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How Much Does Vet School Cost? What You’ll Pay In Tuition

September 29, 2021
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Part 1. IntroductionPart 2. Tuition Costs for Top 10 Vet SchoolsPart 3. Cheapest Vet SchoolsPart 4. Cost of Vet School ApplicationPart 5. How to Pay for Vet SchoolPart 6. Vet School ScholarshipsPart 7. Vet School Cost vs. Medical School CostPart 8. FAQsPart 9. Conclusion


Preparing for vet school can be thrilling. You’re embarking on a new and unfamiliar journey towards a bright future. You probably know what’s required of you, what to do and how to apply. But do you know what vet school costs?? It’ll cost your free time, but what about the financial costs of vet school? How much is tuition? For some, this question doesn’t bother them. For others, the answer could impact their dreams. 

The prospect may terrify you, but don’t give up just yet. We’ve outlined a plethora of cost options and scholarships for every budding veterinarian. We’re sure you’ll find the information you need.

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Tuition Costs for Top 10 Vet Schools

We’ll begin with the best of the best, the top 10 vet schools. You want to give your dream a fighting chance. Naturally, you will gravitate towards the schools best equipped to teach you. U.S. News provides a list of each vet school in the United States and their prospective rankings. 

We’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 and their tuition costs, both for residents of the state and non-residents. Some schools provide a breakdown of each year to show exactly what you’re paying for. You’ll only find the tuition costs listed below, so these totals do not include amenities like room and board, textbooks, food, transportation, etc. Be sure to factor those into your costs if they apply to you.

(#1) UC Davis

Annual Tuition and Fees for California Residents

Annual Tuition and Fees for Non-Residents

(#2) Cornell University

Annual Tuition and Fees for New York Residents

Annual Tuition and Fees for Non-Residents

(#3) Colorado State University

Annual Tuition/Fees for Colorado Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents 

(#4) North Carolina State University (tie)

Annual Tuition/Fees for North Carolina Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

(#4) Ohio State University (tie)

Annual Tuition/Fees for Ohio Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

(#4)Texas A&M University–College Station (tie)

Annual Tuition/Fees for Texas Residents

Annual Tuition/Fee for Non-Residents

(#4) University of Pennsylvania (tie)

NOTE: Tuition for UPenn is more expensive because health insurance is mandatory for all students.

Annual Tuition/Fees for Pennsylvania Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

(#8) University of Wisconsin–Madison

NOTE: These are the proposed tuition fees as the university is increasing the cost from previous years.

Annual Tuition/Fees for Wisconsin Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

(#9) University of Florida

Annual Tuition/Fees for Florida Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

(#10) University of Georgia

Annual Tuition/Fees for Georgia Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents 

As you can see, tuition costs vary from school to school, but the highest-ranking universities seem to be the more expensive option. Don’t let this turn you away from vet school. The university you attend does not largely affect your employment, and there are some schools with more affordable tuition.

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Cheapest Vet Schools

The high-ranking universities aren’t always the best option for you. If you’re looking for tuition that’s a bit more manageable, we’ve got you covered. Remember that the university you choose has little effect on your employment.

Attending the best school may give you clout, but how well you do in the classes speaks volumes about your abilities as a veterinarian. Pet owners want a knowledgeable, competent vet taking care of their animals. 

Below you’ll find a list of the 10 cheapest vet schools for those who still want to earn a DVM, but at a lower cost.

Purdue University

Annual Tuition/Fees for Indiana Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

North Carolina State University 

Annual Tuition/Fees for North Carolina Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

University of Georgia 

Annual Tuition/Fees for Georgia Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents 

Kansas State University

Annual Tuition/Fees for Kansas Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

Texas Tech University

Annual Tuition/Fees for Texas Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

Iowa State University

NOTE: Fees are determined based on credit hours

Annual Tuition/Fees for Iowa Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

University of Illinois–Urbana

Annual Tuition/Fees for Illinois Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

Washington State University

NOTE: Veterinary Medicine is only offered at the Pullman campus.

