• Press Release

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Launches Enhanced Scholarship Initiative

Program will enable qualifying students entering in 2019 and thereafter to graduate with a maximum total debt of $75,000

  • New York, NY
  • (April 11, 2019)

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) today unveiled its Enhanced Scholarship Initiative (ESI), a new program offering substantial debt relief for students with demonstrated financial need. The program will launch in the upcoming academic year and will enable qualifying medical students entering in 2019 and thereafter to graduate with a maximum total debt of $75,000. Currently enrolled students will also be eligible for the ESI for their remaining years at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The announcement is part of Mount Sinai Health System’s effort to promote equity and diversity in medical education, and well- being among its students. 

An estimated 40 percent of students attending ISMMS will benefit from the program, with aid covering the entire cost of attendance, including tuition, housing, meals and other living expenses such as travel and books. These students will take out a loan of no more than $18,750 per year, funded by a combination of institutional and federal loans. The remainder of the students’ unmet need will be covered by the new scholarship.

Nationwide, 76 percent of medical students in the class of 2018 graduated with student debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Among those graduates, the median debt was $200,000. Mount Sinai’s program will enable students who are eligible for school-based financial aid to graduate with significantly less than half of that burden.

“The fundamental goal of this initiative is to have a meaningful impact on the stress that comes with loan debt for students who can least afford a medical education, and to take a step closer to achieving equity in providing that education to students who have historically been prevented from pursuing careers in medicine due to their financial circumstances,” said David Muller, MD, FACP, Dean for Medical Education and the Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair of the Department of Medical Education at ISMMS.

It is well established that even the prospect of debt serves as a deterrent to students who are underrepresented in medicine, as well as individuals from lower-income families. “There are unacceptable disparities among many African American and Latino students whose desire to seek a career in medicine far outstrips their financial wherewithal to do so. This is the kind of statistic we want to change,” said Dr. Muller. Dr. Muller also points out that overwhelming debt has been correlated with an increase in stress, as well as depression. 

Through their generous philanthropy, the initiative was made possible by members of the Mount Sinai Boards of Trustees led by Donald J. Gogel, Chair of the Boards’ Medical Education Committee. 

“This is a tremendously important moment for our students with financial need and their ability to reduce the debt incurred from attending medical school.  This issue was and remains a very important area of focus for the Mount Sinai Boards of Trustees, whose members generously stepped forward to make this program possible,” said Mr. Gogel. “We believe that the new scholarships will increase our students’ freedom and flexibility in the choice of where and how they will practice medicine, conduct research or teach once they graduate.”

Dennis S. Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System, said, “This is a world-class institution that attracts highly qualified students with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.  This new scholarship initiative will enhance our ability to continue recruiting these outstanding students, while also making an important difference in their lives as they begin their careers in science and medicine.”

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of a small number of medical schools nationwide that have established campaigns to offer debt relief for students.

Click here to listen to the leadership of ISMMS describe the ESI and the impact it will have for current and future students.


About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

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