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Veterinary school applicants soar by 19%

More than 10,000 students sought admission to DVM programs during the latest VMCAS cycle.

Veterinary school applicants soar by 19%

The number of applicants to DVM programs through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service jumped by 19% during the 2020-21 admissions cycle.

Overall, 10,273 people applied to at least one veterinary school, an increase from 8,645 last year, according to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. The 19% increase compared with recent annual rises of 6% to 7%.

The AAVMC called the spike “extraordinary” and could only speculate about the reasons.

“The specific factors responsible for the extraordinary increase remain unclear; however, several things could have contributed,” the organization explained. “The AAVMC opened this year’s cycle in January as opposed to May to enable applicants to have more time to construct their applications. The AAVMC’s Office of Admissions and Recruitment also presented more informational webinars and increased communication with applicants.

“Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased public awareness of the importance of the veterinary medical profession in several ways. The rise in the number of people working remotely from home has led to increased attention toward family pets and greater appreciation for the human-animal bond. That’s led to busier clinical practices and rising animal shelter adoption rates.

“People may also be more aware of the role of the veterinary medical profession in preventing and fighting zoonotic infectious diseases like the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

Forty-four veterinary programs worldwide use the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). Every U.S. veterinary school with the exception of Texas A&M and Texas Tech universities participates.

The AAVMC noted that students in the most recent cycle applied to an average of 4.89 schools.

The 2021-22 application cycle will open in January 2021.

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