Veterinary Student Debt Relief Program Receives Make the Difference Award

Banfield Pet Hospital received a global Make the Difference Award on June 20 from its parent company—Mars, Inc.—for its Veterinary Student Debt Relief Program. Dr. Kirk Breuninger, who was the project manager for Banfield’s Student Debt Relief Program, accepted this award on behalf of the practice. “When I graduated from veterinary school, I had finally achieved a lifelong dream to be part of the profession I loved so much – but it came at a high cost,” said Dr. Kirk Breuninger, Director of Strategic Planning, Banfield Pet Hospital. “Like most early career veterinarians, my student debt weighed heavily on me and made financial freedom very challenging. The new student debt benefit shows Banfield is listening to and addressing the needs of its associates.”

In 2017, Banfield Pet Hospital launched its Veterinary Student Debt Relief Program, designed to help ease the burden of student debt for its associates. The program includes three options for eligible associates:

  1. A monthly student loan contribution of $150 paid by Banfield directly toward its doctors’ qualifying educational loans (taxes paid)
  2. A one-time $2,500 payment for each qualifying Banfield student program in which a doctor participated before graduating, for a maximum of $10,000 (taxes paid)
  3. A low-interest refinancing option with supplementary 0.25% interest-rate reduction for all Banfield associates with qualifying loans

In the first year alone, Banfield contributed more than $4 million toward helping its veterinarians pay off their student loans, and enabled more than $10 million in educational debt refinancing for its associates.