- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Tuition and fees will increase 4 percent in each of the next two years for medical and dental students at the University of Connecticut.

The Board of Trustees voted Wednesday without debate to approve the hikes, which are on top of a 5 percent increase that went into effect before the start of this school year.

The tuition and fees will rise from $37,032 to $40,054 over the next two years for in-state students. The cost would go from $66,494 for out-of-state students to $71,920.

Bruce Liang the school’s interim dean, said the increase is needed in part because of the costs of state-of-the-art technology that medical students must master in addition to their clinical education.

“It requires truly a village to train these students,” he said. “We have to integrate the explosion of the basic science knowledge with clinical medicine.”

The school pegs its cost of educating a medical student at about $100,000 per year.

The Association of American Medical Colleges says UConn currently has the 26th most expensive medical school among the nation’s public universities for in-state students and the 17th most expensive for out-of-state students.

But Liang said the school remains one of the most affordable in the region, ranking third among 10 regional peer institutions in affordability for in-state students, according to the association. The same rankings show the cost for out-of-state students is higher only at Stony Brook among those same 10 institutions.

University President Susan Herbst said the school is still a bargain, especially compared to private medical schools. She said UConn won’t cut corners at its medical center to keep the tuition lower.

“It’s a great responsibility to train your doctors and your dentists,” she said. “They are going to be able to cure you, save your life or not. We want our students to get the best possible education.”

Liang said he doesn’t believe the high costs of a medical education will deter people from becoming physicians.

“If finances is really the reason that they are going into medicine, then they should not go into medicine,” Liang said. “They go into medicine because of the satisfaction.”

Messages seeking comment from the president of the UConn’s Medical-Dental Student Government and the chapter president of the American Medical Student Association were not returned.


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