Health Care

New York University offers free tuition for all medical students

New York University offers free tuition for all medical students

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.

"We really believe that medical student debt is among the biggest issues our country faces in terms of providing excellent physicians to serve our health care needs", Grossman said. The financial support and commitment it takes for a school to provide such a broad incentive to students isn't realistic for all schools, said Julie Fresne, director of student financial services at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

"If you're faced with debt that you're likely to have into your 50s, it's got to have an influence on what you choose to do", Lee Goldman, dean of the Columbia University medical school tells the paper. In the most recent application cycle, only 18 percent of matriculating medical students were African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, or native Alaskans, even though they make up almost 33 percent of the USA population. The school claims that as the burden of student debt steers medical graduates into more lucrative specialties, fewer students are pursuing, say, primary care or obstetrics and gynecology, which don't pay as well. Medical schools have tackled medical school debt in other ways. Tuition is a key contributor here - 77 percent and 57 percent of African-American and Hispanic medical students respectively report educational debt in excess of $150,000, and African-American students are 2.7 times more likely than others to accumulate that much debt. 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. Potential medical students from underrepresented minorities cite cost as the top barrier to application. But the medical school community isn't sure if it'll start a trend.

The cost of medical school can keep some people from pursuing a career in the field.

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Incoming medical students and those already enrolled will receive an annual scholarship of $55,018 to cover tuition starting this upcoming academic year, NYU said.

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

Dr Robert Grossman said that "aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt".


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