Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Banfield Pet Hospital veterinarians have reduced their student debt load by more than $4 million through direct company contributions.
The Vancouver, Washington, network of more than 1,000 hospitals reported that its Veterinary Student Debt Relief Pilot Program also facilitated the refinancing of more than $10 million in loans.
“We hope to not only alleviate the financial burdens our associates face but also inspire people to enter the field who might otherwise be discouraged due to the significant educational debt they’ll acquire,” said Stephanie Neuvirth, Banfield’s senior vice president of people and organization.
The debt-relief program, started in November 2017, has three features:
- A monthly $150 contribution toward qualifying student loans.
- A low-interest refinancing option from a third-party financial institution.
- A $2,500 payment for each qualifying Banfield student program participated in before graduation, with a maximum of $10,000.
The average student debt of veterinarians who graduated in 2016 was $167,535, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.