hahahahaha. ******opinions/ stories on what it's like in a slaughterhouse are much appreciated*****

Public Health interests me, a lot. I LOVED microbiology, parasitology, and every lecture in college about epidemiology (totally aced those classes). And of course I love veterinary medicine. But I'm not sure that this is something that I 100% want to do. I love wildlife medicine, but the job outlook in that field is unbelievably grim and that work is in low demand. In a perfect universe, I would be traveling all over the world saving all the animals. But I don't live in a perfect world. It'll be a struggle to land a full time permanent job in a top 10 zoo.

Real world doesn't work perfectly. Real world has loans. Real world means I need to be financially independent and on my own to battle these thousands of loans by myself.

If you guys were in my situation, would you commit to the program if you were accepted?
Our school makes us tour two slaughterhouses in third year: an independent one run by a family and a giant multinational corporate one. While I did make the decision not to consume pork after seeing them, that was not because of how the animals were treated or anything about that slaughterhouse in particular. If they're having you work at a slaughterhouse post vet school graduation, you're likely going to be one of the USDA vets on site responsible for condemning carcasses. While you'll see a lot of carcasses, I doubt you'd actually be on the kill floor all that often.

Asking what you'd be responsible for at the slaughterhouse is definitely a question you should ask.
 
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14gsp93

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Whoa, thank you all for taking the time to respond. This has been super informative. Would you guys mind giving me your feedback on something?

I've recently applied for a scholarship through the USDA that pays ~15k a year on tuition. It's a small pilot program. I received an email today saying that further materials will be needed because I have moved on to the next round.

It's a scholarship program that basically works as a feeder program. If I'm accepted and complete the program, I'm guaranteed 15k a year off tuition, paid internships during summers/ breaks, and a salaried job upon graduation with alllllll the benefits. The catch? My first 16 weeks after my 1st year of vet school are going to be working in slaughterhouses in whichever city they ship me off to. And for every year that I choose to benefit from the program, I have to dedicate 1 year working for the government after I graduate from vet school. I don't have to stay in the slaughterhouses. I can go into policy, ethics, epidemiology, research, and more. Those first 16 weeks suck. And I've never been to a slaughterhouse before, but I've seen videos of them online, have participated in necropsies (rhinos, cows, macropods, dogs, and cats), and I've seen animals die before. I just don't know how I'll react to mass slaughter every day for 16 weeks, hahahahaha. ******opinions/ stories on what it's like in a slaughterhouse are much appreciated*****

Public Health interests me, a lot. I LOVED microbiology, parasitology, and every lecture in college about epidemiology (totally aced those classes). And of course I love veterinary medicine. But I'm not sure that this is something that I 100% want to do. I love wildlife medicine, but the job outlook in that field is unbelievably grim and that work is in low demand. In a perfect universe, I would be traveling all over the world saving all the animals. But I don't live in a perfect world. It'll be a struggle to land a full time permanent job in a top 10 zoo.

Real world doesn't work perfectly. Real world has loans. Real world means I need to be financially independent and on my own to battle these thousands of loans by myself.

If you guys were in my situation, would you commit to the program if you were accepted?

What is this scholarship called exactly? I've heard about it before and was curious and wanted to look more into it, just having a hard time finding it.
 

epivetlove

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Not directed at me, but it sounds kinda like Saul T. Wilson. If it's not, that's another repayment option to look into.
 
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Chimikins

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What is this scholarship called exactly? I've heard about it before and was curious and wanted to look more into it, just having a hard time finding it.

Saul T Wilson and Adel A Malak internships. When I spoke to the USDA rep about it, they said that there's a super narrow margin to apply each year. Given the current political climate, they aren't sure whether or not the program will continue in the future and they're especially unsure of how current funds are going to be allocated within the pilot program. I was urged to apply quickly.

Whoa. Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond! This information has been super beyond informative! :wideyed:
 

Chimikins

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I've decided to go forward and apply. I'm also contacting more people to ask very specific questions about the program. I've realized that there just isn't enough information for me to develop a concrete understanding of the program and it's expectations/ plans for me.
 
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ahallowell

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Saul T Wilson and Adel A Malak internships. When I spoke to the USDA rep about it, they said that there's a super narrow margin to apply each year. Given the current political climate, they aren't sure whether or not the program will continue in the future and they're especially unsure of how current funds are going to be allocated within the pilot program. I was urged to apply quickly.

Whoa. Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond! This information has been super beyond informative! :wideyed:

I will be so disappointed if these programs go away. I hope that this is not the case. I currently work in food safety and am finishing my masters in food safety. I'll be applying to veterinary school this upcoming cycle and these programs are exactly what I'm looking to do. Could you keep me posted on how the application process goes? Best of luck!


