New York University makes tuition free for all medical students

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New York University on Thursday announced that it will be providing all of its medical students with full tuition scholarships, no matter their financial situation.

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 tuition goes up about 2-3% every year depending on operating costs but the scholarship will be able to cover the rise in tuition each year, Rivera said.

Additionally, students who are not saddled with six-figure debt after graduation can pursue fields that may not be as high-paying but still important, such as pediatrics and obstetrics, NYU said in a press release.

Medical school officials announced the scholarships today at NYU Langone Health's Tisch Hospital in Manhattan.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the institution has so far raised over $450 million of the almost $600 million it needs to fully cover the costs of its medical students' tuition.

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"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, the school has raised $450 million of it, with $243 million coming in the last nine months, says Rivera.

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. Another 9 students are already covered in their M.D./PhD programs. 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. Medical school tuition at NYU this year is $55,018.

About 93 first-year students will receive full-year scholarships, on top of 350 students who are already in the midst of their medical program, the publication said. Students nontuition costs in that program would be about $27,000 to $31,000.

More than 86 percent of medical school graduates carry educational debt, and 41 percent of those students reported their debt exceeded $150,000, according to the American Medical Student Association. Tuition and its debt burden may be a factor contributing to the projected shortage of up to 120,000 physicians in the United States by 2030.

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