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.
School officials cited a shortage of researchers and primary care physicians, due to rising tuition and huge loans, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, as part of the reason for the initiative.
But the NYU program to cover 100% of tuition for all medical students is "a first among the nation's major medical schools", per the WSJ.
"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", Dr. Robert Grossman, the medical school's dean and CEO of NYU Langone Health, said in a statement.
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The school has launched a $600 million campaign to fund an endowment that will cover the costs of the scholarships. That is partly propelled by the fact that almost half of third- and fourth-year students say that their choice in medical specialty is influenced by projected income-or by debt burden.
"People shouldn't graduate medical school with the equivalent of a mortgage", said Rafael Rivera, NYU medical dean of admissions. It has raised more than $450 million. While it must be easier for a moneyed institution like NYU to offer full-tuition scholarships, it is reportedly the first school of its caliber to do so (according to NYU, that is). Tuition had been set at $55,018 for the coming year. Medical schools have tackled medical school debt in other ways. NYU now has 442 medical students and each incoming class has about 100 students. But the medical school community isn't sure if it'll start a trend. 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. "I think a lot of schools would love to be able to do this, but it's more hard for some schools".
The university will provide full-tuition scholarships for 93 first-year students - another nine are already covered through an M.D./PhD program - as well as 350 students already partly through the M.D. -only degree program, the Wall Street Journal said.