After putting in the hard work to excel in your undergraduate coursework, achieve a stellar score on the GRE and gain hundreds of hours of animal experience, you are at last ready to apply to vet schools. But to how many schools? And which ones? A strategic list of schools will give you the best chance of admissions, while a haphazard list could mean having to reapply next year.
Aim for a list of approximately five to seven schools. Your state school will usually give you the best chance of admission, so definitely include it. If your state does not have a public veterinary school, then check to see if it participates in WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) or another coalition or agreement that allows qualified state residents to attend veterinary schools in specific states at in-state tuition rates. In addition to your state school, include some private veterinary schools and out of state public schools in states to which you have some connection. Unlike public schools, private schools are not mandated to give preference to residents of the state. Therefore, you will not be at a disadvantage as an out of state applicant to these schools.
For public schools located outside of your home state, focus on those in states to which you have some connection. The mission of state supported professional schools is to provide the state with veterinarians and other professionals that will serve the needs of the residents of the state. If you have family in a state, attended school there or have another reason that would help to convince the committee that you are likely to remain in the state after graduation and set up your veterinary practice there that may help your case.
By expanding your list beyond a few schools, you will give yourself more options. In the end, no matter where you attend, you will get an excellent education and be a DVM. There are no “bad” veterinary schools in the U.S. They are all highly competitive for admission and any of them will provide you with the training you need to become a licensed veterinarian.
For experienced advising on your veterinary school application, contact Dr. Eaton at (626) 768-2154 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 20 minute phone consultation.