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Spring 1999 Vol.23 No.2
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Student Loan Concerns Aired in Washington

Kristin Kanoy (picture) “Participating in the Second Annual Graduate and Professional Student Lobby Day in Washington, DC, was quite an experience,” says Kristin Kanoy, third-year veterinary student and president of the student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Assocation. Students from 11 veterinary schools participated, with guidance from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

Kanoy (shown at right in Washington) was paired with a second-year veterinary student from Michigan State University. Together they visited senators and congressmen from Illinois and Michigan.

"We talked to staffers about loan deferrals for private veterinary internships and residencies, extending the period when students can deduct loan interest from their income tax, increasing the salary caps for more people to be able to make the tax deductions, and increasing the amount of federal unsubsidized loans available to students with extra need.

"I wish I could tell you we solved all the problems with student indebtedness, but government works very slowly—maybe because legislators have so far to walk between the Senate and House buildings," jokes Kanoy, who admits to having very sore feet by the end of the day. "You have to have a very loud voice to make your cause known."

Kanoy urges those who care about these issues to write their representatives in Washington, because the more lawmakers hear about students' needs, the more likely they are to act.

A survey of 1998 veterinary school graduates conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Assocation found a mean educational debt of $59,982, up nearly 12% from last year and up 22% from 1996.

From the February 15, 1999, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 214 (No. 4): 488-490.

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