Every student at the New York University School of Medicine is getting a full ride.
The university announced Thursday that it will cover annual tuition costs of $55,018 for current and future students, regardless of need or merit.
NYU’s announcement comes amid ballooning costs for medical education.
For the class of 2017, about 72 percent of students graduated with a median of $180,000 in medical education debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
For some, those high costs are an insurmountable financial barrier to entering the field. Those who do graduate, saddled with thousands in debt, are often drawn to more lucrative specialties, creating a shortage of professionals in lower-paying fields like primary care and pediatrics.
Robert Grossman, dean of the NYU School of Medicine, said the decision is an attempt to tackle debt burden on aspiring physicians.
“A population as diverse as ours is best served by doctors from all walks of life, we believe, and aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt,” he said in a statement.
NYU said this initiative had numerous supporters including Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller and BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink. The NYU Medical Center is named after Langone and his wife, Elaine.