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Trends in Health Care: Student Debt

The University of California, and especially UCSF, has always been held up as an affordable state-supported alternative that ranks among the highest nationally in education, clinical training and research. All of UCSF’s professional schools continue to be ranked among the top ten nationally, but they have become a less affordable alternative in recent years.

Students contemplating advanced degrees in UCSF's professional schools are faced with the prospect of assuming increasing student loan debt to pay for their training. The average medical student at UCSF graduated in 2008 with over $98,000 in student loan debt, and it was even higher for dentistry students, topping $130,000. Bright, dedicated young people are choosing professions outside of general practice or the health sciences altogether, frightened off by the high cost of education and the long training periods needed to become a licensed health professional.

The challenges are many. The Initiative will work to find ways to keep bright young people engaged in thinking about health professions careers. Support from the larger community will enable UCSF to teach young people the value of investing in their education, and give them the confidence to dream the dream even when the obstacles are great. UCSF strives to compete for the best and the brightest students alongside private institutions that offer large scholarships. These new leaders will continue to enrich California with their talents and contribute to solving health disparities and advancing health worldwide.

Download > Issues Forum: Student Debt

Question: How can UCSF's work effectively to decrease the debt burden of students?

Photo: (L to R) Danny Vazquez, EDM Capital Partners; Guillermo Rodriguez, Director of CityBuild, Office of the Mayor; Maurilio Leon, Deputy Assessor-Recorder, City and County of San Francisco, Mia Barber, UCSF Consultant; and Richard Raya, Director of Administration, Public Health Department, Alameda County