ST. LOUIS – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has pledged $100 million in scholarships over the next decade, allowing as many as half of all future students to attend medical school for free or on reduced tuition.
The scholarship program will start with the 2019-20 incoming class. The funding comes through the school of medicine and affiliated training hospitals: Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals.
The scholarships and level of support will be determined on an individual basis an admissions committee. Some of the scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, merit, or some combination of the two.
Approximately 120 medical students are in each incoming class, the university said.
The school of medicine also prides itself on sending graduates into the professional world with as little student debt as possible. The school freezes tuition for each entering class, meaning a student’s tuition is the same for all four years of med school.
This new scholarship program is expected to have an even greater effect on that goal.
At present, the average debt of Washington University med school graduates over the past five years is $99,088, compared to the national median of $166,239.
Part of the $100 million will also be used to revamp the medical school’s curriculum. The revised curriculum will be implemented at the start of the 2020-21 school year.
Washington University isn't the first major medical school to attempt such a radical move. Last August, NYU School of Medicine went tuition-free for all med students. '60 Minutes' covered the story.