The American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) and Zoetis teamed up to present the 2019 Veterinary Wellbeing Summit, "Putting the WE in Wellbeing,” Nov. 16-19 in Rosemont, Illinois.  Veterinary Debt Initiative (VDI) leadership was on hand to educate attendees on the wide-ranging importance of addressing educational debt— from the wellbeing of individual veterinarians to the viability of the profession itself. The VDI session “The Collaborative Approach to the Veterinary Debt Initiative,” outlined the VDI’s strategy for addressing this issue as well as multitude of debt-related...

Malinda Larkin of JAVMA News summarized the comprehensive results from the AVMA survey of the 2019 graduating class presented by Dr. Bridgette Bain, AVMA Associate Director of Analytics. Financial planner Isaiah Douglass summarized his key learnings from the AVMA Economic Summit in the Oct. 31 blog post “AVMA Economic Summit-Takeaways” and “The Veterinarian Success” podcast Episode 21, “Disability Insurance 101 & AVMA Economic Summit Review." Amy Snyder, Amanda Bates, and Andrew Rotz shared their highlights from the 2019 AVMA Economic Summit in the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine podcast Season 2, Episode 10....

The interactive graphic on The Wall Street Journal website* Nov. 20 allowed readers to visualize student debt and expected initial salary for every college or university and career, including veterinary medicine. “Fundamentally, the results for higher education, including veterinary medicine, aren’t any different than the debt-to-income ratios the AVMA has been sharing with the profession. However, to see the data presented on The Wall Street Journal website is striking,” said Dr. David Granstrom, Assistant Executive Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The AVMA partners with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and...

Chris Arnold of National Public Radio provided the latest details Nov. 25 on a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit student loan group, Student Debt Crisis, against the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Bureau (CFPB): “The lawsuit…alleges that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has abandoned its obligation to oversee companies that manage student loans, in particular a troubled loan forgiveness program.” Natalia Abrams, the founder of the Student Debt Crisis said: "We are suing the Department of Education and the CFPB because they are not doing their jobs." Abrams continued, “Over the...

The Higher Education Financial Wellness Alliance (HEFWA.org) officially launches next month. HEFWA is for professionals dedicated to bringing together post-secondary organizations to inform national conversations that impact financial wellness, public policy, and educational support services. “Any alliance that generates fresh ideas for sharing information about teaching financial wellness concepts can only help the students in our profession,” said Dr. David Granstrom, Assistant Executive Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a Veterinary Debt Initiative co-lead organization.  If interested in joining the discussion, there is a link to sign up for the...

InsideHigherEd.com contributor F. King Alexander provided commentary Nov. 26 in “The Reality of State Disinvestment in Public Higher Education” on recent studies that have “produced an avalanche of questionable statistics to the effect that public institutions do not warrant taxpayer support.”  One study by Andrew Gillen of the Texas Public Policy Foundation was challenged in particular: “[The study] disparages reports of degeneration in state funding, maintaining that no real decline has occurred over the previous decades. The report claims that any alleged decrease in public investment in higher education is more perceived than real.”...

Chris Arnold of National Public Radio reported on economists’ latest views on student debt proposals from presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Nov. 25: “Economists say the dramatic proposals from Sanders and Warren to free millions of Americans from the burden of student debt could boost the economy in significant ways and help combat income inequality.” Arnold added, “The reason debt forgiveness could have a big impact on the overall economy is that a generation of Americans is making major life decisions differently because of student loans.” Arnold provided...

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) hosted a free webinar, “Student Loan Benefits and Your Organization’s Retirement Program” Nov. 21. Different retirement plan programs and reasons why employers should offer student loan repayment as an employee benefit were discussed.  Pharmaceutical and health care products company Abbott Laboratories was featured as a case study for its innovative program designed to encourage employees to pay down their student debt by helping them save for retirement at the same time. For employers interested in benefits programs, the Veterinary Debt Initiative recently published an...

Darby Affeldt, DVM, RICP, is a financial advisor to veterinarians at North Star Resource Group in Seattle. In a recent dvm360.com article, “Why are so many veterinary grads financially illiterate,” Affeldt explored reasons why financial literacy is so variable among veterinary graduates. She said, “I ask students to rate their own financial literacy on a scale of 1 to 10—1 is Snoopy and 10 is Warren Buffett. The average is 3. It turns out that where they go to school makes a big difference.” Affeldt also examined loan forgiveness (she...

Check out how the Veterinary Debt Initiative is leading efforts in the student debt crisis at these upcoming VDI-sponsored speaker events: 2020 AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, Chicago, IL Friday 1/10/20 at 3 pm: Beyond Dollars and Cents: Leadership in Student Debt Strategies 2020 AAVMC Annual Conference, Washington D.C. 3/6-3/8: Time and location TBD ...