The Medical University of South Carolina has announced a new scholarship campaign that will help students pay the rising cost of a medical education, the first time in the school’s 190-year history that it has directly offered scholarships to students.
The “Opening Doors” campaign announced earlier this month will try to raise $20 million over three years to help make the MUSC College of Medicine more affordable for students of modest means. The announcement stated that just 10% of the nation’s medical students come from families with incomes in the lowest 40th percentile.
“We believe our profession belongs to the most gifted, hardest-working individuals among us, and that tuition should never be the reason these candidates turn away from a career in medicine,” the campaign’s web page states.
In its announcement, MUSC said students are paying 6,500 percent more for a medical education than they were in 1970, due to rising costs and lower levels of state support. Forty-four years ago, the school said the cost of medical school tuition was about $500 a year. Now, it is more than $36,000 for in-state students and $62,000 for out-of-state students.
The university says the average medical student leaves school owing about $200,000 in loans.
“There is no doubt that students today are graduating with debt that would have been inconceivable when we were students,” College of Medicine dean emeritus Jerry Reeves said. “And this is a combination of college, as well as medical school, the cost of living in Charleston, you name it. Everything is higher than when we were students.”
Tom Hayes contributed to this report