NYU Makes Tuition Free for All Medical Students Through New Scholarship

Faith Castro
August 17, 2018

Seventy-two percent of graduates from medical school in 2017 graduated with a median of $180,000 in debt, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges cited by the university.

"Our full-tuition scholarships make it possible for aspiring physicians to choose a specialty based on their talent and inclinations to better serve the communities who need it most, and to more easily pursue scientific breakthroughs that improve how we care for patients", NYU School of Medicine said on its website.

N.Y.U.'s School of Medicine announced Thursday it will cover tuition costs for all of its students - regardless of their financial standings or backgrounds.

The full scholarships are a first among the nation's major medical schools and an attempt to help graduates avoid huge student loan debts, according to the newspaper.

Other medical schools have attempted to assuage the financial burden of medical school, including the University of Houston's College of Medicine, which offered full scholarships to its inaugural class.

NYU School of Medicine made the surprise announcement at its annual White Coat Ceremony on Thursday - when new students receive a white lab coat as they begin their studies.

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With a lower debt burden, the school is hopeful more students will pursue lower-paying fields, such as primary care, pediatrics and OB/GYN.

"We thought it was a moral imperative because it's very hard for medical students to incur the debt burden of medical school, as well as the additional time burden of training", Grossman told ABC News on Thursday. So far, NYU has raised $450 million of $600 million it says it will need to fund the program.

"We don't want this debt to hang over their heads and persuade them from pursuing careers of passion", Rivera told ABC News. Nine students have their tuition covered through the school's M.D./Ph.D program.

Grossman said covering tuition for all students was at the forefront of his goals when he became dean about 12 years ago.

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.

The free-tuition initiative began more than a decade ago when NYU created an endowment for that goal.

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