NYU Offering Free Tuition to Medical School Students

Aug 18, 2018, 00:57
NYU Offering Free Tuition to Medical School Students

According to The Wall Street Journal, the institution has so far raised over $450 million of the almost $600 million it needs to fully cover the costs of its medical students' tuition. In the US, only 3 in 10 students choose to practice in the primary care specialties of internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics, which generally have lower salaries than specialties like cardiology or anesthesiology.

"Ultimately, this is about patients and creating a fantastic workforce that patients deserve", said Dr. Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admission and financial aid.

Nationally, 72 percent of graduates from the class of 2018 had debt from medical school, with a median of $195,000 in loans, according to student surveys by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

FBN's Cheryl Casone on some colleges now asking students for a percentage of their future salary to cover the cost of tuition.

Robert Grossman, dean of the NYU School of Medicine, said the decision is an attempt to tackle debt burden on aspiring physicians. At the same time, all current NYU medical students received emails saying the school is offering them full-ride scholarships too. So far, the school has raised $450 million of it, with $243 million coming in the last nine months, says Rivera.

The announcement from the medical school's trustees, leaders, and faculty was delivered this morning to first-year medical students and family members as a surprise ending to the annual "White Coat Ceremony", where each new student is presented with a white lab coat to mark the start of their medical education and training. Medical schools across the country have made efforts to alleviate the burden of medical school debt but NYU is the first major institution to eliminate the burden entirely for all its students.

Few medical schools have managed to cover tuition for a wide swath of students. Those range from around $27,000 to $29,000 per year, according to the medical school. That is partly propelled by the fact that almost half of third- and fourth-year students say that their choice in medical specialty is influenced by projected income-or by debt burden.

The initiative covers the $55,018 in annual tuition costs, the school says, and is effective immediately for all current and incoming students. Tuition and its debt burden may be a factor contributing to the projected shortage of up to 120,000 physicians in the United States by 2030.