NYU To Cover Tuition For All Medical Students

Grant Boone
August 17, 2018

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.

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

School of Medicine announced Thursday that its MD degree program will be paid for through full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students, regardless of need or merit.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the institution has so far raised over $450 million of the almost $600 million it needs to fully cover the costs of its medical students' tuition.

NYU's new class of medical students got more than just a white coat this morning, during the school's annual White Coat Ceremony.

NYU School of Medicine is the first private US medical school and the only one ranked in the top 10 to offer free tuition to all its students, the university said in a press release.

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"There's really a moral imperative to reduce the amount of debt people have", Dr. Rivera said of the effort. Professionals from NYU say this enormous debt has influenced medical students to pursue more profitable fields in the profession, rather than less financially generous ones like pediatrics or primary care.

"We don't want this debt to hang over their heads and persuade them from pursuing careers of passion", Rivera told ABC News. The school also implemented in 2013 an accelerated 3-year M.D. program so students could start earning a salary one year earlier. Among those with debt, the average student owed almost $191,000, which rises to $202,000 among private medical school graduates.

The newspaper said most medical students will still need to pay for their room, board and living expenses, which it estimated at about $29,000 year.

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.

The scholarships, worth about $55,000 a year, will benefit 93 first-year students and 350 other students enrolled in the M.D. program.

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