Bill of the Week: Arkansas HB 1766

On March 31, 2011, the governor of Arkansas signed HB 1766 into law.  The bill establishes a loan repayment program for out-of-state veterinary medical education at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  It provides that the Department of Higher Education shall institute and administer a loan repayment program to: (1) benefit Arkansas residents; and (2) assist with the repayment of federal student loans for students that attended a participating institution and completed the requirements for loan repayment. 

Participants in the loan repayment program are required to practice food supply veterinary medicine in Arkansas for up to five consecutive years.  Pursuant to the program, the “practice of food supply veterinary medicine” means a corporate or private veterinary practice with a minimum of thirty percent (30%) of the practice devoted to food animal medicine or mixed animal medicine located in rural areas.  The loan repayment amount shall not exceed the amount of tuition assistance provided under the Southern Regional Education Compact program.

With the adoption of this bill, Arkansas becomes the 20th state to establish a loan repayment program for veterinary students who agree to practice food animal veterinary medicine or to practice in underserved areas.  Click here to compare the new Arkansas program to the other existing state loan repayment programs.

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