New York University said Thursday that it will cover tuition for all of its medical students — both current and future students — regardless of their ability to pay.
For the 2018-19 academic year, that coverage amounts to $55,018 for each student.
The announcement makes NYU the first top-tier institution known to have covered tuition for the entire student body at its medical school. Nationally, 83 percent of M.D. students have $100,000 or more of education debt.
“It makes an enormous difference in our students lives,” said Dr. Robert Grossman, a dean at the School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health. “We think it will, at some level, relieve one source of stress in medical training.”
It took 11 years for NYU to raise enough funding to make the effort possible. To date, the school has raised over $450 million; Grossman and Dr. Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admissions and financial aid, said that the school should now be able to offer tuition-free education without an end in sight.
Ultimately, NYU hopes to have an endowment of $600 million to support the effort.
The school already allowed students the option to shave off their fourth year of training — typically spent doing additional specialty rotations and applying for residences — saving students a year’s tuition. For the last cohort, 20 percent of students seized this opportunity, said Grossman.
Sarah Keltz, a rising second-year student at the School of Medicine, said the announcement was “amazing news for the whole NYU community.”
She said the coverage will allow her to consider medical specialties based on where there is a need for care, instead of income potential. Keltz, who is interested in psychiatry, said she can now think about providing care in lower-resource settings.
“Hopefully it will increase access for students otherwise deterred by cost,” she added.