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UnevenHoodieStrings

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I'm currently looking into applying for the Saul T. Wilson internship as well! Last I knew from the USDA rep, they were looking to release the application in mid-April but, like it was mentioned before, the situation's a little uncertain due to budget cuts and whatnot. I'm pretty sure the Adel A. Malak internship has already been released though (I think I saw it on usajobs.gov while doing my regular checks for the Saul T. Wilson internship).
I'm wondering, does anyone have experience with this application, or know someone who does, and know approximately how long it takes for them to choose interns? I'm curious particularly because my university requires that I do an internship for my major but the internship form is due April 25th. I know I most likely wouldn't know by then (if it even gets released), but it'd be good to have an estimate so I have something to tell my adviser.
 

pinkpuppy9

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For what it's worth, the best repayment option out there right now is PSLF (Public Student Loan Forgiveness). The average veterinarian isn't going to qualify for it because you must work for governmental organizations or a not-for-profit, but if you can it'll save you a heck of a lot of money. PAYE and REPAYE loan options require that you pay tax on your forgiveness after your 20 or 25 year repayment period, where PSLF only requires 10 years worth of payments and there is no tax on said forgiveness. That can be a hundred thousand dollar difference. That being said, also a pretty good chance they could always do away with it.
Bumping this thread because apparently there are talks of a class action suit against a couple of loan servicers regarding PSLF. Student loan nightmare: 'I have to start all over'
 

Mattcj

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Hi all! If you are interested in the Armed Forces or are a military dependent like myself, the US Army has a Veterinary Branch that, if enrolled, they will pay a good portion of your schooling, housing, and food every year. The main catch though is you have to do training at a base on your off months between school years, then you must complete a 1 year training program after graduation, and then become active duty for 3 years afterwards. But hey, 4 years in the Army as a Second Lieutenant (or Captain) to pay a heavy portion of debt (up to $120,000) is a good trade in my book. P.S. they also help you pay for specialty training programs too!

veterinarycorps.amedd.army.mil
 
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Awapi

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@pinkpuppy9 That article is really interesting to me for a lot of reasons, thanks for sharing!!

I usually try not to ramble about PSLF, but I'm avoiding working on an abstract so....

I graduated with an MPH in 2013 (same year as the person in the story) and a lot of my peers were considering or banking on PSLF. Probably >80% of my friends/classmates work in qualifying positions, so it made sense. I looked into the program heavily and ultimately decided against taking the chance on it - in my experience, it is poorly organized and difficult to get answers on qualification (as the article says), *however* I will say that knowing that the loans needed to all be direct, government funded and if you had private loans, they needed to be consolidated as such was probably one of the very few things about the program that was straight forward and well advertised on the PSLF website, at least at the time. I'll be really interested to see how these lawsuits turn out.

I am an eternal skeptic and trust no one and nothing (halfway joking...but kind of) so take this with a grain of salt, but I have strong feelings about PSLF and think it is too big of a gamble unless you just owe so much money that you have no other choice. I spent a lot of time doing the math to find break points where it would be worth it financially for the payoff while also not putting you in financial ruin if PSLF fell through. At the risk of oversimplifying, it's basically a catch-22, if you owe a small enough amount that an approved payment plan like IBR covers your payment + most interest and keeps you in an ok position to not be tanked if PSLF doesn't pan out, then you actually might save money if you are able to up your payments a little and get it done in <10 years and would, at the most, save very little with PSLF. If you owe enough for PSLF to be a great benefit, then it's likely your IBR (or PAYE or other qualifying payment) doesn't cover your entire "regular" payment or interest, so by the time the 10 years is up, you will be drowning in interest debt and taking a huge risk on a program that currently has little to no track record. The whole premise of the program is (again, oversimplified) a cyclical gamble, to make it worthwhile you should make the smallest payments possible within an approved plan - so you are gaining interest that will snowball and if PSLF doesn't work out then you will end up paying thousands more than you needed to, but if PSLF does work out then making larger payments along the 10 years is wasting money. You need a crystal ball! However, if you owe so much that larger payments are not feasible and you would be making the smallest payments possible regardless of PSLF or not, then you might as well go for it (basically, I just don't think anyone should change their plan based on PSLF).

Aside from the inconsistency of the program, 10 years is also a long time to be in a qualifying position. There are also a lot of public service positions that don't qualify which is something that is not well advertised. For example, most fellowships do not qualify because you have to be "employed" to qualify and fellowships are often not classified as technical employment - and in public service, fellowships are a very common mechanism for hiring and employee retention when grant-funded positions are cut. So even if you are in a fulltime qualifying position, it's possible that the funding stream to your position could change due to budget cuts and your position could become non-qualified for a time even without changing jobs (I worked in public service for 5 years and 2 of those would not have qualified though I was doing virtually the same work and worked for the same government organization the whole time). The 10 years don't have to be concurrent, but for every year you aren't in a qualifying position, you are prolonging your agony and accruing interest and risking that congress will do something to end the program. So if you want to get it done in a reasonable time period, it precludes you from most fellowships, taking a better paying private sector job, going back to school, getting unlucky with grant funding streams, marrying someone who raises your income out of an approved payment plan, breathing (j/k), etc.

TL;DR PSLF sounds awesome on paper, but appears to be an absolute crapshoot IRL.

