Furthering education to become a veterinarian or optometrist can be costly, especially for Kentucky students who must pursue those degrees out-of-state. Contract Spaces is a program designed to help reduce tuition costs for Kentucky students who pursue these degrees.
Why Kentucky needs Contract Spaces
Kentucky does not have public professional schools for veterinary medicine or optometry. To make sure that these fields of study are affordable to Kentucky residents and to ensure that the state has a sufficient number of professionals practicing in these fields, the state participates in the Southern Regional Education Board’s contract spaces program, which reserves a certain number of spaces for Kentucky students. Kentucky students who are awarded a seat then pay the in-state rate at that institution. The Commonwealth pays the difference.
To qualify, students prove residency in Kentucky and apply to an approved veterinary or optometry school, which awards the spaces.
How students benefit from Contract Spaces
Qualified Kentucky students are able to pay the equivalent of in-state tuition for veterinary medicine and optometry programs, which in most cases, reduces the amount required to borrow.
How Contract Spaces benefits Kentuckians
Contract Spaces keeps the goal of earning a degree in veterinary medicine or optometry attainable, even though the state does not offer these programs at public universities. The program also ensures that Kentucky has sufficient numbers of veterinarians and optometrists to serve the people of the state and the agricultural community’s needs.
How Contract Spaces helps us toward 2025 goals
More Kentuckians with more degrees, especially in the areas of health and science, is a state priority. Contract Spaces helps give students access to degree programs without the worry of out-of-state tuition debt.
Learn more about Kentucky's education goals by viewing Stronger By Degrees, the Council's strategic agenda for postsecondary and adult education.