NYU offers free tuition for all medical students

Posted August 19, 2018

"The day they get their diploma, they owe nobody nothing", Kenneth G. Langone, the board of trustees chairman for NYU Langone Medical Center, told USA Today. That fund cost a more modest $100 million to establish, but it covers only 20 percent of students at the school.

"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 I. Grossman, dean of the medical school and chief executive officer of N.Y.U. Saddled with staggering student loans many medical school graduates choose higher-paying specialties, drawing talent away from less lucrative fields like primary care, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology. We were horrified: The notion of tuition-free medical school-admittedly something that had been circulating in the pre-orientation rumor mill-seemed imaginative at best, delusional at worst, and thoroughly inconsiderate on day four of probably the most debt-accumulating pursuit in our adult lives. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median debt for medical students upon graduating in 2017 was $192,000.

The school says it wanted to reduce the amount of debt students are saddled with after medical school and attract a more diverse class of students.

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Citing the risk of "overwhelming" debt, it says every student will qualify regardless of merit or financial need. "I think a lot of schools would love to be able to do this, but it's more hard for some schools". "That's too late if we wish to expand the pipeline to bring forth the broadest, most-talented group of students, and to give them the financial freedom to choose medicine over other careers".

The university announced Thursday that it will cover annual tuition costs of $55,018 for current and future students, regardless of need or merit. In 2017, 119 students matriculated from the medical school, which receives well over 7,000 applications a year. The new policy of free tuition for medical students, of course, will likely increase this percentage. Research shows this high debt can add significantly to student and physician stress, making them feel cynical or depressed.

NYU said on Thursday that it hopes other institutions will follow in its path, as it pursues "a full retrofitting of the pipeline that trains and finances" future doctors.

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NYU said this initiative had numerous supporters including Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller and BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink.

AAMC. "Analysis in Brief".

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