September 8, 2023
A Colorado program that helps pay off student loan debt for veterinarians who practice in underserved areas was expanded by the legislature this spring with additional funding and participant seats. The application period is now open.
The Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program (VELRP) was signed into law in 2017 and provided up to $70,000 to pay off student loan debt for veterinarians who agreed to serve in a rural, underserved area of the state for up to four years. Funding was provided to two veterinarians, Dr. Kayle Austin and Dr. Callie Kuntz.
“This program has helped me immensely,” Kuntz said. “By being able to decrease my student loan debt, I have been able to purchase my practice, grow my business to more than twice the size it was when I purchased it, and purchase the land and building, all within five years of being in Yuma, Colo. – all while decreasing my loan debt. As a young veterinarian, business owner and mother, it’s been a huge blessing to be able to have received these repayments and pursue what I love, where I love: rural Colorado.”
Funding for up to 6 veterinarians
This spring, the legislature passed amendments to the law through Senate Bill 44. The legislation expanded the available funding to accommodate six veterinarians who can receive up to $90,000 each for working in rural communities with food animal medicine needs. Sponsors of the bill were Sen. Joann Ginal, Sen. Rod Pelton, Rep. Karen McCormick and Rep. Ty Winter.
Preference is given to applicants who graduated from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Source: Colorado State University
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