It’s no secret that our entire education system (cost of school, cost of student loans, job prospects after graduation) is on a collision course for failure. The current environment is affecting students' decisions regarding whether or not to get a college degree at all, let alone getting an advanced degree, such as medical school.
If people do choose to pursue the extra 3 years of education to the tune of $50,000+ per year, studies show that the resulting six figure student loan debts are influencing graduates' choice of specialization, which in turn is leaving a shortage of doctors in the lower paying but much needed areas of research and primary care.
The Wall Street Journal published an article this month detailing steps one school in particular, NYU Med, is taking to remove student loan debt from the equation altogether. Although there’s many need-based programs for financial assistance or student loan forgiveness for taking certain jobs, NYU’s strategy is groundbreaking in that they are covering 100% of tuition for all students without considering financial situation.
That’s right folks, you can now attend med school (assuming you can get in) for ZERO dollars in tuition. Students are still responsible for cost of living, but their degrees will be covered by $450 million in donations from prominent business men and others. NYU estimates they need to raise $600 million total to fund tuition for med students in perpetuity, a fancy word for "forever."
See the original article for more information on other schools implementing similar programs, statistics on med students’ median debt, and the salary disparity between specializations here.