NYU offering free tuition to medical 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

The free-tuition initiative began more than a decade ago when NYU created an endowment for that objective.

In a move that is a first among major US medical schools, New York University is offering free tuition for all of its medical students.

Alleviate the looming physician shortage. NYU students can choose between the traditional four-year MD program or an accelerated three-year degree. On average, students who graduate from public medical schools are left with about $181,000 in debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. While that figure includes estimated shortages for both specialists and general practitioners, the NYU program could theoretically reduce the burden of entry to either and, the hope goes, free up would-be doctors to pursue the careers they want to begin with.

To be sure, applications to medical schools exceed the available seats-the admission rate was just over 41 percent in the most recent application cycle. "I do have a big interest in doing medical research".

Improve the diversity of the physician workforce. "And this includes the incoming class and the upperclassmen as well that are here right now - no more tuition".

The Wall Street Journal reported today the move is a first among major US medical schools. More than 450 new and current students will benefit-though they will still need to pay about $29,000 a year for room, board, and living expenses.

The school has launched a $600 million campaign to fund an endowment that will cover the costs of the scholarships.

This application and enrollment gap is relevant to the health disparities that exist in the U.S. The life expectancy of blacks is 3.4 years shorter than whites, and every seven minutes an additional black individual dies prematurely relative to whites. Langone Health, told The New York Times.

Increase primary care physicians. Medical schools have tackled medical school debt in other ways. Officials made the decision not only to off-set staggering debt for those entering medical fields, but also to attract and retain "the best and brightest students to careers in medicine", the school of medicine said in a statement. In 2017, 119 students matriculated from the medical school, which receives well over 7,000 applications a year. All of these issues can impact patient care.

The skyrocketing cost of tuition that can lead to hundred of thousand of dollars in debt, which can be out of line with potential earnings, including for prospective doctors, has been a source of much debate.

Students will not have a totally free ride, however. Additionally, the debt can turn off aspiring high school and college students from pursuing the field due to financial constraints.

Republished with permission from STAT.

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