With veterinary school applications due in about now, I want to give some insight into one of the hardest questions I dealt with when I was applying last year. Which veterinary schools should I apply to? Here are some of the things I thought about before making my final selection.
First off, where would you like to live for four years? If you choose an area that you can’t imagine yourself being in, then that school probably isn’t for you. Coming from Vermont, a state that experiences harsh winters and mild summers, I knew I would not be able to survive in the hot summer heat. Additionally, a couple of the schools are located in or near major metropolitan areas, which would be a big adjustment. As such, I limited myself to schools in more rural areas the northern United States. Many people also consider studying abroad for veterinary school. A few people I know only applied to foreign institutions, because they wanted to experience life in a foreign country. Ultimately, you have to be in a place where you can be happy so that you can perform your best in school.
Which schools offer the program that best fits your educational needs as a future veterinarian? Certain schools offer dual degrees like the MPH (Masters in Public Health) or PhD programs in addition to the degree in veterinary medicine. Each of the schools I chose to apply to offered an MPH program, which is something I’m interested in pursuing. Some schools have certain programs or teaching styles that may fit your needs better than others.
How much does each school cost? Financing a veterinary education is not cheap, especially for out-of-state students. If you have an in-state option, then that option will most likely be much cheaper. For out-of-state students, the cost over 4 years can be well over $200,000 before factoring in interest accumulation.
My goal was to apply to schools I felt I matched up with, so that I wouldn’t be wasting my time and money on applications. To do this, I perused just about every school’s website for statistics from admitted classes from previous years. By doing this, I was able to see if my statistics matched up with a specific school. Based off the GPA ranges and the fact that many schools take limited numbers of out-of-state students, I was able to eliminate schools from my list. I felt this was one of the most important things I did and was the main reason why I was successful in the application process.
Figuring out which schools would be the best fit for you is one of the most difficult parts of applying to veterinary school. So, think everything over, and just go for it. Hopefully, next fall you’ll be attending the vet school of your dreams. Best of luck!