Disease & Illness

This Medical School Is Making Tuition Free For All Students

They just became the first major American medical school to do this!

New York University made history Aug. 16 with a surprise announcement that it will give full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in its School of Medicine MD program. The scholarship will be offered to all students, regardless of need or merit.

Incoming students received the good news at the end of the annual white coat ceremony, where each new student receives a white lab coat as a symbolic mark of the beginning of their medical education.

Though NYU’s press release on the scholarships said it is the “only top 10-ranked” medical school in the nation to offer free tuition to all students, the school is one of many addressing the large amounts of debt students often take on to complete their education.

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The scholarship will cover yearly tuition costs of $55,018, but students will still have to pay for room and board and other expenses, adding up to an estimated $29,000 annually.

The university posted pictures of this year’s White Coat Ceremony on Twitter — and the students look pretty happy about the good news they’ve just received:

NYU is able to offer the generous package thanks to more than 2,500 supporters, including trustees and alumni.

“A population as diverse as ours is best served by doctors from all walks of life, we believe, and aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt,” said Robert Grossman, dean of the NYU School Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health, of the scholarships.

Other universities have also taken steps to eliminate the crushing student loan debt that most medical students face. In December 2017, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons pledged to begin offering full-tuition scholarships to students with the greatest financial need and to offer only grants, not loans, to all other students. Last month, an anonymous donor gave a $3 million gift to the University of Houston’s College of Medicine intended to fund the full tuition for the 30 students who will matriculate at the new medical school when it opens in fall of 2020.

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This trend has been more than 10 years in the making. Case Western Reserve University’s Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine has paid student’s full tuition since 2008.

“I don’t know of any schools that would not want their students to graduate debt-free,” Roy Ziegelstein, vice dean for education at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal. “All schools are aiming for that end result.”

The Journal also reported that Johns Hopkins students who borrow graduate with a median debt of $110,000; the national average is $195,000.

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