In my first year as Dean, what I have long felt, I have found to be so very true: our students are the heartbeat of MCG.
We have a proud tradition. The Medical College of Georgia is among the nation's fi rst medical schools and today seats the 8th largest total enrollment of the nation's 140 allopathic medical schools.
We have great students who continually meet or exceed national admission standards. Standardized testing objectively shows they are learning well here; more evidence of their prowess is that they compete for and earn top specialty training spots across the nation after medical school.
Still we need your help to ensure the current and future success of our medical school: We need more student scholarships.
In this important matter, our rankings are disappointing. We rank 85th out of 140 medical schools in scholarships awarded, and 115th out of 140 medical schools in total scholarships per total students. To put it another way, we have less than half the available grants/scholarships available per student as the national average: we have $4,255 in funding available per student versus $10,513 nationally.
But this is not really about rankings, it's about recruiting the best students. For example, with the recent Class of 2021, nearly 25 percent of the students we accepted chose to attend another medical school. The reason? They received a scholarship offer and nearly 30 percent got full scholarships.
So you see why we need your help. We are very proud of our Class of 2021 and those before them, but we simply must be more competitive on the scholarship front to better ensure that the students we want also choose MCG. Some of the hardest stories we hear are of students who chose MCG, but ultimately opted to go elsewhere simply because they could not afford not to.
I encourage you to open up a new future for our students by supporting scholarships.
I thank you for your support,
David C. Hess, MD
Dean, Medical College of Georgia
More than 3,000 students apply for the 230 freshman positions MCG has available each year. Often, when we select an applicant and they choose to go elsewhere, we never know why. But when they do tell us, scholarship support is a top deciding factor. We don’t ever want to lose another great student for that reason.
With the nation’s 8th largest medical school enrollment, MCG should be leading the way in scholarship support. Yet MCG ranks in the lower half of all medical schools in this category.
While our tuition is competitive, it’s still no wonder that students are won over by scholarships. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 76 percent of medical school graduates have a median education debt of $190,000. Combine this burden with the increased length of graduate medical education and as a result, many graduates will not complete their training until well into their 30s, further complicating and delaying their ability to pay back debt.
According to a recent AAMC report, if debt continues to grow out of proportion to average physician income, approximately 50 percent of physicians’ after-tax income could be consumed by loan payments for a median debt that will approach seven fi gures by 2030.
Add to the mix declining state funding for public education at schools like MCG, which receives only 27 percent of its budget from state appropriations and tuition. Less state funding often drives up tuition cost and student debt.
"I feel incredibly blessed to have received a scholarship. The opportunity to be able to focus solely on my studies and be the best that I can without worrying about how to pay for my medical education is a wonderful gift. I hope that in the future I will be in a position to give back to others in my community and offer this blessing to the next generation."Christine Gross, 2019
This debt can prevent our future physicians from following their hearts. They may feel pressure to pursue higher salaries in more urban communities and high-paying specialties rather than practice in portions of our state and nation most in need of physicians and health care.
Evidence shows that the income gap between primary and other specialty care already has created a financial disincentive for medical school graduates to choose a career in primary care. A recent study showed that reducing debt of medical students may be effective in promoting a larger primary care physician workforce, particularly among graduates of public medical schools like MCG. Scholarships make medical education more affordable and provide flexibility that benefits the health care community.
"I want students to be able to follow their hearts when choosing their specialty and where to practice. They should be able to do what’s best for them and their family, and I think large debt makes that very difficult."
Dr. Betty Wray
"An endowed scholarship is something that keeps providing support in perpetuity; it’s never used up."
Dr. Charles Wray
Scholarships can ensure MCG attracts the most qualified students from diverse backgrounds by removing financial barriers. In fact, evidence suggests that cost is the number one disincentive for potential underrepresented medical school applicants.
Having a diverse medical school class and, subsequently, a diverse physician workforce, is important to meeting the health care needs of the entire state and nation. It’s a fact that students from underrepresented groups are more likely to practice in impoverished areas, medically underserved areas and health professional shortage areas.
