NYU Makes Tuition Free For All Medical Students

New York University hopes to alleviate the rising costs of medical education and attract a more diverse class by paying for

NYU New York University hopes to alleviate the rising costs of medical education and attract a more diverse class by paying for its students tuitions

Thursday's announcement came as a surprise ending to the school's annual white coat ceremony, which marks the start of first-year students' medical careers.

Addressing the affordability issue could help alleviate physician shortages, said Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admissions and financial aid.

Three out of four medical students who graduated in 2017 were in debt, usually around $200,000.

That includes current students, the remainder of whose tuition will be covered under the program, and every single incoming and future medical student at the NYU School of Medicine, in perpetuity, whose tuition costs will be covered in full, according to the university. And some aspiring doctors may abandon the career path altogether, or not even consider medicine in the first place.

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers free tuition to students whose families make less than $80,000 a year, and MIT says 90 percent of its students receive financial aid.

According to U.S. News and World Report, public medical schools charged an average of $34,699 per year for in-state tuition during the 2017-2018 school year.

NYU School of Medicine has already raised more than $450 million of the roughly $600 million it says it needs to fund the tuition package. The move closely follows its decision in 2013 to join a select group of US medical schools offering an accelerated three-year curriculum. One thing is for certain: It just became even harder to get into NYU.

People have already applauded the NYU Medical School scholarship online.

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Overwhelming student debt is fundamentally reshaping the medical profession in ways that are adversely affecting healthcare.

How much does medical school cost?

Saddled with staggering student loans many medical school graduates choose higher-paying specialties, drawing talent away from less lucrative fields like primary care, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology.

Students will still be responsible for books, fees, housing and other costs. 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. Research shows this high debt can add significantly to student and physician stress, making them feel cynical or depressed.

NYU spent approximately $552 million a year ago in institutional funds specifically for student aid (undergraduate, graduate and doctoral) purposes.

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