A new financial aid plan at Harvard Medical School could lower the cost of a medical education by up to $50,000 for families with incomes of $120,000 or less, starting with the 2008-09 school year.
Under the existing financial aid plan, families making $120,000 or less are expected to contribute about $12,500 annually toward the tuition, fees and living expenses that add up to the approximately $65,000 needed to attend Harvard medical School for one year. The new plan calls for waiving this requirement, with the savings adding up to about $50,000 over the course of a traditional four-year program, said Robert Coughlin, Harvard Medical Schools director of financial aid, in an e-mail.
The new plan will benefit more than one-third of the schools students, and one of its aims is to reduce the pressure on students to choose a specialty that will best help them pay off their education debt.
Students will not have to take debt into account or feel pressured to enter into higher-paying specialties after graduation, said Harvard Medical School Dean for Medical Education Jules Dienstag in a news release. They can go into whatever field it is that inspired them to study medicine in the first place.
The schools institutional scholarship budget will also be increased to almost $11 million for 2008-09 from $8 million for the current school year, Coughlin said. -- by Andis Robeznieks