David Geffen, philanthropist and entertainment mogul, has cemented his place as the largest donor to UCLA in the history of the university. Aside from gifts already given to the school, Geffen recently established a $100 million scholarship program that will pay the total educational costs for the top medical students attending UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. This new scholarship fund brings Geffen’s contributions to UCLA to over $300 million.
The Mission of the Scholarship
Geffen developed this scholarship fund to allow the best and brightest students to graduate debt-free from medical school. The hope is that this will open the doors of opportunity so students can actively pursue patient care and groundbreaking research without being held back by economic burdens that may restrict their career choices. Geffen stated that his hope is that the scholarship will allow future doctors, scientists, and innovators to pursue their chosen path without being driven by fear of debt.
Why It Is Important
This generous scholarship fund is a blessing to many medical school students, especially since around 86% of med school graduates leave school with around $170,000 of student loan debt according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. This huge debt load has a major impact on the chosen field of many graduates and prevents many from making choices that may advance medicine and research in favor of those that are more financially rewarding.
The tuition, fees, and insurance involved in attending UCLA medical school is around $38,000 a year. This total rises to around $67,000 annually when you factor in books, supplies, room and board, and other associated costs. This brings the total cost for attending the school for four years to over $300,000.
The David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund will provide complete financial support for as many as 33 medical students, including those pursuing an 8-year M.D.-Ph.D. degree path in the Medical Scientist Training Program. Scholarships through this fund will be awarded based on student merit.
This fantastic scholarship opportunity is a blessing to aspiring medical students who plan to attend UCLA. The hope is that this fund will draw more people to the field of medicine, providing a well-trained, skilled medical force to deal with the increasing numbers of people who will have insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If you have good grades and plan to attend UCLA Medical School, apply early for this amazing scholarship