Guide to Vet Tech Scholarships (2019)

Almost $40,000. That is the amount of debt students can expect to rack up from postsecondary education loans, according to Yale University. The average student loan debt is $37,000 in the United States, and student loans are now the second largest source of consumer debt in America, second only to housing.

Even though student loans were created to increase social mobility, data from the American Student Assistance suggests they can do the opposite and impede a young graduate’s ability to achieve financial success. Buying a car, saving for retirement, getting a mortgage, even starting a family—these are things that get postponed while graduates repay their student loans.

A two-year program for veterinary technician training can cost up to $20,000, and a four-year bachelor’s program in veterinary technology can cost more than $60,000. While this may seem low compared to other fields, it includes a significant portion of a veterinary technician’s median salary.

The market for vet techs is growing much faster than the national average at 20 percent, indicative of a great employment outlook for students. These professionals are paid a median salary of $33,400 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Aspiring vet techs can look for resources to mitigate a portion of their student debt.

Scholarships are, most simply put, free money. Students pay them back figuratively, with their service to society—at no interest, and without obligation. While good scholarships can be hard to find and win, they do exist, specifically for motivated individuals who need them most.

In the vet tech world, scholarship requirements often include some combination of proof of enrollment at an accredited veterinary technology program, letters of reference, a copy of school transcripts, and, most critically, a personal essay or academic paper on a given topic. The awards can range between $500 and $1,500.

VetTechColleges.com has compiled a list of the top vet tech scholarships of 2019, organized into three categories: general, state-specific, and school-specific. Please note that while some of the deadlines may have passed, scholarships are typically available annually at around the same time.

General Vet Tech Scholarships

NAVTA Scholarship

Founded in 1981, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) seeks to strengthen the vet tech profession, support its members, and advocate for wider awareness. The organization developed a program in 1995 to award scholarships to students in AVMA-accredited education programs. The program started by offering four scholarships per year and has increased to eight.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: Varies
  • Who Should Apply: Applicants must be members of NAVTA to both apply for and find further details about this scholarship.

Oxbow Animal Health Veterinary Technology Scholarship

Oxbow Animal Health is a family-owned and operated company committed to helping small animals lead longer and healthier lives. Established in 1980, the organization provides high-quality nutritional products for animals and supports rescue programs, scholarship opportunities, educational initiatives, and veterinary associations.

The organization offers several scholarships for aspiring professionals in all aspects of the field, those who aspire to pursue careers in the pet industry working with companion animals or exotic ones, as well as those interested in future careers in animal care as veterinary technicians or doctors. Scholarships are open to individuals at all levels, from high school to master’s programs.

  • Amount: $500 – $1,000
  • Deadline: March 2, 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Those with a keen interest in a career in small and exotic animal medicine are the focus of this scholarship. Relevant volunteer participation, extracurricular activities, and work experience are a benefit.

IAOPC Doyle L. Shugart Scholarship Program

The International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (IAOPC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the standards, ethics, and professionalism of pet cemeteries and crematories. Established in 1971, the nonprofit is committed to safe, compassionate, and thorough pet aftercare through the education of industry professionals and pet parents.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: June 1, 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Those with a strong belief in the value of dignified and compassionate aftercare, specifically when dealing with the loss of a pet. Eligible applicants include veterinary tech students in an accredited program or veterinary students in the second year or higher of their education.

Oregon Farm Bureau Benton County Farm Bureau Scholarship

Established in 1932, the Oregon Farm Bureau is a nonprofit organization that boasts 7,000 farming and ranching members raising over 220 different types of crops and livestock. Its goal is to provide educational improvement, economic opportunity, and social advancement for the farming and ranching industry. The organization offers several county-specific scholarships focused on agriculture, farming and ranching.

  • Amount: $500
  • Deadline: Varies annually
  • Who Should Apply: Those interested in applying their vet tech education to a career with livestock, farming, ranching, and animal husbandry are encouraged to apply.

SVME Alice Villalobos Student Essay Award

The Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics (SVME) seeks to promote discussion and education around issues of veterinary ethics. Founded in 1994, it publishes newsletters, hosts conventions, and provides continuing education for veterinary professionals.

