College-bound students across the nation grapple with the overwhelming burden incurred by the unprecedented cost of tuition.
This cost is slightly alleviated by small-sum merit scholarships and need-based government grants; overwhelmingly though, students still graduate with sizable debts.
This is especially prominent in medical schools, as they tend to be disproportionately expensive, which has led prospective medical students to specialize in more lucrative fields of medicine—resulting in a shortage of students going into careers in less profitable fields such as general or family care.
The Association of American Medical Colleges found that in 2017, the median debt for graduating medical students was $192,000.
In light of the extraordinary costs of medical school, the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine spontaneously announced in early August that the $55,000 annual tuition for all its current and future students would be completely paid for.
This was made possible by the university after it had raised $450 million of the $600 million estimate needed to fully fund the plan. Most notably, $100 million of the sum was gifted by Elaine Langone and her husband Kenneth Langone, the founder of Home Depot.
The Saul J. Farber Dean of NYU School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health, Robert I. Grossman, MD, commented that this announcement “recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians.”
NYU’s impactful decision to provide free tuition to its medical students could pave the way for other institutions to do the same.
Those who yearn to have a career in the medical field choose to spend the prime of their lives relentlessly educating themselves so they can save lives for the remainder of their years. Perhaps this is the first step into a society where the price of schooling will no longer turn away these essential types of people from going into medicine.
*Images Courtesy of the Internet