An entire medical school class will get free tuition thanks to an anonymous $3 million donation

HOUSTON — Students at the University of Houston’s new medical school won’t need to worry about tuition. It’s paid for.

An anonymous donor gifted $3 million dollars to the Texas university — enough to pay the full tuition of all 30 students who will be the medical school’s first class when it opens in 2020.

“Student debt is the number one deterrent for students when applying to medical school,” said Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston in a news release. “This generous gift will allow such students an opportunity to attend and ultimately lead the future medical workforce.”

Student debt is soaring

The donation is all the more remarkable considering that Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loans.

When it comes to medicine, the median debt for a medical student was $192,000 in 2017. The median cost of a 4-year medical school at a public university is $243,902. The cost to attend a private medical school is even higher, says the Association of American Medical Colleges.

University of Houston spokesman Chris Stipes told CNN that tuition for the College of Medicine’s subsequent classes will be around $25,000 per year, similar to other state-supported medical schools.

Students will start applying in the fall of 2019. And thanks to the $3 million donation, each of the 30 students in the first class in 2020 are looking at a savings of about $100,000.