In the US, there are 30 accredited veterinary schools. While schools are very competitive, it is estimated about 50 percent of students get accepted to veterinary schools within the USA. Among those who do get in, about 3,000 students graduate a year. Most, if not all of these graduates, will have an average debt of about $143,757.82. With in-state tuition being an average of $23,664 and out of state being $50,123. The average mean salary for first-year practitioners was $73,812.
These are big, and very scary real numbers that all those who have dreamed about the opportunity to go to vet school has probably heard about. Facing these facts can be hard, especially when you have dedicated your life to this dream. The idea that you may be cast out from what you have wanted to pursue as long as you can remember can sting. But this cannot, will not, scare me. The acceptance rate for schools vary, so there is no real average, but there are 30 chances to get into a school. While thousands apply, it only takes one spot for you to be in.
It used to be where if you had good grades, a good GRE score, and were really smart you could be sure you may get in. But now, a lot of schools are not putting all the emphasis on grades. They are looking at the person as a whole. Their involvements outside of the classroom, and any and all experience they have. Once getting into school though, the competition doesn't stop. Ranking numbers are important, especially for getting a good internship and getting a good job afterward.
The good news is, there are so many ways you can use your schooling, from research to small, large and mixed practices to behavior and training. Find your niche and thrive in it. There are so many opportunities. Try everything once, then maybe a second time. The numbers I have listed at the top of this article are scary, but I will not let them scare me. If you work hard at something, anything is possible. And maybe things may not turn out exactly the way you wanted them too, but everything happens for a reason, and if you are happy, then you are right where you are supposed to be. Take everything in stride, and do what is right for you, not what other people tell you is right.
Yes, we may acquire tons of debt that we may never be able to repay (while also keeping ourselves with a roof over our head and food to eat), but if it is going to happen anyway, why not go full out? Everyone in vet school is in the same boat, and many people live out their dreams without worrying about what may happen afterward. We only have one chance, so take it.