PSLF:
upload_2018-1-2_23-13-25.png
 
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Jess Monster

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Bumping this thread because apparently there are talks of a class action suit against a couple of loan servicers regarding PSLF. Student loan nightmare: 'I have to start all over'

I find it kind of amusing that they’re just now figuring this out after ten years of payments. The information about this program isn’t always easily accessible and is sometimes written in a form of legalese that will bore the tears out of you, but it’s far too important to leave your understanding up to assumptions or to customer service reps.... especially over the course of ten years.
 
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pinkpuppy9

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@pinkpuppy9 That article is really interesting to me for a lot of reasons, thanks for sharing!!

I usually try not to ramble about PSLF, but I'm avoiding working on an abstract so....

I graduated with an MPH in 2013 (same year as the person in the story) and a lot of my peers were considering or banking on PSLF. Probably >80% of my friends/classmates work in qualifying positions, so it made sense. I looked into the program heavily and ultimately decided against taking the chance on it - in my experience, it is poorly organized and difficult to get answers on qualification (as the article says), *however* I will say that knowing that the loans needed to all be direct, government funded and if you had private loans, they needed to be consolidated as such was probably one of the very few things about the program that was straight forward and well advertised on the PSLF website, at least at the time. I'll be really interested to see how these lawsuits turn out.

I am an eternal skeptic and trust no one and nothing (halfway joking...but kind of) so take this with a grain of salt, but I have strong feelings about PSLF and think it is too big of a gamble unless you just owe so much money that you have no other choice. I spent a lot of time doing the math to find break points where it would be worth it financially for the payoff while also not putting you in financial ruin if PSLF fell through. At the risk of oversimplifying, it's basically a catch-22, if you owe a small enough amount that an approved payment plan like IBR covers your payment + most interest and keeps you in an ok position to not be tanked if PSLF doesn't pan out, then you actually might save money if you are able to up your payments a little and get it done in <10 years and would, at the most, save very little with PSLF. If you owe enough for PSLF to be a great benefit, then it's likely your IBR (or PAYE or other qualifying payment) doesn't cover your entire "regular" payment or interest, so by the time the 10 years is up, you will be drowning in interest debt and taking a huge risk on a program that currently has little to no track record. The whole premise of the program is (again, oversimplified) a cyclical gamble, to make it worthwhile you should make the smallest payments possible within an approved plan - so you are gaining interest that will snowball and if PSLF doesn't work out then you will end up paying thousands more than you needed to, but if PSLF does work out then making larger payments along the 10 years is wasting money. You need a crystal ball! However, if you owe so much that larger payments are not feasible and you would be making the smallest payments possible regardless of PSLF or not, then you might as well go for it (basically, I just don't think anyone should change their plan based on PSLF).

Aside from the inconsistency of the program, 10 years is also a long time to be in a qualifying position. There are also a lot of public service positions that don't qualify which is something that is not well advertised. For example, most fellowships do not qualify because you have to be "employed" to qualify and fellowships are often not classified as technical employment - and in public service, fellowships are a very common mechanism for hiring and employee retention when grant-funded positions are cut. So even if you are in a fulltime qualifying position, it's possible that the funding stream to your position could change due to budget cuts and your position could become non-qualified for a time even without changing jobs (I worked in public service for 5 years and 2 of those would not have qualified though I was doing virtually the same work and worked for the same government organization the whole time). The 10 years don't have to be concurrent, but for every year you aren't in a qualifying position, you are prolonging your agony and accruing interest and risking that congress will do something to end the program. So if you want to get it done in a reasonable time period, it precludes you from most fellowships, taking a better paying private sector job, going back to school, getting unlucky with grant funding streams, marrying someone who raises your income out of an approved payment plan, breathing (j/k), etc.

TL;DR PSLF sounds awesome on paper, but appears to be an absolute crapshoot IRL.

PSLF:
View attachment 227398
I find it kind of amusing that they’re just now figuring this out after ten years of payments. The information about this program isn’t always easily accessible and is sometimes written in a form of legalese that will bore the tears out of you, but it’s far too important to leave your understanding up to assumptions or to customer service reps.... especially over the course of ten years.
Ish is definitely confusing. I do think this person may have a case, though. From what I'm assuming, she never filled out the employment verification form. If she did, someone would have told her she didn't have qualifying loans (assuming that part didn't get screwed up by the servicer??). Servicer should have directed her to said form when she repeatedly called to check that she qualified. I also couldn't find any single thing saying a borrower should fill out that form before full-on applying for PSLF at the 120th payment. It makes perfect sense to do it yearly or something, but no where did I find a requirement or suggestion of how often/when to submit that form. Many people are claiming they were never told about this form either, which is odd. Why wouldn't a servicer inform you of a basic PSLF requirement when you're calling to verify your eligibility?

The only thing is that it clearly states only direct loans qualify, and she apparently didn't have those. Yeah, the servicer should have been able to tell her that, but it took me all of 0.5 seconds to find this fact for myself. :shrug:

I have to wonder if this will further fuel congress to abolish these potentially beneficial forgiveness programs.
 
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