Not limited to veterinarians, the SVME membership reaches into fields like biomedical research, medicine, law, and political science to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration. The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition has sponsored the following scholarship since 2006.

  • Amount: $1,000 and an additional $1,000 for travel expenses to present the winning essay at the VMX Convention
  • Deadline: December 31, 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Those with a strong academic writing style and original ideas on the concept of ethics in the field are best suited to apply to this essay-only scholarship.

AZVT Laurie Page-Peck Scholarship

Established in 1980, the Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians (AZVT) provides a forum for vet techs employed in zoos to continue their education, share best practices, and engage in discussions about the field. The organization is devoted to all aspects of veterinary technical care in zoo medicine and publishes newsletters, sponsors conferences, and offers grant and scholarship programs.

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: February 26, 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Applicants must write a scientific, medically oriented paper on the subject of zoo veterinary technology, not limited to husbandry. Those with a strong academic style, robust presentation skills, and an intense interest in the zoo vet tech subfield are encouraged to apply. Students who are currently enrolled in veterinary or medical tech programs are eligible to apply.

Walkin’ Pets Veterinarian and Rehab Vet Tech Scholarship

Founded in 2001 by a bereaved pet owner whose seizure-prone dog was euthanized too soon, Handicapped Pets was created to support caretakers of elderly, injured, and handicapped pets. Handicapped Pets is not only a provider of numerous assistive technology options, but also educates owners on advancements in medicine, technology, and care that can mean the difference between an animal’s happy life, and its premature death.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: July 31, 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Those with a strong, concise, and compassionate writing style are best suited for this scholarship program’s expansive essay prompt. The prompt covers the history of end-of-life issues for pets, the change in assistive technology for disabled pets, animal euthanasia ethics, and other topics.

Pre-Veterinary and General Animal Husbandry Education Scholarship

For more than 25 years, Golden Meadows Kennel has been breeding, training, and caring for golden retrievers. The pre-veterinary scholarship is designed for those interested in general animal husbandry or veterinary careers. They can apply by writing about subjects such as canine genetic birth defects, canine breeding, or general canine health concerns.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: December 31, 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Students attending accredited colleges may apply, regardless of their major or program.

Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award

Since 1928, the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) has provided continuing education to veterinary professionals. This scholarship is offered by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) and recognizes two veterinary technicians who exemplify leadership in service of the profession.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: October 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Only members of NAVTA can be considered for this scholarship.

State Vet Tech Scholarships

Alabama Veterinary Technician Association Scholarship

The Alabama Veterinary Technician Association (AVTA) represents and promotes the veterinary technology profession in Alabama. Together with an alliance of professional organizations, they provide direction and continuing education that ensures competent care and humane treatment of all animals. The following scholarship is awarded to two, full-time veterinary technology distance education students.

  • Amount: $500 – $1,000
  • Deadline: October 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Applicants must live and work in Alabama.

Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Scholarship

This scholarship is funded by the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association in partnership with Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) to support students in the veterinary technology program there.

  • Amount: $250
  • Deadline: Check with organization for details
  • Who Should Apply: This scholarship is for students accepted to or enrolled in the veterinary technology program at OTC. Students must maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA, be enrolled full time, and have satisfactorily completed VET 213.

FVTA Student Scholarship

Formed in 1975, the Florida Veterinary Technician Association is a nonprofit association representing more than 800 vet techs working across private practice, government, industry, academia, and zoos. Its mission is to support the development of veterinary technicians and spread awareness of the field by promoting professionalism, ethical behavior, and continuing education.

  • Amount: $500
  • Deadline: January 31, 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Applicants must be members of the FVTA. Membership for students is free, and one may join at the time of application. Scholarships are granted based on professional presentation, clarity of answers to the essay prompt, and grammar.

Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians Scholarship

Founded in 1975, Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians (MAVT) is a volunteer-run organization that represents over 800 veterinarian technicians. The organization provides continuing education, educational resources, and holds an annual conference. Students that have completed at least half of their veterinary technology program requirements with a GPA of 3.5 or higher may apply for the MAVT scholarship.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: December 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Students in good standing at an Association of Veterinary Technicians-accredited college in Minnesota are eligible to apply for this award. Those with a record of community involvement may also apply for the Mollie Jean Mahowald Award, for an additional $1,000 in scholarship funding.

