It has come to our attention that Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) has admitted an unprecedented number of students begin their first semester of the veterinary program in fall 2011.
The number of new students this semester comes to 165. Those students hope to finish their seventh semester at Ross in fall 2013, at which time they would proceed to the clinical year at a veterinary school in the United States.
However, at the present time there is only space in the U.S. cinical programs for 90 Ross students from each class. That means that 75 students–or 45 percent of the fall 2013 class–must fail out of Ross’s program.
Attending any professional school is a taxing experience, be it human medicine, veterinary medicine, or another kind. Ross prides itself on offering students an alternative to U.S. veterinary programs, whether those students had a “less competitive” application or the U.S. schools simply weren’t right for them.
Either way, students who go to Ross do so under the impression that, if they work hard enough, they will be able to graduate and get a DVM degree. Yet that’s clearly not the reality of the situation if 45 percent of the incoming class literally cannot proceed to the clinical year.
We’ve heard reports of “weeding” practices occurring not just in vet-prep or first semester, but in many semesters afterwards. Additionally, while students at U.S. vet schools would be allowed to repeat a semester as many times as necessary, Ross students are dismissed from the program if they fail more than a single class in a semester, or if they fail a semester more than once.
This doesn’t even take into account the extremely taxing nature of living on the island of St. Kitts, and the minimal information that incoming students are given about it (we’ll have further reports about this topic in the coming months).
Those who do fail out are left with a portion of the more than $200,000 USD in loans than it costs to complete the veterinary program at RUSVM–except they have no career to pay off that debt. Most of those loans originate from the U.S. government and remain with Ross faculty and the parent company, DeVry University. When these details are considered together, the whole operation starts to feel like a loan mill.
We’ll be following up on this subject as we gather more information. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below. Alternatively, you can send us an email at eyeonstkitts[at]gmail[dot]com.