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EHS students ponder free NYU medical school tuition

How students of EHS have looked into capitalizing on NYU's new offer

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In the midst of college visits and applications, most seniors are struggling with their college decisions. One of the biggest factors in a college decision is often financial aid and scholarships. Especially after the expensive traditional four years of an undergraduate education, the overwhelming cost of graduate education can be a huge burden for families and students.

Recently, one of the top medical schools in the country launched a new initiative to provide free tuition for all its students. New York University’s School of Medicine, has agreed to cover full tuition for all students. This groundbreaking decision is the first step into providing higher education for a diverse group of people who may not have been able to afford medical school before. “This is a way in which they can help some of the best students possible, and help them financially so they don’t have debt,” Edina High School college counselor Mr. Hicks said.

According to the New York Times, the average medical student comes out of college with $184,000 in student debt. Students are expected to pay this amount back, and according to research by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutions of Health, often times, students with deep debt are taking the road to higher-paying specialties, rather than family medicine or pediatrics. With countless medical school graduates taking this road down to higher-paying specialty professions, areas that are in need of doctors most are left unserved. According to (2018) CNBC, rural and underserved populations who are in dire need of medical assistance often see a shortage of doctors. For every 10,000 people in rural areas there are only 13.1 doctors, and since 2010, 70 rural hospitals have closed. However, it makes sense that graduates are hesitant to go down this path because paying off their student debt is often their number one priority.

Maddy Lawler is a current EHS senior who is interested in going into medicine. “I think for a lot of people, the cost of med school is definitely a barrier and if you have to go into deep debt to do that. It’s definitely a difficult choice,” Lawler said.

A full scholarship to medical school could enable more students to pursue what they are really passionate about. Unfortunately, the scholarship is not an easy one to get. According to Forbes magazine, the school will only get more difficult in admissions and competition will undoubtedly increase.

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“NYU is doing it because they want to have a cutting edge, it’s a great way to promote the school saying that ‘we’re waiving tuition’… what [NYU] is doing is trying to get out before other schools to show that they are willing to help students gain admission to their schools and reduce the cost,” Mr. Hicks said.

However, it is important to note that NYU is offering a scholarship for tuition only. Room and board will still have to be covered by the student. CNBC finds that in New York City, the cost can reach $27,000.

NYU’s decision still may pave the path for other schools to start offering free tuition. “NYU is doing this, and if it gets other schools to do it, that’ll make more people, like me, look at more selective schools,” Lawler said.  NYU also offers a similar program for students who are interested in entering public service or law.

Without the responsibility of paying tuition, students can choose to go down the path of their interest. Additionally, with students not having to pay off student debt, underserved and rural areas may be getting more doctors and medical service.

Art by Mallika Srinivas

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About the Contributors
Dedeepya Guthikonda, freshman apprentice

Dedeepya wants to live in a world filled with vanilla-scented candles, fuzzy socks, and iced caramel macchiatos. Her proudest accomplishments consist of...

Mallika Srinivas, artist

Mallika Srinivas is a sophomore at Edina High School. Her role on Zephyrus is officially described as an artist. However, she has the tendency to pretend...

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EHS students ponder free NYU medical school tuition