MANHATTAN – Four new students from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine have been selected for the largest veterinary scholarship program in the state of Kansas: the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas.
This year’s winners are first year veterinary students Chelsey Bieberle, Bushton; Emma McClure, Hugoton; Bryant Karlin, Manhattan; and Chandler Rogers, Topeka.
“The Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas fulfills an important educational and service mission for the state of Kansas,” said Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “These students went through a rigorous selection process. In addition to the curricular requirements of the professional degree program, you will complete additional training in order to prepare you for success in rural practice. ”
The Rural Kansas Veterinary Education Program was passed by the state legislature in 2006 to provide a financial incentive to equip rural Kansas with dedicated veterinarians.
“The program helps keep some of the brightest and best veterinary students in Kansas,” said Rush. “The fellows – past, present, and future – form a unique community of supportive colleagues and represent the future of rural veterinary practice in Kansas.”
Program participants are eligible for up to $ 20,000 per year in loans to pay for their tuition fees. Upon completion of a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, each graduate must work in a full-time veterinary practice in one of the 91 counties of Kansas with fewer than 35,000 residents. For every year the graduate works in rural Kansas, the state awards $ 20,000 in loans. Graduates are expected to work in a specific county for four years to receive $ 80,000 in loan waiver.
96 percent of graduates complete or have fulfilled their loan commitment through service. Graduates who do not complete a service are required to repay the loan. The funds are reinvested through the admission of students into the program. Ninety-three percent of graduates who complete their four-year commitment remain in a qualifying county. Seventy percent remain in the original practice and community they entered upon graduation.
Student fellows spend time during the summer and during the breaks of the academic year learning about foreign animal disease preparation, natural disaster response, rural sociology, small business management, and public health. They also spend three weeks in a rural veterinary practice during their senior year and apply the principles of small business management to the rural veterinary practice.