NYU's Amazing RX for Med Students: Full Scholarships for All

The school claims that as the burden of student debt steers medical graduates into more lucrative specialties, fewer students are pursuing, say, primary care or obstetrics and gynecology, which don't pay as well.

The medical school announced the news at its annual White Coat Ceremony, where students erupted into applause. "This gives our students choice in two ways: First it will enable students who couldn't afford medical school to afford it and the second thing it does is enable students enrolled in medical school to think with a clear eye (about their future specialty)", said Dr. Robert Grossman, the dean of NYU School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health. The University of California-Los Angeles's David Geffen School of Medicine has a similar fund to cover costs for students based on merit. The NYU Medical Center is named after Langone and his wife, Elaine. On average, doctors now graduating from a private school do so with $202,000 in debt. It has raised more than $450 million.

By taking tuition costs off the table, NYU Associate Dean of Admissions Rafael Rivera said he hopes to level the playing field for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. In a surprise announcement, NYU revealed it would foot tuition-about $55,000 per year-for all medical students going forward.

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About 62% of NYU's medical students reportedly graduate with debt; for 2017 graduates, that debt came to $184,000 on average.

The full scholarships are a first among the nation's major medical schools and an attempt to help graduates avoid huge student loan debts, according to the newspaper. Debt incurred by paying for medical school tuition fundamentally influences the demographic profile of medical school classes. Sometimes the option is only available to those interested in primary care to try to boost the workforce. But the medical school community isn't sure if it'll start a trend. Fresne also emphasized that although medical school is expensive, the federal government offers financial loans to cover the full cost of tuition and repayment plans take into consideration income.

In December, Columbia University received a $250 million gift from Dr. Roy Vagelos and Diana Vagelos, of which $150 million created an endowment that will cover the tuition for medical students who are deemed to have financial need at the renamed Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Medical school is still a great investment", she said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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