Have you heard the latest news? New York University's School of Medicine announced that they are now a tuition-free school for current and future students. Ranking among top 10 in the country, NYU's School of Medicine was already a desirable school to most pre-med students, including myself; however, a generous offer to cut back on $55,018 a year might just bump it up to your number one choice… or will it? Weigh in these pros and cons before submitting your application.
1. Pro: Incentive to get into medicine
For those of you already on the pre-med track, the road happened to get a bit sweeter, with a pot of gold at the end of the hill in addition to the existing rainbow of medical opportunities. If you are like me and have being dreaming of becoming a doctor since the fourth grade, this news will push you to study harder, pay more attention in your bio classes, and make you think twice about going out the night before your exam.
However, if you are undecided and have been pondering pursuing a career in medicine, this might be the push you need. Free tuition at New York University's School of Medicine will likely switch some students' majors and make others go back to school and take the MCATs.
2. Con: Less opportunities for other fields
How many friends do you know who are trying to get into the medical field? Your answer is probably going to be more than the number of friends going into sustainability studies or applied mathematics and statistics. Medical careers are already popular based on their high salaries and the reward of helping others. Having free tuition will encourage more students into the field by reducing one of the many hardships of medical school (money) and decrease the growth rate of other professions that are much needed in society.
3. Pro: Less debt for students
You can try and save up as much as you want with those side jobs you get being a barista or a camp counselor while you're in college, but it still won't be enough to pay off the tuition for medical school. The average cost of completing medical school is about $280,000, leaving about 75 percent of students in debt after graduation. Having less debt would encourage graduates to either save money for their future or invest it in something, improving our economy.
4. Con: Money has to come from somewhere
With the Excelsior Scholarship program growing, more schools like NYU are trying to become tuition-free to offer students a more affordable education. But where is all the money coming from? Since the U.S. and state governments are paying for public tuition-free colleges, taxes will be increased on the residents, which have shown to actually lower the growth of the economy. However, NYU School of Medicine's goal of $600 million has already reached over two-thirds of the funds with the help of generous donors such as Kenneth and Elaine Langone (contributed $100 million), making this a pro for free-tuition.
5. Pro: Increasing diversity among students
Unlike the Excelsior Scholarship, your family's income isn't evaluated with NYU's new scholarship. All medical students will be able to attend the school free of cost (not counting room and board), encouraging students with different backgrounds to apply.
6. Con: More competition
NYU's School of Medicine is already competitive, with a challenging 6 percent acceptance rate and only about 700 attendees. Free tuition will not make it any easier to get into one of the best medical schools in the nation. Get ready to fight hard, rough, and remorselessly, or acquire some superpowers to overcome more stress and sleepless nights.