Caribbean medical schools have long been a destination for Americans who can’t get admitted to U.S. schools. According to a recent piece at Bloomberg Markets Magazine, however, it looks like the vacation island medical school might be a new market for for-profit colleges. According to Janet Lorin:

DeVry Inc. (DV), 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 $253,072in June 2012 at AUC [American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine] versus $170,000 for 2012 graduates of U.S. medical schools.

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 [Association of American Medical Colleges], DeVry says its rate ranges from 20 to 27 percent.


Despite the fact that neither of the DeVry Caribbean medical schools is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the body that approves medical programs in the U.S., students are still eligible for U.S. federal student loans. According to the article 81 percent of [DeVry medical schools’] “revenue… came from federal student loans in the year [that] ended June 2011.”

Massive for-profit college debt, Caribbean medical education, and dependence on federal loans for academic profit are all nothing new, but it seems DeVry has found a way to bring all of these problems together in one place. Awesome.

The article explains that while 94 percent of American-trained medical students secured residencies upon completing their programs, only 78 percent of DeVry’s Caribbean medical students were able to get residencies.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer