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Medical Center gains 8 full-tuition scholarships

The Nanaline H. Duke Foundation will offer eight renewable, full-tuition scholarships annually to outstanding incoming medical students, announced Dr. Edward Holmes, dean of the medical school and vice chancellor for Medical Center academic affairs. These merit-based scholarships are part of the Campaign for Duke's effort to attract the best and brightest students and the School of Medicine's goal of improving its standing and financial aid.

The first potential recipients of the award will be notified in late February along with their acceptances to the medical school. The foundation pledged $500,000 every year to support the full-tuition Nanaline H. Duke Honorary Scholarships, said Joseph Beyel, vice chancellor for Medical Center development and alumni affairs.

The Charlotte-based foundation consistently gives about half a million dollars to the medical center to support a variety of projects, Beyel said, explaining that the scholarships consolidate and redirect those same funds.

As long as the students maintain satisfactory progress, the Nanaline Duke Scholars will keep their support throughout their four years at Duke.

"Being able to supply financial aid to students is extremely important," said Dr. Ralph Snyderman, chancellor for health affairs. He added that these scholarships help demonstrate the Medical Center's commitment to supporting students' educations.

Beyel stressed that these scholarships allow students to choose the medical school without factoring the approximately $160,000 cost into their decision.

Eugene Cochrane, the fund's vice president, agreed that the increasing cost of medical education is seriously impacting students' decisions. "These scholarships are an effort to help Duke remain attractive to talented students for whom costs might otherwise be a factor in selecting a medical school," he said in a press release.

"The competition for these students," added Holmes in the press release, "is fierce, so we want to be able to offer the same types of benefits as other top medical schools."

Dr. Brenda Armstrong, associate dean of medical education and director of admissions for the medical school, said the scholarship will be awarded to students with high academic markers and demonstrated leadership abilities both on and off campus. "We're looking for people who are very smart, who are motivated and whose potential for making an impact on medicine is great," she said in the press release.

The new scholarships more than double the number of full scholarships offered by the medical school for merit: Seven Dean's Tuition Scholarships are awarded to elite students from under-represented minority groups annually.

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