This scholarship aims to reduce student debt for 3 outstanding candidates and ultimately, improve access to veterinary care for all.
PetSmart Charities announced that applications for its annual Steve Marton Veterinary Scholarship are open. The award provides 3 veterinary students exemplifying the mission and vision of PetSmart Charities up to $50,000 for 1 year’s tuition. Interested students must also be dedicated to veterinary careers offering care in under-resourced communities.
“We are helping create a path for young veterinarians to follow their heart’s work,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities, in an organizational release.1
“So many come into veterinary medicine out of a desire to help animals in need, but overwhelming student debt forces them into careers focused on providing higher-end care. Awarding these scholarships is an important contribution we make to improve access to veterinary care for all —and help ensure students driven to do this work are able to,” she added.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)2 cites that veterinary student debt is increasing 4.5 times as fast as income for new veterinary graduates. This rise is causing many graduates to turn to higher-paying jobs, creating an unsustainable shortage of lower-cost providers. Additionally, according to the release,1 approximately 50 million pets nationwide lack access to basic care due to barriers in the veterinary system such as lack of diverse carriers, transportation, or finance—with under-resourced communities especially at risk. On top of this, it is challenging for veterinary practitioners to manage the high demand while confronting both financial and mental health struggles.3
Paige Palomaki, a fourth-year veterinary student at the University of Minnesota, received the Steve Marton Scholarship in 2021/2022 and commented on the veterinary system crisis.1
“I believe accessible veterinary care is a public health issue, especially since the barriers people face to accessing quality vet care are likely the same barriers they face to receive quality health care for themselves,” Palomaki expressed.
Current 2nd or 3rd-year veterinary students attending a college of veterinary medicine in the US and have good educational standing can apply for the scholarship.
To enter, students must:
- Submit 2 letters of recommendation: 1 from a licensed veterinarian and 1 from a social worker, community leader, or other individual working in a community of need.
- Maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.
- Submit their most updated unofficial transcript.
Scholarship applications are open through March 22, 2022.
- PetSmart Charities Steve Marton Veterinary Scholarship reduces crushing student debt. release. PetSmart Charities. March 9, 2022. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/petsmart-charities-steve-marton-veterinary-scholarship-reduces-crushing-student-debt-301499006.html
- Mattson K. Veterinary educational debt continues to rise. JAVMA news. December 3, 2020. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2020-12-15/veterinary-educational-debt-continues-rise
- Shirey L. Veterinarians at higher risk of mental health crisis. The Virginian Pilot. March 16, 2021. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.pilotonline.com/life/pets/vp-nk-animal-connections-0321-20210316-nozm5zgx2zdwjpqi2y5hwhlnym-story.html