Annual Tuition/Fees for Washington Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

Texas A&M University - College Station 

Annual Tuition/Fees for Texas Residents

Annual Tuition/Fee for Non-Residents

Virginia-Maryland Regional College

NOTE: Tuition listed based on 12 or more credit hours.

Annual Tuition/Fees for Virginia Residents

Annual Tuition/Fees for Non-Residents

This list of schools provides a cheaper option for those who don’t want to accrue a large debt after graduation. The most important information to take away from this is that earning your degree is the crucial step. It does not matter so much where you got it as long as you have it.

Cost of Vet School Application

As with any other university application process, prospective students have to pay an application fee for vet school. Some schools vary in their fees, sometimes using the fees dictated by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). 

The AAVMC decides the costs of your application fees based on the number of universities you apply to. For example, if you decided to apply to four vet schools, your application fee would be $580. Cornell requires its students to apply through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). The application fee for one vet school through this service is $220. 

Other vet schools have their application fee listed on their website. The University of Georgia vet school requires an application fee of $75. Make sure you know the school’s preferred application method before you start the application process so you know what to expect when it comes to the fees. 

How to Pay for Vet School

The best place to start is doing your best to save money in any way you can. Most people don’t pay the full cost out of pocket, but it’ll help you start the process of paying for school. Try to live frugally because it might take some time before you make a sustainable income. 

You also probably noticed that in-state tuition is much more affordable than out-of-state tuition. Apply to the school in your state for one of the more affordable options. Unfortunately, some states like Arkansas and Connecticut don’t have an accredited vet school. But don’t fret! There are so many other ways one can pay for vet school. 

You can apply for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP). This program pays up to $25,000 for qualified veterinarians so as long as they agree to work at least 3 years in a state experiencing a veterinarian shortage. You can learn more about the application process for this program here.   

Try to avoid taking out loans if you can, though we understand that sometimes borrowing money is your only option. If you have to take out a loan, try to find one with low interest rates so you don’t accrue more debt.

Vet School Scholarships

 As an aspiring vet student, you should definitely apply for any scholarships you can find to help cut costs of vet school. You can find a number of scholarship opportunities from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). This website offers a broad list of opportunities for a variety of students. 

You can also see if the schools you want to apply to offer scholarship opportunities for students. Cornell University offers a long list of opportunities. For example, the All-Celia Scholarship offers aid to female vet students with an interest in canines. 

Most schools offer some sort of scholarship opportunities for their students, so be sure you do some research on the schools you want to apply to to see if you can cut costs even more.

Vet School Cost vs. Med School Cost

You’ve seen what it takes to get into vet school. There are fewer vet school institutions, so the competition for acceptance is tough. You might be wondering if you should change course and pursue medical school instead. 

Though vet school and med school average roughly the same cost for four years, you have more options when it comes to medical school. There are currently 191 medical schools in the U.S., while there are only 32 vet schools. More schools means more variation in tuition costs as well as tons of scholarship opportunities. 

Keep in mind though that you choose your speciality after you’ve graduated from med school, which adds additional distance to achieving stable income, while vet school allows you to specialize during your four years. 

If you find yourself torn between these two options, shadow a doctor and shadow a veterinarian to see which career path is better suited for you.


1. How much does vet tech school cost?

You still want to work with animals, but you might have realized that you’re more suited for a career as a veterinary technician. Your average cost depends on whether you pursue a two-year or four-year degree. 

An associate’s degree for in-state students costs anywhere from $1,300 to $12,000, while out-of-state costs anywhere from $8,000 to $30,000. A bachelor’s degree for a vet tech typically costs $67,000 to $86,000. 

You’ll need to decide what schools you want to apply to for the vet tech program to get a more accurate tuition cost. Both vet school and vet tech school come with their own sets of pros and cons. Take some time to consider the benefits of each option as well as the hardships that follow. 

