NYU medical school to offer free tuition to all students

School of Medicine announces it is offering full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in its MD degree program regardless of need or merit Aug. 16 2018

NYU School of Medicine

Medical school officials are concerned that the rising costs of tuition and skyrocketing student loan amounts are either discouraging potential doctors from going into medicine or pushing recent medical school graduates to go into more lucrative fields of medicine at the expense of lower-paying fields, the Wall Street Journal reported. Other schools, including Columbia, are making efforts to ease the tuition burden on medical students.

Additionally, students who are not saddled with six-figure debt after graduation can pursue fields that may not be as high-paying but still important, such as pediatrics and obstetrics, NYU said in a press release. 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. "This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians", said Dr. Robert I. Grossman, Dean of NYU School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health in a statement.

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The move is a first among major US medical schools, reports The Wall Street Journal. Nine students already have had their tuition completely covered under their M.D./PhD programs. In 2017, 119 students matriculated from the medical school, which receives well over 7,000 applications a year.

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. Medical school tuition at NYU this year is $55,018. The school has already raised $450 million and estimates it will take $600 million in total to cover tuition for current and future students.

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This isn't the first time that a medical school has tried to help the physician shortage - but according to NYU it is the first time that a "Top 10" USA medical school has offered free tuition. 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.

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