Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

New York University makes tuition free for all medical students

New York University makes tuition free for all medical students

Dr. Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admissions and financial aid, said the program goes further than other forms of financial aid, which require students to apply before finding out about their support.

The top 10 medical school said it aims to address the growing debt burden of graduates. The financial support and commitment it takes for a school to provide such a broad incentive to students isn't realistic for all schools, said Julie Fresne, director of student financial services at the Association of American Medical Colleges. The university added that medical school debt is "reshaping the medical profession", encouraging graduates to choose more lucrative specializations to pay off their educational debt rather than choose primary care.

The move follows NYU's decision in 2013 to offer an accelerated three-year curriculum for its MD degree program, which also helps in cutting tuition costs.

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. Debt incurred by paying for medical school tuition fundamentally influences the demographic profile of medical school classes.

Medical schools across the US have attempted to respond to the student debt crisis by increasing their fundraising efforts to recruit competitive applicants, reduce student debt, and give graduates more flexibility with their career paths.

Medical school officials announced the scholarships today at NYU Langone Health's Tisch Hospital in Manhattan. 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.

About 75% of medical students across the country graduated with debt in 2017.

About 62% of NYU's medical students reportedly graduate with debt; for 2017 graduates, that debt came to $184,000 on average. But the medical school community isn't sure if it'll start a trend.

The latter reality is particularly problematic since, according to the AAMC, there is a projected doctor shortage of between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians relative to Americans' health care needs by 2030.

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