The NYU School of Medicine is the first top 10-ranked medical school to make tuition free, the school said.
It says it is now the only top 10 United States medical school to offer such help. Fresne also emphasized that although medical school is expensive, the federal government offers financial loans to cover the full cost of tuition and repayment plans take into consideration income. The median cost of tuition at all private medical schools, like N.Y.U., in the 2017 to 2018 school year was $59,605 - up 4% from the previous year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. However, receiving the scholarship, medical students will still have to pay for the accommodation in hostels and utilities. NYU leaders also hope the fund will enable the school to attract more diverse candidates who won't be deterred from pursuing a career in medicine because of debt.
Seventy-five percent of doctors in the US graduated with debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the median current debt of a graduating student is $202,000.
"No more tuition. The day they get their diploma, they owe nobody nothing", said Kenneth G. Langone, board of trustees chairman for NYU Langone Medical Center. "This tuition-free initiative is the next big milestone in NYU School of Medicine's effort to transform medical education", says Steven Abramson, MD, Vice Dean for Education, Faculty and Academic Affairs. Doctors graduate with crippling medical school debt and it sometimes causes them to seek higher paying specialties instead of lower paying ones that face shortages, like primary care or pediatrics.
Few medical schools have managed to cover tuition for a wide swath of students.
Three out of four medical students who graduated in 2017 were in debt, usually around $200,000.
Of course, the $552 million in financial aid must be balanced against the $2.276 billion in tuition collected (in 2015, latest year available, according to the school's Form 990 filing). Yet by 2030, as the prevalence of chronic disease continues to skyrocket and the population of Americans over age 65 years increases by 50 percent, the primary care physician shortage may end up larger than that of every other specialty combined. Tuition at the school formerly cost $55,000 a year, and the measure will cover not only the 443 students now enrolled, but also all future students.
NYU said on Thursday that it hopes other institutions will follow in its path, as it pursues "a full retrofitting of the pipeline that trains and finances" future doctors. Case Western Reserve University's Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine has paid student's full tuition since 2008.
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