SMU Veterinary student working with Goat

Complete Guide: Financing Veterinary School for Canadian Students

Achieving admission to a vet school and obtaining your DVM degree is fulfilling, yet it does require financial investment. Learn strategies to finance your education.

Becoming a veterinarian is a rewarding experience, yet the journey to earning your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree comes with a significant investment. Prospective students, especially those considering studying abroad or outside of Canada, often grapple with understanding the financial commitments and strategies for financing their veterinary education.

Fortunately, there are financing options available for veterinary school. Through research and strategic planning, you can find ways to finance your education. Take a look at our guide for the best and most creative ways to pay for veterinary school, ensuring you can focus on your studies without financial stress.. 

Understanding the Costs of Veterinary School

The cost of veterinary school will vary depending on your school and course. On average,  Canadian students can expect to pay between $200,000 to $275,000, while American students may pay around $170,000 to $290,000.

It’s important to remember that you’ll need to consider more than tuition as a part of your expenses. When you’re budgeting for veterinary school, remember to factor in accommodation, insurance, and living costs too. 

Paying for Veterinary School as a Canadian Student

As a Canadian student, financing your veterinary education can be achieved through scholarships, savings, part-time employment, grants, or loans. Explore these avenues to determine the most suitable option for your circumstances.

Preparation During Pre- and Undergraduate Years

For those aspiring to pursue a veterinary degree, early planning and saving are key. Securing part-time employment during high school or college is a proactive approach that can help minimize the need for working  during veterinary school.

Additionally, aim to maximize personal funds and free aid to reduce reliance on loans. Some institutions, like St. Matthew’s, extend scholarships to Canadian students, alleviating tuition expenses.


Even if you’re studying abroad, you may still qualify for scholarships. St. Matthew’s offers scholarships specifically for Canadian students, helping to offset tuition costs.


Researching other grants, in addition to scholarships, is worthwhile. Online platforms like FastWeb can assist in identifying potential funding sources. Broadening your search beyond veterinary-specific grants can also be beneficial, as opportunities may exist based on various criteria such as location, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender.


Fellowships present unique funding opportunities, often provided by institutions or organizations to support research or specialized work in veterinary fields. Investigate fellowships aligned with your academic interests to explore additional financial support options.

Family support:

Open discussions with family members regarding financial assistance can provide valuable insights into available resources. Transparent conversations about financial capabilities aid in effective planning and budgeting for veterinary school expenses.

Selecting affordable institutions:

While numerous financing options exist, choosing a  veterinary school aligned with your financial means is essential. Thorough research on tuition fees and living expenses ensures you can budget effectively for a suitable and affordable educational school.

Work-study programs:

Consider participating in work-study programs to supplement your income while studying. These programs offer on-campus employment opportunities tailored to students requiring financial support.

Assistantship opportunities and employer assistance:

Some veterinary schools offer assistantship programs covering tuition or living expenses. Additionally, explore whether your current employer provides educational assistance benefits, which may aid in covering tuition, books, equipment, or loan payments.

Student loans:

As a Canadian student, access to provincial and federal loans is available. Utilize resources such as the Student Financial Assistance Estimator to estimate potential federal loan amounts. While private loans from banks or lenders are an option, they typically have higher interest rates than federal or provincial loans.

Loan prioritization:

Prioritize loan types based on limits and interest rates:

  1. Subsidized Direct Loans are ideal for undergraduate students due to government-covered interest during studies.
  2. Unsubsidized Direct Loans are suitable for graduate and undergraduate students, offering higher borrowing limits and lower interest rates than PLUS loans.
  3. Direct PLUS Loans are reserved for professional and graduate students, though higher interest rates suggest prioritizing subsidized or unsubsidized loans if feasible.

Potential full funding opportunities:

Service programs offered by organizations, such as governments or the military, may cover veterinary education costs in exchange for post-graduation employment commitments.

Assessing the value of veterinary education:

Despite the financial investment, veterinary school offers rewarding career prospects with salary ranges between $95,000 and $140,000 for Canadian veterinarians. 

By understanding the financial commitments of veterinary education, Canadian students can embark on their journey with confidence, knowing they have the resources and support to succeed.

Begin Your Journey at St. Matthew’s University

St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine offers an affordable and personalized learning experience, with small classes and dedicated teaching staff. We offer great flexibility and welcome students into our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program on a rolling basis, so you can begin your veterinary journey at a time that works for you. 

“St. Matthew’s really stood out to me for different things that I had heard about, like the small class sizes and things like that, and one of the main things was the rotating admissions also rolling admissions – that is that I wouldn’t have had to wait otherwise two years to the US schools for the whole app dem cast application process and then for applying a full year later I was able to start pretty much right away down here.” 

– Zee Mahmoud, St Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine student.

Learn more about our admissions requirements and the prerequisites for veterinary school. Join one of our events or contact our expert team to find out more today. 

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