[Updated (9/10/2013, 9:11 p.m.) with response from DeVry Inc.]
Students at for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean are amassing more debt than their peers at medical schools in the United States, and many of those students quit school early, thereby creating risk for taxpayers, according to an article in Bloomberg Markets magazine that examines trends at the Caribbean institutions. Some of those schools also pay hospitals in the United States to take their students for clinical training, a practice that has drawn the ire of some medical educators.
In a response to the article, DeVry Inc. noted that students at its American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and Ross University School of Medicine posted pass rates on a key medical-licensing examination comparable to students at medical schools in the United States. The statement also said students at the two schools had three-year default rates of less than 2 percent.
DeVry, which has two for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean, is accepting hundreds of students who were rejected by U.S. medical colleges. These students amass more debt than their U.S. counterparts -- a median of $253,072 in June 2012 at AUC versus $170,000 for 2012 graduates of U.S. medical schools.
And that gap is even greater because the U.S. figure, compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges, includes student debt incurred for undergraduate or other degrees, while the DeVry number is only federal medical school loans.
Many DeVry students quit, particularly in the first two semesters, taking their debt with them. While the average attrition rate at U.S. med schools was 3 percent for the class that began in the fall of 2008, according to the AAMC, DeVry says its rate ranges from 20 to 27 percent.
Of those who remained, 66 percent of AUC students and 52 percent of students at DeVry’s other Caribbean medical school, Ross University School of Medicine, finished their program -- typically two years of sciences followed by two years of clinical rotations -- on time in the academic year ended on June 30, 2012.
Read more at: www.bloomberg.com