In addition, a diverse class exposes our medical students to a wide range of cultures, experiences and backgrounds which better prepares them to serve an increasingly diverse population. An analysis conducted by the AAMC of students at 118 fully accredited medical schools demonstrates a strong relationship between racial-ethnic diversity of medical school classes and students’ agreeing that they were now more aware of perceptions of individuals from different backgrounds and that their training and skills were enhanced by working with individuals different from themselves.
Diversity includes not only racial and ethnic minority populations, but also socioeconomically disadvantaged students. According to the AAMC, medical education may be increasingly out of reach for students from lower income households. An AAMC study showed an increase of nearly five percent over the course of five years in the number of medical school matriculants coming from the top quintile of family income. A later AAMC study of another important economic indicator, parental education, showed that parents of medical students are more likely to have graduate levels of education and less likely to have no college education.
"This scholarship will help me pursue medicine by supporting me financially throughout my undergraduate medical education and in turn will alleviate some of the external stress associated with this pursuit. Also, this scholarship provides me with positive motivation to pursue my goals both through reflection upon the accomplishments of my predecessors and looking forward toward how I may help contribute to a legacy."
Zola Francis, 2021
First recipient, Drs. Frank Rumph and John T. Harper Diversity in Medicine Scholarship
Ranks 85 out of 140 medical schools in scholarship money awarded: yet, has the 8th largest total enrollment.
Average debt at graduation for MCG student: $134,542. 81 percent graduate with debt.
Georgia's Leading Provider of physicians, graduation the largest number of physicians of the 5 medical schools in georgia.
Only 27% of the medical schools funding comes from the state of georgia
MCG'S ENROLLMENT = 230 Students PER CLASS
More than 51% OF MCG GRADUATES REMAIN IN GEORGIA TO PRACTICE. AVERAGE RETENTION RATE = 39 PERCENT.
TO PLACE IN THE TOP 50 MEDICAL SCHOOLS IN SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABILITY, MCG NEEDS AN ADDITIONAL $2.3 million FOR SCHOLARSHIPS. ADJUSTING FOR MCG’S LARGE CLASS SIZE, WE NEED $4.1 MILLION.
GEORGIA RESIDENT'S ANNUAL TUITION AND FEES = $32,893. NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR PUBLIC MEDICAL SCHOOLS = $33,895. PRIVATE MEDICAL SCHOOLS = $53,968.
$2.7 million IN SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS SPREAD OVER ABOUT 264 DIFFERENT SCHOLARSHIPS. COMPARE TO $3.9 MILLION AVERAGE SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNT FOR PUBLIC MEDICAL SCHOOLS AND $5.3 MILLION FOR ALL MEDICAL SCHOOLS.
Our goal is to raise $5 million in endowed scholarship support for MCG students. With increased scholarship support, students can focus on getting the most out of their educational experience at MCG.
You can create a named endowment in your own name or to honor or memorialize a loved one or respected colleague, with a gift of $100,000 or more (which can be pledged and paid over fi ve years). Example: John D. Smith, M.D. Scholarship.
Endowed scholarships grow and exist in perpetuity because these funds are invested with only a portion of the earnings distributed annually in scholarships. Endowments ensure scholarship funds are available for many future generations of aspiring physicians.
You can contribute to existing scholarship endowments which include: Drs. Frank Rumph and John T. Harper, Diversity in Medicine Scholarship The Medical College of Georgia Foundation created the Drs. Frank Rumph and John T. Harper Diversity in Medicine Scholarship in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of MCG’s desegregation. This endowed fund is designed to recruit underrepresented students to MCG.
For a full list of existing scholarships, refer to:
position MCG to recruit high preforming scholars who are considering multiple school offers.
keep MCG affordable for students by reducing indebtedness, which will allow students to maximize enrichment training opportunities.
create an academic and social environment that celebrates equality and a global perspective, truly bringing the world to MCG.
For more information about scholarship support, contact Ralph Alee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-721-7343.