>> Big cheers and a standing ovation over free tuition, NYU School of Medicine on Thursday told these students it's offering full tuition for all its current and future students in its MD Degree program, regardless of need or merit. And it says it's the only top ten ranked medical school in the US to do so.
Raphael Riviera is the school's Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid.>> When you look at the average medical school debt that students graduate with, it's getting to the point where it's impacting the physician workforce. There are people who may be scared away from medicine in the first place, right.
So if they're in high school or college and they're thinking about what they wanna do, they think medicine would be a great career choice for them, they love the material, but they see that number and they're like, well maybe I should think about something else. And to me that's a loss for society because what if one of those individuals was the person who was gonna go on to come up with a major scientific discovery and the cure for breast cancer, for example.
>> According to the Association of American Medical Colleges medical school students can expect to pay nearly $60,000 a year in tuition and fees for private school and one in five doctors end up with over $300,000 in debt by the end of that. And it's a contributing factor to a shortage of doctors estimated to reach as many as 100,000 by 2030.
>> We don't want debt to play a factor in terms of what career choice they then specialize in, right. So if somebody's interested in research or they're interested in say, pediatrics, and they're doing that because that's what they love. Then I don't want that $300,000 debt figure to be playing with their heads and saying, maybe I should think of something else because I do have to pay the bills.
>> And to fund the free tuition program, the school says it's raised $450 million of the $600 million needed to offer the free tuition for the long haul but students will still have to come up with the roughly 30 grand needed for room and board every year.