New York University offers free tuition to all medical students

New York University offers free tuition to all medical students

"Our last thing was to tell the students and their parents that, hey, tuition is going to be on us", Dr. Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admission and financial aid, told ABC News in a telephone interview Thursday. The yearly tuition costs covered under this medical scholarship amount to just over $55,000 per year, and the effort involved raising some $450 million to date (of more than $600 million planned) from supporters such as Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone and his wife Elaine, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The crushing weight of debt that medical education places on students-debt that averaged some $191,000 across all schools and more than $206,000 for private schools in 2017, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)-has consequences for prospective students and the future contours of US medicine alike.

With a lower debt burden, the school is hopeful more students will pursue lower-paying fields, such as primary care, pediatrics and OB/GYN.

The school will provide the full tuition scholarships to its 93 first-year students, as well as the 350 students who have already begun their M.D. -only degree program.

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Other medical schools have attempted to assuage the financial burden of medical school, including the University of Houston's College of Medicine, which offered full scholarships to its inaugural class. Langone Health, told The New York Times. The medical school said it is the first top 10-ranked medical school to provide full scholarships regardless of need or merit. Nine students already have had their tuition completely covered under their M.D./PhD programs.

Rivera said the daunting prospect of financial debt has an "adverse effect on patient care" by "scaring away" talented students from a career in medicine and, in effect, causing physician shortages and a lack of diversity. Students nontuition costs in that program would be about $27,000 to $31,000.

In December, Columbia University received a $250 million gift from Dr. Roy Vagelos and Diana Vagelos, of which $150 million created an endowment that will cover the tuition for medical students who are deemed to have financial need at the renamed Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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