So I’m a junior in high school in Texas and I am wondering if anyone has any advice on prevet schools. I am of course working backwards from veterinary schools and their prerequisites but at the moment all the affordable and closest college pre-vet programs are focused on TAMU (Texas A&M). However, my dream school is Cornell. I don’t think there are any close or affordable competitive pre vet colleges around but I don’t want to go out of state. So should I stay in Texas and focus on TAMU or work on looking for more opportunities to go to Cornell. Might be not useful to factor in but I am a 4.0 GPA student.
A&M is an excellent vet school, but there is no reason you can’t aspire to Cornell for your undergrad education. As a Texas resident, you will still have a great shot at vet school at A&M (subject to the fact that vet school admissions are VERY competitive).
A&M is a great school and it will prepare you for vet school at A&M or other schools such as Cornell. Also think about Texas Tech. They are opening a vet school also and have a great pre vet program and great scholarships. My son actually ended up going out of state (he can’t stand A&M) for pre-vet to Kansas State since they had an early admission to vet school program and with scholarships undergrad was cheap and only 3 years. He had a guaranteed spot and that allowed him to have more fun undergrad (Ended up with a 4.0 anyway and was president of his Fraternity). He is now in his first year of vet school and loving it (as much as you can studying all the time). Our vet’s daughter went to A&M undergrad and is in vet school there now. She was accepted at other OOS schools but couldn’t beat the price of in state!
Texas Tech would be a great option and you should look into it.
Someone who I know well just got accepted to vet school (yes, this is early – we are very excited), so I have some vague sense of the process.
Becoming a veterinarian is similar to becoming a doctor in terms of time frame, academic difficulty, cost, and in a few other ways. However, veterinarians are not paid as well as doctors. You cannot borrow the full cost of becoming a veterinarian and then expect to pay it off with the salary of a veterinarian. If you want this to actually happen, you have to pay attention to making this affordable.
The first thing for you to do is to find out what your budget is. You need to budget for eight full years. The last four of these are expensive. You need to pay attention of the cost of your education, and find an affordable university for your first four years.
You should run the NPC on Cornell and see how it compares to Texas A&M.
You also would be best off having some experience in a veterinary situation. You will absolutely need a LOT of this (thousands of hours) before applying to vet schools. You would be best off to get a good sense early what it is like being a vet. Things like reaching inside a cow multiple different ways and dealing with dead and dying animals is part of being a veterinarian. Every animal comes with a human, so dealing with the humans is also important.
You will want to attend a university that allows you to get experience dealing with animals in a veterinary environment. Some universities will for example have summer programs where you get to deal with farm animals and help out in various veterinary tasks. Cleaning up after the cows might be a part of this, but so might helping baby calves be born, and some other medical tasks.
Given that you are in-state in Texas, frankly Texas A&M sounds like a wonderful option for you. I understand that Cornell is a great university with a great veterinary school. However it is only a great university for you if you can get accepted twice (undergrad and vet school), and if you can afford to pay for a full eight years while taking on very little or no debt.
My daughter is a high school senior planning to pursue a pre-vet course of study, most likely as an animal science major (although zoology and wildlife management also appeal to her). She has been accepted to Purdue, Colorado State, U Mass Amherst, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Missouri, and Mississippi State. She is accepted to honors at all schools except Purdue, which will not notify until February for honors, and has received some merit aid at all schools. Because of the merit aid and because we budgeted for a private college, all are affordable for us and we will still be able to help her with vet school. Our big question is how does she decide among these schools? We have been trying to find out if there are significant differences in vet school admission rates or “weed out” rates but there is very little data available. She is very interested in getting hands on experience with large animals and exotics as much and as early as possible. She doesn’t know for sure what specialization she will eventually pursue but she is pretty sure she wants something other than just a companion animal practice eventually. We welcome and would value any opinions and insights on these programs and the differences between them.
I forgot to mention she strongly prefers to go out of TX for undergrad since she will likely be looking at A&M or Texas Tech for vet school due to in state student preferences in vet school, and she wants to experience a different environment first.
Dream big! If your dream is to go to Cornell, go for it. As a high schooler, you need to make sure to keep as many options open as possible. I’ve heard and seen too many people pigeonhole themselves at the beginning of the process and end up not having the necessary pre-requisites or having to waste a few years to catch up (wastes your time and money). Look at the pre-reqs for Cornell and TAMU as well as some other vet schools. Make sure that you can put yourself in a position to satisfy those requirements, especially Cornell and TAMU’s. That way, even if you don’t get Cornell, you can still be in a position to get into vet school.
People talk about the money aspect of vet school and it definitely will be something that you need to deal with. However, the vast majority of vets will be able to pay off their student loans. The more frugal you are at the beginning, the quicker you can pay it off. You will hear about the vet that is still in debt 30 years after graduating but that is rare and usually a result of unfortunate circumstances and/or poor financial decisions.
Finally, and most importantly, as a high schooler, keep your options open but set your bar high. Learn and experience as much as you can during high school and undergrad. Who knows, there may be another profession that is more interesting to you. Or maybe, after looking at other professions and having worked at a vet’s office, vet med is truly your calling. That was the case for me and I don’t regret any of the steps that I have taken to get to where I am.
I did not notice your post and therefore am replying rather late.
Your daughter has been accepted to a number of really good universities. I can see that this is not an easy decision at all. Colorado state of course has one of the top DVM programs in the country (or the world) and has a very good animal science program. It also has a good large animal DVM program. U.Mass Amherst has a very good animal science program, as does Texas A&M. Kansas State also has a very good DVM program and I am pretty sure that it also has a large animal program. I am not as familiar with the others on your list.
On advantage of Colorado State is that if your daughter ends up settling in Colorado, it is a WICHE state. I think that once she turns 25 and becomes independent this makes her eligible for in-state tuition at the three WICHE public DVM programs (Washington State, Oregon State, and Colorado State), and for some amount of a tuition discount at the private WICHE DVM program (Midwestern University if I remember correctly). Of course staying in-state in Texas allows in-state tuition in Texas which is also an excellent option.
I would certainly take cost into account and try to avoid debt for undergrad. My older daughter is also taking the DVM route. After getting her bachelor’s because she had no debt at all she was able to afford to take jobs that gave her good experience working with animals (big ones and little ones) but that did not pay all that well. The good experience appears to have been very helpful in her applications to DVM programs.
Thank you for the replies everyone.
My daughter was blessed with multiple amazing opportunities, but she has decided on Kansas State. They accepted her into their Early Acceptance Program, so as long as she keeps her grades up, she is guaranteed a seat in their vet school (direct entry after 3 years undergrad), and she will complete her BA and DVM in 7 years. K-State was generous with the academic merit, so she is able to accomplish her goal of going out of state for undergrad for about the same cost as it would be to attend A&M in state. We are all thrilled for her, and this way she doesn’t have the stress of fighting for one of the very few precious seats in vet school.
The fact that K-State vet school has an amazing large animal program and the school is ranked one of the best for quality of student life is added icing on the cake.