New York University offers free tuition to all medical students

New York University offers free tuition to all medical students

Ronald Pratt
August 18, 2018

New York University has a plan to encourage more medical students to pursue careers in lower-paying specialties: alleviate the six-figure debt that comes with pursuing a medical degree.

School officials worry that rising tuition and soaring loan balances are pushing new doctors into high-paying fields and contributing to a shortage of researchers and primary care physicians.

For instance, some schools, including NYU School of Medicine, offer programs for students to graduate in three years instead of the traditional four. The University of California-Los Angeles's David Geffen School of Medicine has a similar fund to cover costs for students based on merit.

"Our hope - and expectation - is that by making medical school accessible to a broader range of applicants, we will be a catalyst for transforming medical education nationwide", said Kenneth Langone, chair of the Board of Trustees of NYU Langone Health. The debt is even higher for students who attend private schools. It has raised about $450 million through endowments so far.

Tuition was to have been set at $55,000 for next year; most medical students will still face a bill of approximately $29,000 for living expenses.

State Of Emergency Declared Ahead Of 'Unite The Right' Anniversary
Several peaceful events are planned in Charlottesville to commemorate last year's event and promote racial healing. Chaos erupted before the event even began, with participants and counter-protesters brawling in the street.

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.

"This is going to be a huge game-changer for us, for our students and for our patients", said Dr. Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admission and financial aid. Medical schools have tackled medical school debt in other ways. Professionals from NYU say this enormous debt has influenced medical students to pursue more profitable fields in the profession, rather than less financially generous ones like pediatrics or primary care.

The United States could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. "I think a lot of schools would love to be able to do this, but it's more hard for some schools".

The school will also refund current students who made out-of-pocket tuition payments for the 2018-2019 school year and return loan payments to students who may have taken out student loans.