Tuition costs

Medical school tuition won't rise in 2003-04

The university has agreed to hold the line on tuition increases at the School of Medicine for the 2003-04 academic year so that the school can explore ways to stabilize tuition, according to Dr. Nicolaos E. Madias, interim dean.

Dr. Nicolaos E. Madias © Mark Morelli

"This action gives us some breathing room to examine the issue rigorously and plan long-term strategy," said Madias. "Of the many challenges we are facing today, none is more important and pressing than tuition stabilization and relief."

Tuition at the medical school currently stands at $39,579 ($40,094, including fees)—the highest of the nation's 126 medical schools. "Obviously, this dubious distinction largely reflects our limited endowment and the absence of a so-called 'dean's tax' [revenue from a school-owned hospital]," Madias said.

Seventy-five percent of Tufts medical students acquire debt. The mean debt at graduation is $155,000 (vs. $123,780 for all private schools), and 25 percent of indebted students have debt that exceeds $200,000 (vs. 11.8 percent for all private schools), Madias said.

"This situation impacts the school negatively in several ways," he said. "It imposes a limitation on the pool of qualified candidates for admission; it progressively shifts the student body toward the offspring of the affluent; it influences our students' career choices; and it oppresses our graduates' lives as they launch their professional careers.

The medical school has convened a committee of its Board of Overseers, chaired by overseer Jeffrey Horvitz, to address the issue and propose measures of relief, Madias said. "In the end, of course, tuition stabilization and relief will require that we focus and intensify fund-raising efforts toward this cause."