The New York University School of Medicine has announced that it will begin offering full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in its MD program regardless of need or merit.
The only such scholarship among the top ten-ranked medical schools in the country will cover annual tuition costs of $55,018. The plan does not cover room and board, books, or other fees. The initiative is funded by contributions from more than twenty-five hundred trustees, alumni, and other donors, including NYU Langone Health board chair Kenneth G. Langone and his wife, Elaine; William and Marjorie Berkley; Walter W. Buckley, Jr. and Marjorie Buckley; Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller; Laurence and Lori Fink; Larry and Klara Silverstein; and Jan T. and Marica Vilcek. NYU has raised more than $450 million of the $600 million needed to finance the tuition plan, the New York Times reports, with the Langones, who joined the Giving Pledge in 2010, contributing about $100 million.
Saddled with staggering student loans, many medical school graduates choose higher-paying specialties over less lucrative fields such as primary care, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology. In addition, fears about the costs associated with medical school discourage many promising students from considering a career in medicine altogether.
"This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians," said Robert I. Grossman, the Saul J. Farber Dean of NYU School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health. "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."
"Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our trustees, alumni, and friends, our hope — and expectation," said Langone, "is that by making medical school accessible to a broader range of applicants, we will be a catalyst for transforming medical education nationwide."
(Photo credit: New York University School of Medicine)