In a surprise announcement made at the end of the school’s annual white coat ceremony for new medical students on Thursday (August 16), the chair of the board of trustees for New York University School of Medicine declared that all students will now attend tuition-free. The change will save current and future students approximately $55,000 per year.
“It makes an enormous difference in our students[’] lives,” Robert Grossman, a dean at the school and CEO of NYU Langone Health, tell STAT News. “We think it will, at some level, relieve one source of stress in medical training.”
Tuition will be paid through an endowment that now sits at $450 million, STAT reports; the school is continuing to fundraise with hopes of bringing it to $600 million. Students will still be on the hook for about $27,000 per year in room, board, and fees, The New York Times notes.
NYU is the first top-10 ranked medical school in the US to offer free tuition, according to the school’s announcement. The Association of American Medical Colleges has found that 75 percent of medical students graduate with education debt—an average of more than $190,000 each.
“[O]ur hope—and expectation—is that by making medical school accessible to a broader range of applicants, we will be a catalyst for transforming medical education nationwide,” says Kenneth Langone, chair of the Board of Trustees of NYU Langone Health, in the school’s statement.