Paul L. Caron

Thursday, August 16, 2018

NYU Medical School Goes 100% Tuition-Free; $450m Has Been Raised Toward $600m Endowment

NYUWall Street Journal, NYU Makes Tuition Free for All Medical Students:

New York University said Thursday that it will cover tuition for all its medical students regardless of their financial situation, a first among the nation’s major medical schools and an attempt to expand career options for graduates who won’t be saddled with six-figure debt.

School officials worry that rising tuition and soaring loan balances are pushing new doctors into high-paying fields and contributing to a shortage of researchers and primary care physicians. Medical schools nationwide have been conducting aggressive fundraising campaigns to compete for top prospects, alleviate the debt burden and give graduates more career choices.

NYU raised more than $450 million of the roughly $600 million it estimates it will need to fund the tuition package in perpetuity, including $100 million from Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone and his wife, Elaine. ...

The move dwarfs efforts by other schools, including Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles, to alleviate the financial strain of a medical education. Earlier this year Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons announced it would eliminate loans for all students who qualify for financial aid, while UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine expects to provide more than 300 full scholarships between 2012 and 2022, based on merit. ...

Sixty-two percent of NYU medical school’s most recent graduating class had student loans, averaging $171,908 for medical school and $184,000 overall. Most medical students will still need to pay for about $29,000 in annual room, board and other living expenses; tuition had been set at $55,018 for the coming year.

The salary disparity for doctors can be stark. The four lowest-paying specialties, all in pediatrics, had average annual compensation of $221,900 or below, according to a survey of more than 65,000 doctors by Doximity, a medical social network for clinicians. Doctors specializing in internal medicine had average annual compensation of $260,000.

Meanwhile, neurosurgery was the top-paying specialty last year, with average compensation of $662,755. Thoracic surgery and orthopaedic surgery rounded out the top three, at $602,745 and $537,568, respectively. ...

“I don’t know of any schools that would not want their students to graduate debt-free,” said Dr. Roy Ziegelstein, vice dean for education at the top-ranked Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “All schools are aiming for that end result.”

New York Times, Tuition Will Be Free for All N.Y.U. Medical School Students

As the father of a third year NYU Medical School student, I say bravo!

Legal Education | Permalink


Meanwhile NYU Law stickers at $96,845 per year, which is the tab that a quarter of their student body faces. Even the median tuition discount fails to get the net cost below $70,000 per year. So with tuition increases, that's easily $300,000. Plus interest, about $336k. Plus bar expenses, $346k. Plus average undergrad, $376k.

On the standard repayment plan, that's well over $4,100 per month. Even arguendo that the bottom quarter of NYU Law students (for that is who pay sticker, folks) all land NYC Biglaw market rate jobs, that's a real ouchie, especially after taxes and Manhattan rent (because the billable hour and living in an outer borough are not compatible).

Even on the extended repayment plan, those kids are looking at a payment a bit north of $2,400 per month, which means that after 25 years at 6% interest... they've paid $725,000 for their law degree (curious readers can play with the wonderful repayment calculators at and elsewhere to corroborate). Seems like an apt time to mention that the purported million dollar wage premium for lawyers... is pretax. And pre-student loan repayment. And pre-student loan repayment-at-the-expense-of-home-equity-and-401k-building. On that last charge, a recent study showed that $30k of student loan debt causes $325k in lost household wealth, so just imagine what $375k in student loan debt does...

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 16, 2018 2:03:08 PM

And why not law schools?

Posted by: Steve Diamond | Aug 16, 2018 2:17:49 PM

Steve, no reason that the wealthy can't fund free tuition for all students at a law school. Let's all hold our breath and wait for that to happen.

Posted by: PaulB | Aug 16, 2018 5:30:29 PM

Steve Diamond, why don't you and the dean of Santa Clara go fundraise like these medical schools did instead of posting on blogs.

Posted by: Steven | Aug 16, 2018 6:58:00 PM

For those of you waiting for free law schools, ponder this. NYU medical school class for this year is 102, 93 if you don't count the MD/PhD students who have always received free tuition. By comparison, NYU's entering class in 2017 was 427 per LST. Even the smallest enrollment of the top law schools is still 180 (Stanford).

Posted by: PaulB | Aug 16, 2018 8:12:47 PM

It's pretty ironic when the most privileged kids need another leg up because those poor ones are already on scholarships and aids.

Posted by: Karl | Aug 18, 2018 9:38:21 PM