Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will begin accepting applications from veterinarians wishing to participate in the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), which addresses veterinary shortages in rural America by repaying the student loans of qualified veterinarians in return for their services in areas suffering from a lack of veterinarians.
In return for a commitment of three years of veterinary services in a designated veterinary shortage area, NIFA may repay up to $25,000 of student loan debt per year. Loan repayment benefits are limited to payments of the principal and interest on government and commercial loans received for the attendance at an accredited college of veterinary medicine resulting in a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or the equivalent. NIFA applications will be due June 30 and offers will be made by Sept. 30.
NIFA will host four interactive webinars for applicants on May 4 at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and May 12 at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Application forms and webinar instructions can be found at www.nifa.usda.gov.