Pfizer Animal Health has awarded 300 second- and third-year veterinary students $2,500 each for a total of $750,000 to help ease their future debt burden. The students attend accredited universities throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
A total of 1,562 students applied for the scholarship.
Students were chosen based on several criteria, including academic excellence, professional interests (small animal, large, mixed, research, academia, etc.), diversity, leadership and potential for contribution to the veterinary profession. Of the scholars, 32 percent are from diverse backgrounds, 50 percent are studying to practice food and mixed animal veterinary medicine, 35 percent will go into small animal practice and the remainder will go into other areas, such as academia, research and public practice.
The scholarship program, now in its second year, is part of a three-year, $2 million initiative that Pfizer Animal Health created in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, which administers the funds. Its goal is to support students from myriad socio-economic backgrounds studying across a diverse array of species and veterinary disciplines, according to Pfizer Animal Health.
“We’re working to support students’ dreams to become veterinarians in several ways, from education and hands-on training to research and the Pfizer Animal Health scholarship program, which allows us to help lessen the financial debt that our students face today,” said Michael McFarland, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, group director of veterinary medical services at Pfizer Animal Health. “We are honored to help pave the way for professional success for these students.”
More than 2,500 students will graduate from veterinary schools this year, with an average loan debt of almost $140,000, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Pfizer Animal Health noted that with the help of AVMF, the scholarship program has grown 26 percent in terms of funding since its inaugural year in 2010.
For a list of scholarship recipients, click here.