Medical school lowers student unit loan substantially

Laura Ment
Laura Ment

Yale School of Medicine announced in February that it is reducing the unit loan—the amount that medical students who receive need-based scholarships are expected to borrow—from $23,000 to $15,000 per year for all students attending in the 2019-2020 academic year and thereafter. Together with the unit loan reduction that went into effect for the just-ended academic year—from $30,000 to $23,000—it is a reduction of 50% in two years.

“Reducing our students’ debt burden has been one of our highest priorities,” said Robert J. Alpern, MD, dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 71% of medical students had educational debt in 2018, with a national average debt of $197,000 per student for all medical schools. With an average debt of $116,000 for the Class of 2018, Yale already was well below the norm. Starting with the Class of 2023, students with demonstrated need should not graduate with more than $60,000 in debt.

“Students who would never have considered applying to Yale School of Medicine can now be assured that Yale can be affordable for those of modest means,” says Laura R. Ment, MD, professor of pediatrics and neurology and associate dean for admissions and financial aid. Ment led a committee formed in 2017 that examined ways to provide financial relief to medical school students.