The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced this week it will offer 62 rural veterinarians awards to repay their veterinary school loans in return for their services in areas suffering from a lack of veterinarians. The awards were made through the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP).
Recipients are required to commit to three years of veterinary service in a designated veterinary shortage area. Loan repayment benefits are limited to payments of the principal and interest on government and commercial loans received for the attendance at an American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited college of veterinary medicine resulting in a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or the equivalent. Loan repayments made by the VMLRP are taxable income to participants. Also included in the award is a federal tax payment equal to 39 percent of the loan payment made directly to the awardee's IRS tax account to offset the increase in income tax liability.
In 2010, NIFA received 260 applications. A breakdown of the awards follows: