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TLC Veterinary Scholarship Program
Financial Aid For Veterinary Students
Specializing In The Needs of Older Cats

Our TLC/for The Love of Cats Veterinary Scholarship Program seeks outstanding students who have a history of community outreach with cats, are committed cat guardians themselves, and whose life work will be devoted to the health and understanding of geriatric felines.

Up to one scholarship per year may be awarded to a veterinary student specializing in the medical and behavioral issues of older cats.  Maximum available aid for any one academic year is $20,000 for tuition, fees and books, pro-rated over each term.  Scholarship payments may complement but not duplicate grants received from other organizations.

Scholarships are automatically renewable each term provided the recipient remains in good standing with both the program requirements and its objectives.

Eligibility.  For consideration, a student must be a U. S. citizen enrolled or accepted in an accredited U. S. school of veterinary medicine.  Applicant must have a minimum of one year's service as a volunteer or employee of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization giving life care to orphaned cats and have a lifelong commitment to their personal cats.

Application Process.  Applicants must complete our basic application and submit it together with the following documents:

  • A statement outlining how their attainment of a veterinary degree will be used to benefit the welfare and understanding of geriatric cats.
  • A history of all volunteer work or employment performed by the applicant with cat rescues or shelters and, a history of the pet cats the applicant has cared for during his or her life.  If the cats are no longer in their care, what has happened to them.
  • A scholarship plan outlining the academic requirements needed to achieve a doctorate in veterinary medicine.  Costs must be itemized and totaled by term of study including an estimate of all anticipated tuition, fees and book expenses.
  • Two letters of reference -- one academic and one from a veterinarian or a cat welfare professional.
  • Sealed transcripts from all colleges and universities previously or currently attended.
  • Copy of the Veterinary School letter of acceptance.
Selection Process.  The complete application package must be submitted no later than May 15th.  The recipient will be selected by the Board of Directors and notified in writing on or before July 15th.

Disbursements.  Disbursements will be made each semester after receipt of the completed Disbursement Request together with all supporting documents:

  • Previous term's grades,
  • Registration information on the coming term,
  • Original research paper (approximately 1,000 words) on a geriatric cat topic,
  • And a brief update of the recipient's continued involvement in cat welfare -- community outreach and status of personal pet cats.
The Feline Veterinarian's Role

" live longer, healthier lives than ever before.  In the past 50 years the average life span of cats has tripled an many now live into their late teens or early twenties.  Today, 40% of all pet owners have an animal aged seven or older. -- Your Aging Cat by Amy D. Shojai

It's no wonder that cats are now America's number one pet.  They sleep while we work, use litter boxes so they can live indoors, and sit on our laps -- purring their way deeply into our hearts.  And, although there are still populations of feral cats, the archetype is now that of an indoor family companion eating premium foods, getting annual health check ups, and living 15-20 years.

This longevity is largely due to the great advances in feline medicine.  Illnesses that once were death sentences can now be detected early and managed over many years.  While many guardians embrace the treatments needed to ensure the longest and highest quality of life for their cats, others may not be equipped to deal with the personal commitment and expenses that accompany it.  Today's veterinarian must weigh the needs of both companion cat and guardian to balance out the treatment.

This is just one of many issues facing today's veterinarians.  Others -- such as the appropriate use of euthanasia and cat overpopulation -- are equally challenging.  The TLC Scholarship Program cultivates DVM candidates who, through their love of cats, add a unique perspective to dealing with these important issues.

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