Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

NEW YORK (AP) – New York University is offering free tuition for all of its medical students.

READ MORE: Westmoreland County Election Bureau In Need Of Poll Workers And Election Judges For May Primary

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday the move is a first among major U.S. medical schools.

Rising tuition and six-figure loans have been pushing new doctors into higher-paying fields and contributing to a shortage of researchers and primary care physicians.

The associate dean for admissions and financial aid, Dr. Rafael Rivera, says there’s a “moral imperative” to reduce debt.

READ MORE: 1st Ballot Test Of Governor's Pandemic Powers Starts In Pennsylvania

Tuition had been set at about $55,000 for the coming year.

Most medical students will still need to pay about $29,000 for annual room and board and other living expenses.

NYU estimates it will need about $600 million to fund the tuition package in perpetuity. It has raised more than $450 million.

MORE NEWS: Tax Refund Delays Grow As Filing Deadline Gets Closer

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)