Food animal vet loan repayment program deadline is Sept. 13
Georgia food animal veterinarians with student loans have until Sept. 13 to apply for funds under the Georgia Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program (GVELRP).
The 2021 Georgia General Assembly appropriated state funds totaling $90,000 to the Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA) for the GVELRP Board to carry out its purpose. These funds became available to the board effective July 1 and will remain with GSFA until the terms of the first contracts awarded have been met, at which time the board will instruct GSFA to make payments of up to $18,000 on the outstanding student loan debt of the contracted veterinarian. GVELRP awards are subject to appropriation each year by the legislature.
The board may enter into contracts with up to five (5) eligible applicants. Award amounts are capped at $20,000 per twelve (12) months of service. Each GVELRP participant is required to reapply to the program after their first contract is completed, and no participant may receive more than $80,000 in total assistance.
Preference may be given to previous participants in GVELRP, provided that they continue to demonstrate their commitment to practicing food animal veterinary medicine in the area of need they serve.
The Board and GVELRP were established by the Georgia General Assembly for the purpose of providing financial relief, by way of student loan purchases, for veterinarians willing to provide food animal veterinary services in shortage areas around the state.
Applicants must be a citizen of the United States or have a lawful presence in the country. Only veterinarians who are Georgia residents will be considered. Eligible candidates can be either practicing veterinarians or veterinary students in their final year of study.
Georgia law stipulates that only candidates who practice or intend to practice in board-approved rural counties with populations of 35,000 or less may be considered for awards. Prior service in these areas will not be considered services rendered for contracts entered into.
Each applicant is required to submit a completed application form and the appropriate reference documents to the Board by no later than Sep. 13. Completed applications must be accompanied by three (3) completed reference forms, one of which must be from a DVM/VMD and one from a current of former employer. If an applicant has no employment history, they are asked to include a reference from a professor directly involved in the completion of their veterinary degree program.
Once the application period closes, board members will review the completed applications and narrow the candidate pool based on the quality of the candidate and the severity of the shortage situation the candidate intends to serve. Candidates may be asked to be interviewed by one or more board members, either in person or over the phone. The final candidates and their awards will be announced by Nov. 13.
Completed applications can be returned via email to email@example.com or mailed to: Georgia Department of Agriculture, Attn: Bo Warren, 19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. SW, Suite 210, Atlanta, GA 30334. Complete program information and application documents are available online at https://gfb.ag/21GVELRPapps.