Winter 2014

Debt Relief

Getting a medical education is costly these days, but the generosity of others has helped lighten the financial burden for many of our graduates

Often in life, success has a nice way of building on success. It is in that hopeful spirit, and thanks to overwhelming response from alumni, parents, foundations and friends, that Tufts University School of Medicine is extending its financial aid campaign.

The Financial Aid Initiative, which will now continue through June 2016, has matched more than $4.2 million in endowed gifts at the medical school over the past two years. Through the initiative, the school matches any newly established endowed scholarships of $100,000 or more, additions of that amount or more to existing endowed scholarships and any four-year term scholarship pledges of $60,000 or more.

“I’m grateful to our generous alumni and friends,” says Dean Harris A. Berman. “They’re making it possible for the next generation of promising young doctors to get outstanding medical training and graduate without massive debts that might narrow their professional choices.”

The money raised to date will provide scholarship assistance for as many as 30 students each year, depending on their level of need, says Tara Olsen, the medical school’s director of financial aid. “That makes a big difference. It allows us to award more scholarships and larger scholarships,” she says. “Without these generous gifts, some of our neediest students might not have chosen to attend Tufts.”

In the 2013–14 academic year, 227 Tufts medical students received scholarships, averaging $22,700 each. The current cost for the M.D. program is between $84,000 and $89,000 annually, which includes tuition and living expenses. Although debt levels at the medical school are declining, Tufts currently ranks 16th in the country for average student indebtedness. Average student debt among our graduates who borrowed money to get through medical school was $191,000 in 2013.

The focus on increasing financial aid at the medical school is part
of a university-wide effort that will also continue through June 2016, with the goal of raising an additional $50 million in new gifts across the university. The initiative has raised more than $35 million university-wide over the past two years.

Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco has ambitious goals for the Financial Aid Initiative over the next two years. “When the initiative concludes, our generous supporters will have greatly expanded endowed scholarships at Tufts,” he says. “This will be a landmark achievement that will benefit Tufts students for generations.”–Heather Stephenson

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