Unlike NYU, Harvard med school won't go tuition-free — here's why

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While the New York City-based NYU School of Medicine announced plans to eliminate tuition for all current and incoming medical school students, leadership at Boston-based Harvard Medical School said the institution has no plans to follow suit, The Harvard Crimson reports.

NYU said this summer it will grant full-tuition scholarships — excluding room and board expenses — to all MD students without attention to their financial need or academic merit. The move came after the institution raised $450 million of its $600 million funding goal to cover all students' tuition.

However, Edward Hundert, MD, dean of medical education at Harvard Medical School, told the publication the institution aims to have those who can cover the cost of their education do so, while providing more financial aid and scholarships that factor in financial need rather than merit-based aid.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that, as we allocate our scholarship funds, that we do it based on the calculated ability to pay of people who apply, so that we don't get into the possibility that a student from a family of considerable means is getting more of our aid relative to a student of more limited means," Dr. Hundert said.

Under Harvard's current tuition program, all students receive a scholarship equal to their financial need, which is determined using federal formulas. However, the school still requires all students to take out the institution's "unit loan" of $33,950 every year, the report states.

While some suggest the cost of attending institutions like Harvard may lead more students to select institutions like NYU, which now offer free tuition, Dr. Hundert said he is confident students will consider the financial cost of each institution, but ultimately choose the school that will provide the best environment for them, according to The Harvard Crimson.

To access the full report, click here.

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