New York University said Thursday that it will cover tuition for all its medical students regardless of their financial situation, a first among the nation's major medical schools and an attempt to expand career options for graduates who won't be saddled with six-figure debt. To do that, NYU will now give all of its medical students a free ride, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"It addresses both physician shortages and diversity", said Rafael Rivera, the associate dean for admissions and financial aid at the school, in a statement.
"If you're faced with debt that you're likely to have into your 50s, it's got to have an influence on what you choose to do", Lee Goldman, dean of the Columbia University medical school tells the paper.
NYU estimates it will need about $600 million to fund the tuition package in perpetuity. At the same time, all current NYU medical students received emails saying the school is offering them full-tuition scholarships.
With a lower debt burden, the school is hopeful more students will pursue lower-paying fields, such as primary care, pediatrics and OB/GYN.
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Dr Robert Grossman said that "aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt". So far, the school has raised $450 million of it, with $243 million coming in the last nine months, says Rivera.
Medical school officials announced the scholarships today at NYU Langone Health's Tisch Hospital in Manhattan.
PHOTO: New York University's School of Medicine announces it is offering full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in its MD degree program, regardless of need or merit, August 16, 2018. The school will refund out-of-pocket tuition payments already made for the current year, and return loans students may have taken out.
Students would still be on the hook for other costs related to their attendance, such as room and board, fees, health insurance, licensing exam charges.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median debt of a graduating medical student in the USA is US$202,000 - while 21% of doctors who graduate from a private school such as NYU face over US$300,000.