UK should not follow NYU in medical school tuition waiver


Kernel Opinion SIG

The New York School of Medicine recently announced that it would cover all of its medical school students’ tuition fees starting this year, including current students. This recent action has sparked a debate, and many are asking: Should all medical schools follow NYU? As someone on the pre-medicine track, my short answer must be no.

How many people even matriculate from medical school? According to data gathered by the American Association of Medical Colleges, about 21,338 students completed medical school during the 2017-2018 year. Compare that to the number of students who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2015-2016: 2,246,233. Far more students go to a four-year university than go to medical school per year. How does it make sense to waive tuition for medical school, yet make far more students pay for their undergraduate education?

The average medical school student incurs $240,000 to $340,000 worth of debt by the end of medical school. However, once they are physicians, the average internist makes about $200,000 per year. The average college graduates have about $30,000 in debt and will make about $60,000 fresh out of college. Many college graduates will also pursue post-graduate education as well besides medical school.

With these statistics, I would have to say that it would be unfair for colleges to scrap medical school tuition while expecting undergraduates to pay. Until all undergraduates can attend college tuition-free, colleges shouldn’t waive tuition for their medical schools and other post-graduate programs.