Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

NYU medical school to offer free tuition to all students

NYU medical school to offer free tuition to all students

New York University says it will cover tuition for all of its medical students - regardless of their financial situation, The Wall Street Journal reports.

However, students will still have to pay for annual room and board, and other living expenses. In a surprise announcement, NYU revealed it would foot tuition-about $55,000 per year-for all medical students going forward.

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. NYU leaders called the decision a "moral imperative" considering the impact medical school debt has on physician stress levels, diversity in the profession and the provider shortage.

NYU estimates it will need about $600 million to fund the tuition package in perpetuity. In the most recent application cycle, only 18 percent of matriculating medical students were African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, or native Alaskans, even though they make up almost 33 percent of the USA population.

"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 in a telephone interview Thursday. Nine students have their tuition covered through the school's M.D./Ph.D program. 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.

The crushing weight of debt that medical education places on students-debt that averaged some $191,000 across all schools and more than $206,000 for private schools in 2017, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)-has consequences for prospective students and the future contours of USA medicine alike. 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. The scholarships were expected to offer free tuition to one-fifth of the school's students, with others receiving aid to meet their financial need.

NYU Langone says 75 percent of doctors graduate in debt at an average of $200,000.

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