2. How much do vet techs make?

In 2018, vet techs made an average of $34,420 per year. The need for veterinary technicians increases every year, providing more job opportunities for those interested in the career. Your average pay also depends on the state you choose to work in. Some states, like Nevada and New York, offer higher vet tech salaries than others. If you’re still interested in a career helping animals but don’t want to commit to vet school, you should consider pursuing a vet tech degree.

3. Can you get into vet school for free?

In some cases, yes! If you’re interested in a career in veterinary medicine that costs almost nothing, you can look into the option to join the Army and work as a veterinarian. 

You can apply for the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program that pays your tuition as you earn your degree. If you’ve already completed vet school and then decide on a career as an Army veterinarian, they also offer loan repayment programs. 

The Army offers many benefits to its veterinarians, from paid-vacation time to housing. Understand that this option comes with its own risks and just because something is free doesn’t mean there aren’t strings attached. Conduct thorough research before choosing this pathway. 

You can also choose to apply for scholarships as well as loans for the vet schools you want to attend to help cut costs. 

4. How long does it take to become a vet?

Becoming a veterinarian requires extensive knowledge of medicine as well as varying animal species. The time it takes to complete vet school varies on whether or not you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree first, but vet school itself takes about four years to complete. You can view a more in-depth timeline on the process here. 

5. Is vet school harder than medical school?

Both schools require a lot of sacrifices from dedicated students, but overall, there are some indicators that vet school is harder than medical school. First, there are fewer vet school options than med school options, resulting in higher competition for acceptance. Plus, if you’re a student who lives in a state lacking a vet school, you face higher tuition costs. Less vet schools also means fewer scholarship opportunities. 

Both programs require nearly identical prerequisites when it comes to math and science, but some vet schools require students to take more specialized courses like animal nutrition or zoology before they can apply. 

Medical schools only require their students to take the Medical College AdmissionTest (MCAT) before application. Some vet schools require their students to take the GRE before they can apply, while other schools have discontinued this requirement. Check to see which vet school requires the GRE before you apply so you know what to expect. 

6. Why is out-of-state tuition more expensive than in-state?

As we listed the tuition costs for multiple vet schools, you probably noticed a significant difference in the cost of in-state tuition versus out-of-state tuition. The costs vary from state to state. If you apply to a college in a state you’re not a resident of, you pay more in tuition fees because you don’t pay taxes for that state that benefit the school. These schools charge you a higher tuition as a way to get more revenue from you to fund the school. 

7. Can you get in-state tuition from a state you weren’t born in?

There are a number of ways one can earn in-state tuition from a state they weren’t born in. Some states allow certain residency requirements that allow students to pay in-state tuition costs so long as they’ve lived for at least a year in the state they wish to attend school in before applying to that school.

You can also earn in-state tuition through reciprocity programs. These programs allow non-residents to pay a reduced tuition cost. These programs generally apply to students of the same region as that state in order to benefit from the reduced cost. 

Some schools also offer reduced rates to children of alumni if they choose to apply to the same school as a family member, whether or not they currently reside in that state. 

Requirements vary from state to state so research the states you want to attend school as a non-resident to see the opportunities they provide for lower tuition costs. 

8. Does it matter where I earn my DVM?

A prestigious university may give you clout, but the vet school you choose to attend has little effect on your employment opportunities. Your grades and your competency matter most. Animal owners want a vet they can trust, someone who knows exactly what to do when their animals are in need. Focus more on your studies and earn high grades and you’re sure to find a ton of employment opportunities.


When it comes to graduate school, you’re going to face some sort of costs, whether it’s financial costs, the cost of your free time, or the added strain to personal relationships. It’s up to you to decide if those costs are worth it. If your dream is to help animals, if all you’ve ever wanted was to become a veterinarian, don’t let anything keep you from that dream. 

Potential debt can be terrifying, and we understand the sight of tuition costs may steal your breath. Don’t let that fear turn you away. Keep this guide in mind as a reminder that though the costs are steep, you have so many options to help with the cost of vet school.

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