New York University offers free tuition for all medical students

by Jared Lewis August 18, 2018, 0:58
New York University offers free tuition for all medical students

New York University on Thursday announced that it will be providing all of its medical students with full tuition scholarships, no matter their financial situation. More than 450 new and current students will benefit-though they will still need to pay about $29,000 a year for room, board, and living expenses.

The scholarship covers annual tuition costs of up to $55,000 (£43,000).

School officials cited a shortage of researchers and primary care physicians, due to rising tuition and huge loans, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, as part of the reason for the initiative. Given that graduating medical students from underrepresented minority groups are 2.5 times more likely than white students to work with underserved populations, the increase in diversity that tuition-free medical school might engender has profound implications for reducing health disparities in this country.

More than half of the medical school's most recent graduating class had student loans, averaging out to $171,908 for medical school, the Journal reported.

"This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians", Robert I. Grossman, dean of the medical school and chief executive officer of N.Y.U. The school also implemented in 2013 an accelerated 3-year M.D. program so students could start earning a salary one year earlier. Medical schools nationwide have been conducting aggressive fundraising campaigns to compete for top prospects, alleviate the debt burden and give graduates more career choices.

The university will provide full-tuition scholarships for 93 first-year students - another nine are already covered through an M.D./PhD program - as well as 350 students already partly through the M.D. -only degree program, the Wall Street Journal said. While it must be easier for a moneyed institution like NYU to offer full-tuition scholarships, it is reportedly the first school of its caliber to do so (according to NYU, that is). In 2017, 119 students matriculated from the medical school, which receives well over 7,000 applications a year. Students nontuition costs in that program would be about $27,000 to $31,000. 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.

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