Yale medical school slashes student debt 50% in 2 years

The New Haven, Conn.-based Yale School of Medicine is making strides to reduce the amount of debt students incur while pursuing their medical degree, according to Yale News.

On Feb. 18, the medical school announced it would reduce the amount medical students who receive need-based scholarships are expected to borrow from $23,000 to $15,000 per year for all students attending the school during the 2019-20 academic year and after.

The change comes just after Yale's unit loan reduction that went into effect during the 2018-19 academic year, which dropped students' expected borrowing amount from $30,000 to $23,000.

Together, the changes reduced students' debt burden by 50 percent in two years.

"Reducing our students' debt burden has been one of our highest priorities," Robert J. Alpern, MD, dean of the Yale School of Medicine, told Yale News. "We believe this will have a real impact on those who receive need-based aid and will further enhance our ability to welcome top-tier students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds who will go on to become tomorrow's leaders in medicine."

Medical school executives routinely search for ways to adapt the school's financial aid policies, and in 2017 created a committee to re-examine ways to provide debt relief for students who receive need-based financial aid.

"Our long-term goal is to raise sufficient scholarship funds to cover all demonstrated need and thus eliminate the unit loan. We believe this approach will place Yale School of Medicine within reach of a greater number of promising students who might otherwise be unable to afford it without incurring exorbitant debt," Dr. Alpern said.

According to 2018 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges cited by Yale News, medical students incur $197,000 of debt on average. Yale's 2018 graduating class, on average, incurred $116,000 of debt.

Officials anticipate that beginning with the 2023 graduating class, students with need-based financial aid will not graduate with more than $60,000 in debt.

To access the full report, click here.

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