NYU School of Medicine is taking a big step to east student debt for its attendees by offering full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in the school’s MD degree program.
New York University made the announcement on Thursday, which applies to all students regardless of merit.
The NYU School of Medicine scholarships will cover a yearly tuition cost of $55,015. Students will still need to cover expenses like books, room and board.
Officials hope this makes the medical profession more accessible to those who stray from the field for fears of being saddled with overwhelming student debt.
“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,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean of NYU School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health, in a statement.
NYU School of Medicine: Changing the student debt crisis
Student debt across the country has reached crisis levels, with Americans owing about $1.5 trillion in student loans.
In 2017, 75 percent of all doctors in the United States graduated with student debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the median debt of a student graduating from a private medical education program is a whopping $202,000.
Twenty one percent of doctors graduating from private medical school end up with $300,000 or more in student debt, per the AAMC.
NYU Medical School is a private graduate school has been ranked the number three best research medical school by U.S. News and World Report.
When graduating doctors are buried under student debt, they tent to school higher-paying specialties, NYU Medical School officials say, which takes talented doctors away from “less lucrative fields like primary care, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology.”
“A population as diverse as ours is best served by doctors from all walks of life, we believe,” Grossman said, “and aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt.”
NYU School of Medicine students cheering at announcement of tuition-free education at White Coat Ceremony. Photo: NYU Langone Health Twitter
People have already applauded the NYU Medical School scholarship online.
“I’m so happy NYU school of medicine if giving full scholarships to upcoming and current students!! You have no idea how important this is,” one person tweeted, noting that their boss has been a pediatric physician for more than 20 years and still has student loans. “So many people are afraid to fulfill their dreams of becoming physicians [because] of the huge amount of loans they will owe back.”
“Since NYU School of Medicine is offering free tuition, my mom’s dream of me being a doctor will come true,” another person said.
Because the NYU School of Medicine scholarship is not based on merit, officials hope this will steer people toward pursuing medical school earlier. Merit scholarships, financial aid and grants are made after students have chosen their career path, noted Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admissions and financial aid.
“That’s too late if we wish to expand the pipeline to bring forth the broadest, most-talented group of students,” he said in a statement, “and to give them the financial freedom to choose medicine over other careers.”
The NYU School of Medicine full-tuition scholarship was made possible thanks to “trustees, alumni, and friends,” said Kenneth G. Langone, Chair of the Board of Trustees of NYU Langone Health.