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NYU Makes Tuition Free for All Medical Students


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Groundbreaking - impressed!  In the heart of financial capitalism, no less.  Great move by NYU.

"New York University said Thursday that it will cover tuition for all its medical students regardless of their financial situation, a first among the nation’s major medical schools and an attempt to expand career options for graduates who won’t be saddled with six-figure debt.

School officials worry that rising tuition and soaring loan balances are pushing new doctors into high-paying fields and contributing to a shortage of researchers and primary care physicians. Medical schools nationwide have been conducting aggressive fundraising campaigns to compete for top prospects, alleviate the debt burden and give graduates more career choices."

https://www.wsj.com/articles/nyu-offers-full-tuition-scholarships-for-all-medical-students-1534433082

Also covered here- 

"But N.Y.U.’s plan, which was announced Thursday morning in an unexpected ending to the annual “White Coat Ceremony” for new students and their families, goes beyond that, and may spur other top medical schools to follow suit. In a statement, N.Y.U. said that it would be the only top-ranked medical school in the nation to offer full-tuition scholarships to all students.

The plan, effective immediately, covers all current and future students. Annual tuition is roughly $55,000. There are 93 first-year students, and another 350 students who have up to three years left before obtaining their degrees. (A small group of new and current students who are enrolled in joint M.D./Ph.D. programs already have their tuitions paid for, thanks to the National Institutes of Health.)

The plan does not cover room and board or fees, which together are an additional $27,000, on average."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/16/nyregion/nyu-free-tuition-medical-school.html
 

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Hard to know how to feel about this. Initial instinct is obviously "yes please!". Also seems like this would help the direct financial barrier to entry.

But I doubt there are THAT many people who can get through all the hoops it takes to get into medical school but turn it down because of tuition. It seems that most of the financial barriers prevent people from becoming competitive applicants to begin with. So this kind of leaves me thinking that this is a strategic move to help them get better applicants/reputation. At least that's where my cynical mind goes, but I'm curious what others think.

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17 hours ago, PhD2MD said:

Hard to know how to feel about this. Initial instinct is obviously "yes please!". Also seems like this would help the direct financial barrier to entry.

But I doubt there are THAT many people who can get through all the hoops it takes to get into medical school but turn it down because of tuition. It seems that most of the financial barriers prevent people from becoming competitive applicants to begin with. So this kind of leaves me thinking that this is a strategic move to help them get better applicants/reputation. At least that's where my cynical mind goes, but I'm curious what others think.

True - could be a downstream effect too, though.  Maybe more people from lower income households will be more enabled to pursue a career in medicine -  instead of feeling it's out of reach and not really considering it seriously.  But you're right, in the US especially, even college is really expensive.  I've heard of more people starting at two year colleges to save on tuition.  

Also, it won't necessarily mean a huge move into primary care - QC has low tuition, but a large number of unfilled FM spots for example.  

Conservative often argue that subsidizing lower income students is more effective than decreasing tuition - since high-income housholds benefit more broadly from low tuition.  But the scale of tuition in US med schools is incredible - so this does give many caught in that debt cycle more options.  And this is being done with private rather than public money, which is different than the standard setting.  

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4 hours ago, PhD2MD said:

Hard to know how to feel about this. Initial instinct is obviously "yes please!". Also seems like this would help the direct financial barrier to entry.

But I doubt there are THAT many people who can get through all the hoops it takes to get into medical school but turn it down because of tuition. It seems that most of the financial barriers prevent people from becoming competitive applicants to begin with. So this kind of leaves me thinking that this is a strategic move to help them get better applicants/reputation. At least that's where my cynical mind goes, but I'm curious what others think.

Oh I'm sure that's exactly what it's for.
I expect the competitiveness of NYU will drastically shoot up this following application cycle. My heart goes out to the people that accepted other schools over it this past cycle. :P

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14 minutes ago, Monkey D. Luffy said:

Oh I'm sure that's exactly what it's for.
I expect the competitiveness of NYU will drastically shoot up this following application cycle. My heart goes out to the people that accepted other schools over it this past cycle. :P

By the numbers, NYU already has some of the highest GPA/MCAT requirements (link).  It also already gets more applicants than Harvard.  If they wanted to grab #1 in the research ranking, they could have spent the 450 million attracting multiple Noble laureates - they're #3 right now, apparently.  And the number of applicants doesn't necessarily correlate with quality - NYMC gets almost twice as many applicants as both NYU and Harvard.  (source)

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12 minutes ago, tere said:

By the numbers, NYU already has some of the highest GPA/MCAT requirements (link).  It also already gets more applicants than Harvard.  If they wanted to grab #1 in the research ranking, they could have spent the 450 million attracting multiple Noble laureates - they're #3 right now, apparently.  And the number of applicants doesn't necessarily correlate with quality - NYMC gets almost twice as many applicants as both NYU and Harvard.  (source)

Interesting analysis. So do you think this was purely for the benefit med students?

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17 hours ago, PhD2MD said:

Interesting analysis. So do you think this was purely for the benefit med students?

Maybe not purely for the benefit of med students - it's also a headline grabbing move and who knows it could help NYU move up a little.  I'd speculate it has more to do with NY - it's an expensive place to live where being a doctor doesn't necessarily imply as high a standard of living as other places.  On top of that the huge debt associated with studying medicine is a big negative - can turn people away from primary care and maybe even medicine.  So, I think this move was partly addressed towards that.

 Also, it looks like NYU's rival Columbia began offering need-based full-tuition scholarships in December after a 250 million dollar gift - so NYU has raised the bar.  Who knows - maybe it could snowball to other places?  

Edit: In their words - 

"The school says it hopes the plan will also increase diversity among its students — what it calls 'a full retrofitting of the pipeline that trains and finances' future doctors."

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/17/639467023/nyu-medical-school-says-it-will-offer-free-tuition-to-all-students

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  • 2 months later...

This is such a solid move by them. Tbh it actually makes no financial sense to be a doctor in my opinion when other options are available. This is an extremely powerful recruiting tool for NYU. 

And I don’t know the numbers but don’t most med students take on debt? I would think in Canada esp just because economically we’re way worst off financially than our US counterparts. 

The debt for physicians is pretty sad...especially if you have no cash of your own in year 1 of med. haven’t gone through all scenarios but delaying upper average income for 9 years is incredibly detrimental when you look at the financial math....haha maybe one day med students will get paid a residents salary! :P maybe I’m a bit of alarmist but I do think a few US schools will go there in some time. 

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