NYU Makes Tuition Free for All Medical Students Through New Scholarship

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"People shouldn't graduate medical school with the equivalent of a mortgage", said Rafael Rivera, NYU medical dean of admissions.

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.

"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.

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 scholarship covers annual tuition costs of up to $55,000 (£43,000).

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median debt of a graduating medical student in the USA is US$202,000 - while 21% of doctors who graduate from a private school such as NYU face over US$300,000. Professionals from NYU say this enormous debt has influenced medical students to pursue more profitable fields in the profession, rather than less financially generous ones like pediatrics or primary care.

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NYU's new class of medical students got more than just a white coat this morning, during the school's annual White Coat Ceremony.

"These next couple of years were going to look very hard for my parents", said incoming med student Joshua Jiange.

Students would still be on the hook for other costs related to their attendance, such as room and board, fees, health insurance, licensing exam charges.

Rivera also said the school plans to refund out-of-pocket payments already made for the current year and will return loans taken out by their students.

For its most recent application cycle, the school received more than 6,000 applications for 102 spots, according to Grossman. Nine students already have had their tuition completely covered under their M.D./PhD programs.

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

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