NHVTA Scholarship

The New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association (NHVTA) promotes the professional and educational advancement of veterinary technicians, championing progressive and human medical care for all creatures. The organization certifies technicians within the state, holds conferences, provides continuing education, offers volunteer and internship opportunities, and lobbies for the interest of veterinary technicians in state and federal legislation.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: December 31, 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Applicants must be members of the NHVTA, and membership is free for students. Applicants must also be either permanent residents of New Hampshire or enrolled at an accredited vet tech program in New Hampshire.

Wisconsin Veterinary Technician Association Scholarship

Founded in 1989, the Wisconsin Veterinary Technician Association (WVTA) promotes the professionalism and ethical behavior of all veterinary technicians. The organization supports continuing education opportunities, encourage communication among vet techs, and represent vet techs in legislative matters. Winners receive a financial award as well as mentorship from a board member and free admission to WVTA continuing education events that year.

  • Amount: $500
  • Deadline: April 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Those with participation and leadership in relevant extracurricular activities are the primary focus of this scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled in an accredited vet tech program, and have completed at least one semester at either Madison Area Technical College or Globe University in Wisconsin.

School-Specific Vet Tech Scholarships

Dr. Suanne Davis Roueche Vet Tech Scholarship

The veterinary technology program at Austin Community College (ACC) prepares students to become a licensed vet tech. The following scholarship was created for ACC students who need financial assistance for books, fees, and tuition. Previous winners may re-apply for each year they remain in the program.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: August 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Applicants must be students at ACC, must have already completed the prerequisite coursework for the veterinary technology program, and must have maintained a minimum 2.5 GPA in all college work.

Lancaster Kennel Club Vet Tech Student Scholarship

For over 50 years, Lancaster Kennel Club (LKC) has been committed to guiding, advancing, and protecting the interests of purebred dogs. The nonprofit organization provides education to owners, promotes superior breeding standards, encourages sportsmanship in competition events, and supports legislative efforts at the state and federal level. One scholarship is awarded to a vet medicine student, and two scholarships (below) are awarded to two vet tech students.

  • Amount: $1,500 – $4000
  • Deadline: June 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Applicants must be enrolled at a vet tech program at one of the following Pennsylvania schools: University of Pennsylvania, Harcum College, Johnson College, Lehigh Carbon & Northampton Community Colleges, Manor College, Wilson College, or YTI Career Institute.

Kelly Stadler Animal Lovers Memorial Scholarship

Accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the associate’s degree of veterinary technology at St. Petersburg College may be completed entirely online. Students of the program may apply for the following scholarship by submitting a one-page essay describing why they are pursuing a degree in veterinary technology. Scholarships are awarded to two applicants.

  • Amount: $750
  • Deadline: May 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Applicants will need to be accepted to a program at St. Petersburg College, and submit their application through the St. Petersburg College Foundation. Candidates must be in good academic standing, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Financial need is taken into consideration.

PVM Global Scholarship

The Purdue University PVM Global Scholarship program provides Purdue’s first and second-year veterinary technology students with the chance to broaden their education with international travel awards. Recipients will be chosen based on how international travel will advance the applicant’s educational, career, and cultural objectives. The Purdue veterinary medicine school offers several other scholarships, including the Purdue Moves Semester Study Abroad Scholarship, which is open to undergraduate veterinary technicians and has several deadlines throughout the year.

  • Amount: $500 – $1,500
  • Deadline: January 2019
  • Who Should Apply: Students are encouraged to enroll in the school’s international veterinary medicine course before applying. Eligible applicants include veterinary technology and doctor of veterinary medicine students.
Matt Zbrog (Writer)

Matt Zbrog is a writer and freelancer who has been living abroad since 2016. His nonfiction has been published by Euromaidan Press, Cirrus Gallery, and Our Thursday. Both his writing and his experience abroad are shaped by seeking out alternative lifestyles and counterculture movements, especially in developing nations. You can follow his travels through Eastern Europe and Central Asia on Instagram at @weirdviewmirror. He’s recently finished his second novel, and is in no hurry to publish it.