UTRGV School of Medicine earns praise for affordability

EDINBURG — In yet another achievement, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine is among the top three institutions offering the lowest out-of-state tuition in a recent ranking released by the magazine U.S. News and World Report.

UTRGV’s infant school of medicine landed as the third-most-affordable public institution for out-of-state students with a tuition rate of $31,398, right under Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at $31,194 and University of Central Florida at $31,063.

U.S. News and World Report published the data reported via a survey by 69 public institutions out of which the average out-of-state tuition is about $58,000, with most institutions costing over $55,000. The average for private institutions is at $54,877.

“That’s nearly 6 percent more than the average price tag students paid at private medical schools – $54,877 in 2017-18 – according to data submitted by 52 private institutions,” the report states. “However, 26 public medical schools priced their out-of-state rates lower than the average tuition and fees charged at private medical schools. Half of these schools are in Texas and California.”

The report does emphasize, however, that UTRGV School of Medicine fell in the bottom one-fourth in their 2019 Best Medical Schools for Research and the 2019 Best Medical Schools for Primary Care.

But according to the ranking methodology, the best school rankings highly consider areas such as the school’s research activity, based on total amount of research funds received by the institutions and the average research activity per faculty member; and primary care rate, based on the percentage of graduates entering primary care residencies. For UTRGV SoM, a two-year-old school of medicine without a graduating class, these are areas that the school has not yet established much of a record.

The university did not make U.S. News and World Report’s top ten most affordable institutions for in-state tuition, which could be due to it not meeting the publication’s ranking criteria. But at a tuition cost of $18,298 for resident students, the institution didn’t fall too far behind the number-one spot taken by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, which has an in-state tuition cost of $18,094.

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