Louisiana veterinary loan repayment laws

August 2017

Louisiana Revised Statutes
Title 17. Education
Chapter 20-B-6. Veterinary School Loans for Certain Veterinary Students
§ 3042.61. Legislative findings; purpose; definitions

A. The legislature finds that there is a critical shortage of food animal veterinarians in the state, and it is the intent of the legislature to provide for an adequate supply of veterinarians who will practice food animal veterinary medicine in the state of Louisiana. The legislature further finds that funding such a supply of food animal veterinarians is a public purpose and, pursuant to Article VII, Section 14 of the Constitution of Louisiana, the legislature intends to provide for a cooperative endeavor to effectuate such purpose.

B. It is the purpose and intent of this Chapter to provide for loans to eligible applicants who will obtain doctor of veterinary medicine degrees from schools of veterinary medicine which will qualify them to become food animal veterinarians. Additionally, the purpose of such loans shall be to bring about an adequate supply of capable food animal veterinarians by inducing a sufficient number of the graduates of the schools of veterinary medicine of this state to remain in Louisiana to practice food animal veterinary medicine.

C. For the purposes of this Chapter, a school of veterinary medicine shall be defined as any veterinary college or division of a university or college in Louisiana that offers the degree of doctor of veterinary medicine or its equivalent and that conforms to the standards required for accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association and approved by the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine.

§ 3042.62. Loans for certain veterinary students; Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission; authority

A. The Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission, hereinafter referred to as "the commission", may use funds appropriated for or otherwise available to the commission for such purpose to make loans to not more than four students each year who each meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

(1) Is a bona fide citizen and resident of the state. However, first priority shall be given to students who have been residents of the state for at least two years.

(2) Has been accepted to enroll in a school of veterinary medicine.

(3) Intends to acquire a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from a school of veterinary medicine.

(4) Intends to practice as a food animal veterinarian in the state of Louisiana.

(5) Meets such other qualifications as the commission may prescribe by rule.

B. The commission may make a loan to a student who it deems to be qualified, upon such terms and conditions as the commission may impose in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

C. Any student to whom the commission has made a loan shall be required to maintain all requirements set forth by the school of veterinary medicine such student is attending.

D. It shall be the duty of the commission to do all of the following:

(1) Accept and review each application for such a loan.

(2) Make careful and full investigation of the qualifications of each applicant.

(3) Determine the eligibility of the applicant to become the recipient of such a loan and to continue to be eligible for such loan.

E. The commission may prescribe such rules and regulations as it deems necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of this Chapter which shall include and provide for an open and competitive process for determining loan recipients.

§ 3042.63. Amount; requirements

A. A loan may be made by the commission pursuant to this Chapter for not in excess of the amount of actual tuition charges to be paid by the student to a school of veterinary medicine, provided such loan is used to defray the tuition of any such applicant at a school of veterinary medicine. Such a loan shall be made at such time, in such amounts, and in such increments as the commission shall determine and as shall be provided in the contract with the applicant as provided in this Chapter.

B. A student for whom a loan is made by the commission pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter shall be required to repay the full amount of the loan and interest thereon to the commission. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the commission shall forgive such a loan to the applicant in return for services rendered by the applicant by practicing his or her profession full time as a food animal veterinarian in the state of Louisiana. A portion of the loan equal to a year's tuition charges together with the interest thereon shall be forgiven for the student by the commission for each year the student practices as a food animal veterinarian in the state of Louisiana as provided in this Subsection.

§ 3042.64. Contract required; cancellation

A. Before the commission makes a loan for an applicant, the applicant shall enter into a contract with the commission, agreeing to the terms and conditions upon which the loan shall be made, which contract shall include such terms and provisions as will carry out the full purpose and intent of this Chapter. The form for the contract shall be prepared and approved by the commission, shall be signed by such officer or employee of the commission as the commission shall designate, and shall be signed by the applicant.

B. (1) The obligation of the applicant to repay a loan pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter shall remain in effect until the applicant has repaid the loan and the interest thereon as provided in this Chapter or the commission has forgiven the loan, all in accordance with the terms of the contract with the applicant for the loan.

(2) Upon breach of any terms of the contract by the applicant, or for any cause deemed sufficient by the commission, the remaining amount of the loan paid to the applicant which the commission has not forgiven in return for service shall become due and payable by the applicant in accordance with the terms of the contract between the commission and the applicant, and the commission shall take all necessary steps to secure collection, up to and including referral to the attorney general for collection.

(3) The attorney general shall be responsible for collection of any balance due to the state from a participant for breach of a contract as required by this Section.

C. The commission is hereby vested with full and complete authority and power to sue in its own name any applicant for any balance due on a loan made by the commission.

§ 3042.65. Schools of veterinary medicine; contracts; cancellation

A. The commission may make inquiry of the schools of veterinary medicine of Louisiana and may make such arrangements and enter into such contracts or agreements with schools of veterinary medicine in the state as shall be appropriate to carry out the provisions of this Chapter. Such contracts and agreements shall include such provisions as shall be agreed upon by the commission and the school to provide for the administration by the school of loans made pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, including applications therefor and repayment thereof.

B. The commission shall have authority to cancel such contracts and agreements, which it may lawfully cancel, made with any of the schools of veterinary medicine as herein provided.

§ 3042.66. Funding

The commission may receive and accept funds from public and private sources to meet administrative and other expenses of the implementation of this Chapter.

Source: AVMA Staff Research, State Advovacy Division.
Contact: State Policy Analyst, AVMA State Advovacy Division, 847-285-6758