Why Texas can offer students a more affordable medical school education

With a decades-old law capping tuition at public medical schools, Texas officials aim to minimize the state's physician shortage by encouraging students to come back to Texas after their undergraduate experience, or stay in Texas for medical school, according to STAT News.

Tuition for in-state Texas residents is capped at $6,550 per year, according to the report. While all public schools in the state abide by the law, some private institutions, including Houston-based Baylor College of Medicine, have also capped their in-state tuition at the same rate to help draw and keep more students.

Elected officials claim the law allows Texas institutions to remain among the most affordable medical schools nationwide and also decreases the need to recruit foreign medical graduates to fill the state's extensive physician shortage, the report states. Officials have also passed legislation and budget initiatives to help improve the state's public medical school institutions and construct new schools to encourage students to come or stay in-state.

To supplement the potential increase in students, the state legislature has earmarked $97 million in the 2018-2019 budget to support existing residency programs and create eight additional programs, according to the report.

However, officials note the decrease in tuition and other fees may also lead residents to feel more financially capable of traveling outside the state for residency opportunities, thereby contributing to the physician shortage.

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