Signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on June 5, 2017, the Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program (VELRP) paves the way for veterinarians to work in rural communities where large and small animals – and their owners – need professional services.

Loan Repayment Amounts

As required by a selected veterinarian’s contract under the program, the veterinarian is eligible for the following amounts (up to $70,000) of loan repayment. Should you become a finalist, you may be required to provide additional financial information.

  • Upon completion of six months of the first year of service under the program, up to $10,000
  • Upon completion of a second year of service under the program, up to an additional $15,000
  • Upon completion of a third year of service under the program, up to an additional
    $20,000
  • Upon completion of a fourth year of service under the program, up to an additional $25,000

Timeline

  • Aug. 27, 2018 – Opening of the website and application process for veterinarians
  • Oct. 31, 2018 – Closing of the application process
  • Nov. 1 – 30, 2018 – Council review, deliberation and selection
  • Dec. 3, 2018 – Announcement of the two successful candidates

VELRP Council

The VELRP Council oversees the program. Council members are appointed by the governor, and supported by Colorado State University administrative staff.

  • Chair: Scott Johnson, Flying Diamond Ranch
  • Vice-chair: Dr. Kayla Henderson, Colorado Veterinary Medical Association
  • Dr. Melinda Frye, Associate Dean, DVM Program, CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Dr. Keith Roehr, Director/State Veterinarian, Animal Health Division, Colorado Department of Agriculture
  • Skip Schneider, Colorado Livestock Industry

Information for Applicants

Each year, the Council shall select up to four qualified veterinary applicants to participate in the program. The number of applicants that the council may choose in a given year is dependent on the amount of money available in that year for the council to award under the program.

In order to be eligible for the program, an applicant must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Be a licensed veterinarian who:
    • Agrees, in the format and manner determined by the council, to practice veterinary medicine in a designated veterinary shortage area.
    • Graduated from an accredited Doctor of Veterinary Medicine school in 2017 or later.
  2. Currently live in Colorado or, at some point, have lived in Colorado for at least three years and:
    • Have an outstanding education loan that was incurred in relation to the applicant’s attendance at an accredited Doctor of Veterinary Medicine school located in the United States; for which the applicant is not in default; and has not been consolidated with any loans incurred by a spouse.
  3. An applicant selected for the loan repayment program:
    • Is eligible for an amount up to $70,000 pursuant to the maximum yearly repayment amounts; and that correlates to the applicant’s outstanding veterinary education loans.
    • Shall contract with the council to provide veterinary medical services in one or more designated veterinary shortage areas for a period up to four years.
  4. In establishing the applicant eligibility criteria for loan repayment under the program, the council will consider the following factors:
    • An applicant’s training with respect to, ability to provide, and willingness to engage in, food animal veterinary medicine and the extent to which the designated veterinary shortage area needs food animal veterinary medical services
    • An applicant’s commitment to practice veterinary medicine in the designated veterinary shortage area
    • An applicant’s date of availability to practice veterinary medicine in the designated veterinary shortage area
    • An applicant’s competence, as determined by the state board of veterinary medicine and ability to fulfill the duties identified in the application.
  5. The Council will give priority to eligible applicants who:
    • Have graduated from Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
    • With respect to a designated veterinary shortage area:
      • Have lived in the veterinary shortage area or a nearby area;
      • Have family in the veterinary shortage area or a nearby area; or
      • Live, or have lived, in a substantially similar rural area of the state.

Contact

Chris Haase
Assistant to the Dean
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Colorado State University
1601 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523
Christine.Haase@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6344

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