New York University makes tuition free for all medical students

NYU makes tuition free for all medical students

New York University announced Thursday it is offering free tuition for all current and future medical students.

Tuition had been set at about $55,000 for the coming year. 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. 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", Robert Grossman, the dean of the medical school, said in a statement. It has raised about $450 million through endowments so far.

"Our last thing was to tell the students and their parents that, hey, tuition is going to be on us", Dr. Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admission and financial aid, told ABC News on Thursday.

According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, medical schools have said that an applicant who expresses genuine interest in a medical field where doctors are scarce stands to get more favorable consideration than an applicant who does not express such an interest. Nine students already have had their tuition completely covered under their M.D./PhD programs.

The action could also give graduates more career choices so they won't be pressured into having their future be influenced by student loan burdens. Those range from around $27,000 to $29,000 per year, according to the medical school. Students nontuition costs in that program would be about $27,000 to $31,000.

All students enrolled in the MD degree program are eligible, regardless of their financial need or academic performance. That is partly propelled by the fact that almost half of third- and fourth-year students say that their choice in medical specialty is influenced by projected income-or by debt burden. 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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