"We thought it was a moral imperative because it's very hard for medical students to incur the debt burden of medical school, as well as the additional time burden of training", Grossman told ABC News on Thursday.
Tuition had been set at about $55,000 for the coming year.
"This is going to be a huge game-changer for us, for our students and for our patients", Dr. Rafael Rivera, NYU's associate dean for admission and financial aid", told The Journal. It has raised more than $450 million.
According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, medical schools have said that an applicant who expresses genuine interest in a medical field where doctors are scarce stands to get more favorable consideration than an applicant who does not express such an interest.
Medical school officials announced the scholarships today at NYU Langone Health's Tisch Hospital in Manhattan.
The announcement from the medical school's trustees, leaders, and faculty was delivered this morning to first-year medical students and family members as a surprise ending to the annual "White Coat Ceremony", where each new student is presented with a white lab coat to mark the start of their medical education and training. Nine students already have had their tuition completely covered under their M.D./PhD programs. Medical schools nationwide have been conducting aggressive fundraising campaigns to compete for top prospects, alleviate the debt burden and give graduates more career choices. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that more than eight in 10 graduating students bear a debt burden in excess of $100,000, with a median debt of $192,000. On average, doctors now graduating from a private school do so with $202,000 in debt.
Students would still be on the hook for other costs related to their attendance, such as room and board, fees, health insurance, licensing exam charges.
The school will also refund current students who made out-of-pocket tuition payments for the 2018-2019 school year and return loan payments to students who may have taken out student loans.
Students must still however cover the cost of living expenses and accommodation. Tuition and its debt burden may be a factor contributing to the projected shortage of up to 120,000 physicians in the United States by 2030.
Those 93 students will benefit from the scholarship, along with 350 others enrolled further along in the program.