Scholarship support and Alumni Tuition-Free Program Fund continue to grow
One challenge facing the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is meeting the growing need for financial support for medical students.
Through the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends over the years, the School has been able to grow its scholarship endowments. A remarkable example of alumni generosity is the gift given in 2006 by Robert Brent, M.D., Ph.D. (BS ’48, M ’53, PhD ’55), and his wife, Lillian. To-date they have contributed $1.2 million to the Alumni Tuition Free Program Fund to make the medical school tuition free.
“It is our dream to make the School of Medicine and Dentistry a school free of tuition, or at least to markedly reduce the tuition costs,” said Brent, an internationally known physician and researcher.
The burden of debt is a major issue for medical students. Ninety percent of the medical students in the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Class of 2010, for example, borrowed money to attend the School. Their average debt at graduation was $128,000. The School’s ability to attract the best and brightest students is enhanced by offering competitive financial assistance.
Additionally, providing both need and merit-based scholarships ensures that students are able to pursue specialties of their choosing, instead of feeling pressured to select higher-paying specialties.
While the scholarships currently available to students have an immediate impact on alleviating their economic burden, the fund established by the Brents’ gift calls for a novel reinvestment strategy that will help to ensure that adequate scholarship assistance is available for future medical students. The income generated by the principal in the main fund will be allocated to a starting scholarship fund for each medical school class in their first year. The gift would become part of the endowment of the University and be invested. Each class then also would donate to the fund, thereby increasing its value. The money in the main fund would be retained to support successive class funds.
“Creating an endowment, where the money is not spent but is invested, means you can eventually have tuition-free medical school,” Brent has explained.
Alumni have already contributed more than $350,000 to the Alumni Tuition-Free Program Fund.
“The high cost of medical education and the debt faced by many of our students are significant challenges,” said Mark B. Taubman, dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “The Brents not only have shown tremendous generosity, they also are providing leadership by giving us a unique plan of attack. I know they want to help create a better future for our medical school and our students.”
Many alumni, parents, and friends of the School want to make an immediate impact of support for our medical students and make annual gifts to support need-based or merit-based scholarships. The Dean also uses funds donated to the School of Medicine and Dentistry Annual Fund to support student financial aid.
Alumni and friends of the School can join the long-range plan to perpetuate the educational and patient-focused experience that is the hallmark of the Rochester experience by making a gift to the Alumni Tuition-Free Program Fund or by establishing their own endowed scholarship fund. Annual gifts can be designated to support current student scholarships. To make a gift or for more information please contact Mary Ann King at (800) 333-4428.
Taking on Environmental Agents
Tom Gasiewicz, Ph.D. (PhD ’77), director of the Environmental Health Sciences Center, discusses health effects.
Choosing a Future
Members of the SMD Class of 2010 explain why they chose their specialty.
A Rochester Inheritance
Second and third generation grads talk about their Rochester legacy.
View a slideshow from commencement, and read Tim Quill's speech.