FLORHAM PARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Zoetis joined the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) to kick-off of the 2016 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program. Beginning today through November 30, second- and third-year veterinary students are encouraged to apply at VetVance®, a free online resource for students and recent graduates. Each scholarship is $2,000 and applicable to the upcoming 2016-2017 school term.
"At Zoetis, we understand the importance of veterinary medicine and are passionate about supporting the profession," said Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Zoetis in the U.S. "The majority of veterinary students finance their education through loans, which can create an increasingly large amount of stress and debt. We're proud to partner with the AAVMC once again, to host our annual scholarship program. This assistance can help alleviate some of this financial burden and allow new veterinarians to focus on starting their careers and caring for animals."
According to a survey conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, a new veterinary school graduate can incur an average educational debt of approximately $135,283. If veterinary school expenses follow current trends, its estimated that a 2017 graduate would have a projected debt of more than $200,000. Since its inception in 2010, the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship program has provided more than $4.5 million to more than 2,000 veterinary students at accredited schools in the United States and the Caribbean.
This year's program, much like previous years, will award scholarships to students in all areas of professional interest, including food animal medicine, small animal clinical medicine, research, government services, public health, and organized veterinary medicine. Eligible criteria include academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership and career path.
"The AAVMC is committed to promoting leadership and career development among current veterinary students and graduates," said Dr. Andrew Maccabe, Executive Director of the AAVMC. "Our relationship with Zoetis through this annual scholarship program has enabled us to lend some support to exceptional, promising veterinary students as they embark on a path toward career success."
To learn more about the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program or to apply for a scholarship, please login into VetVance® or visit www.vetvance.com/opportunities to get started.
VetVance® and this scholarship program are part of the Zoetis Commitment to Veterinarians™ platform, which offers support through training and education, research and development, investing in the future of the veterinary profession, and philanthropy.
Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2014, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion. With approximately 10,000 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2015, Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in 120 countries. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include 49 veterinary medical colleges throughout the world. www.aavmc.org
 2015 AVMA Report on Veterinary Debt and Income: Veterinary Economics Division, American Veterinary Medical Association, April 2015, p. 19.
 VIN Foundation; http://iwanttobeaveterinarian.org
 Applications will be accepted via VetVance® beginning October 2, 2015 through November 30, 2015. Scholarship recipients will be announced at the 2016 SAVMA Symposium - March 17-19, 2016 held at Iowa State University.
 Award eligibility is also subject to the guidelines established by individual schools. AAVMC will provide the list of potential recipients to the colleges for review and approval before final scholarship recipients are chosen.