Great news for current and potential medical students was announced Thursday. The NYU’s School of Medicine stated it would be covering all tuition costs for all students, without a bias towards need or merit. The reason behind this charitable move? The school cites concerns about the increasingly overwhelming financial debt which faces graduates.
This initiative comes at the perfect time. Affordability of higher education has become increasingly urgent as prices of everything from tuition and supplies to cost of living has continued skyrocketing. The interest rates on student loans alone have left some recent graduates struggling with thousands of dollars in debt from schooling.
Depending on the exact degree and length of study, this amount could even be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. As the years continue to pass after school, interest continues to accumulate – sometimes quicker than alumni can pay off.
In fact, more than half (or 62 percent to be exact) of graduates leave with at least some debt. The average debt of the 2017 graduating class amounted to $184K.
Impact of Rising Higher Education Costs on Medical Schooling
The medical field has seen a lot of impact from the rising cost of higher education. Many schools have become worried that medical students are pursuing specialties with the highest pay rates instead of the general, vital fields of family medicine, research, and pediatrics.
With this worry in mind, the news released by Columbia in December was noticeably big news indeed. A former alumnus, Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, announced that they would begin offering those students with the highest financial needs full-tuition scholarships and other grants, in lieu of loans.
NYU’s Plan: What Is Involved
New York University’s plan goes far beyond this charitable gift from Doctor Vagelos. The plan was announced at the end of the annual white coat ceremony the school does for new students and their families. The university said this bold move would make it the only top-ranked medical school in the United States to offer scholarships to students covering the full cost of tuition.
Effective immediately, the plan will cover all students, both current and future. The yearly tuition at NYU’s School of Medicine is around $55K. This is ow waived for over ninety first-year students, along with 350 additional students who have three years or less to obtain their degrees.
The plan does not, however, cover room and board or fees. Together these typically amount to between $25K and $30K for a full school year. While this is still quite a bit of money (as much as $120K for a four-year degree), it is significantly less without having to consider tuition costs.
Why This is Important
The dean of NYU’s medical school, Robert Grossman, is quotes as saying: “This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed….”
To date, the university has raised an exceptionally large portion of the $600 million in funds that are anticipated to finance the plan – more than $450 million, in fact.