National Institute on Aging

Racial Differences in Anticipated Debt for Medical School Students

doctorResearchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City have determined that African American medical school students may be reluctant to apply to medical school because of a fear of a high debt load.

Researchers used survey data from more than 2,300 medical school students at 111 accredited medical school in the United States. The survey found that 77 percent of Black students anticipated accumulating at least $150,000 in debt during their medical training. For all medical school students, 62.1 percent anticipated debt of $150,000 or more.

The fear of a high debt load may be contributing to lower levels of Black enrollments in medical schools. Black enrollments are down from a decade ago. Only 6 percent of all medical students are Black, less than half the percentage of Blacks in the U.S. population.



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