Free Med School? #illumedati

Hey everyone, it’s Medicine Mondays again. Today we’re going to talk about “Free Med School?” in reference to NYU. This will be a short post.

Free Med School?

Stock Photo from: Pixabay

Free Med School?

In general, there aren’t too many ways to go to medical school for free. One is that you are awarded a scholarship, which is pretty uncommon in medical school. Two is that you do an MD PhD program in which your training is free, trading time (doing the PhD) for training (MD degree). Three is going the armed forces route where you once again trade time (service) for training (MD degree).

However, this may be changing. Recently, NYU announced that medical students at their medical school will have free tuition:

Surprise Gift: Free Tuition for All N.Y.U. Medical Students – NY Times

From that article, “The plan, effective immediately, covers all current and future students. Annual tuition is roughly $55,000. ” While it isn’t technically a “free ride” since you still have to cover room and board, it is a significant chunk of change. $55,000 x 4 years = $220,000 saved for each student.

For those interested: “The plan does not cover room and board or fees, which together are an additional $27,000, on average.” So, on average, under the new plan an NYU medical student would have about $27,000 x 4 = $108,000. However, that is still a 2/3 reduction in loans.

Interesting… but why?

Well, I think it’s become more and more obvious that young doctors are coming out of school with massive amounts of debt. (myself included) I’ve mentioned before that there is some point in which medicine will lose its best and brightest because the loan debt will have ballooned out of control. Decreasing the amount of debt that accrues during medical education and training would help unsure that a “brain drain” doesn’t exist.

However, it remains to be seen as to whether only NYU follow through with this new plan, or if other schools will follow suit. You can only imagine that someone with stellar scores and their choice of medical school would probably opt for NYU because it would be free. This change will likely catapult NYU amongst the top medical schools in the country — and it was already a top ten school to begin with. Reputation is important to some degree when you’re considering Harvard or Stanford or whatever… but at the end of the day, money talks.

One thing is for sure, getting into NYU med school next year will be significantly more difficult, if nothing else changes. I would expect their acceptance rate to plummet from 6% to maybe 2%.

What do you think will happen?

I think it would be a bad idea for schools with enormous endowments to not follow suit. I foresee that your medical school will slip down in the rankings if you don’t offer free tuition. You would need a compelling reason to turn down free tuition at NYU to go somewhere else.

However, there are potential long term ramifications to what NYU is doing. If the top ten schools follow suit, then that places pressure on the 11-50 schools to decrease their tuition and fees. There will also be pressure on the schools themselves to offer their own in-house lower interest student loans. Perhaps the ballooning of medical school costs can be controlled a little bit.

Change is coming I think… and I will follow with interest.


NYU med school offers free tuition.

Will the other schools follow suit?

What other possible changes will come?

Change is coming I think… and I will follow with interest.


Medicine Mondays Sensei


Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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