Anonymous Donor Pays Tuition For Entire Medical School Class

Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, an entire medical school class is getting a free ride.

On July 18, the University of Houston announced that an anonymous donor had given a $3 million gift to the College of Medicine, intended to pay the full tuition for the 30 students who will matriculate at the new medical school when it opens in fall of 2020. The funds will also go toward the university’s “Here, We Go” campaign, the goal of which is to raise $1 billion for the school.

“Student debt is the number one deterrent for students when applying to medical school,” Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston, said in a statement. “This generous gift will allow such students an opportunity to attend and ultimately lead the future medical workforce. As a result, the UH College of Medicine will increase access to primary care, enhance quality of life and strengthen Houston as a business destination.”

The university’s College of Medicine hopes that at least 50 percent of each graduating class will specialize in primary care in order to help address the shortage of primary care physicians throughout the state of Texas.

“These early contributions to the College of Medicine are a crucial endorsement of the vision and the need for our College of Medicine,” Eloise Brice, vice president for university advancement, said in a statement. “I’m very encouraged by the generosity of our donors in response to the need for primary care in our community.”

The historic donation comes at a time when student debt in the United States is at an all-time high of $1.5 trillion and more and more institutions of higher education are making moves to eliminate student loans. When it comes to medical school students in particular, 23 percent of U.S. medical residents have more than $300,000 of debt from their education and 24 percent had between $200,000 and $300,000, according to a recent Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report.

Hopefully this anonymous donor’s generosity will help more future doctors to pay it forward when they branch out into their careers debt-free.