"Feels Like Highway Robbery" — UPenn Student Breaks Down "Ridiculous" Cost of Tuition

College can be costly, no matter your level. However, one woman proved that the costs are worse when attending medical schools like UPenn.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Sep. 11 2023, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

In October 2023, many college graduates will resume paying back their student loans after three years of being paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And I speak for most grads when I say everyone (including government officials) was doing just fine without the extra bill for the last three years.

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It’s no secret that college costs have only increased as more students enter undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs. One current student who decided to attend medical school showed her TikTok followers how expensive post-graduate education is at her school of choice, The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn).

Get ready to do your math (in my very best Left Eye voice) because this future doctor’s school bills are a doozy!

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A woman breaks down her UPenn medical school cost — and it equals most people’s salaries.

As an avid Grey’s Anatomy stan, I know a thing or two about the medical community. For starters, doctors must go through rigorous training so that they can effectively save someone’s life. Once the training is complete and they find a hospital to work at, many doctors live financially fruitful lives.

Although most doctors graduate from their programs with satisfying salaries, the time between making the real coins can be detrimental for medical students navigating their path to medical success.

Take TikToker Licia (@liciugh), who shared that the cost of her medical education at UPenn for one year rivals most people’s salary for the year — times three!

In her TikTok, Licia asked her audience if they wanted to see how much she would pay to attend medical school for the upcoming school year. Licia knew that her “nosey” viewers wanted her to spill the tea on the costs, so she shared the expenses per semester with them.

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Licia began with UPenn’s tuition cost for her medical program, which was $66,000 for the year, split between two semesters. She then continued to highlight the rest of the school’s “mandatory fees,” including a “technology fee,” a “clinical fee,” and one fee that was labeled “fee, billable” and cost $55. Since Licia had no idea why that particular fee was there, she did what anyone would do and considered it an “embezzlement” fee. Duh!

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Once the costs increased to $71,935, Licia shared that the ridiculously high charges were only the “direct costs” students must pay. Licia continued to dissect the “indirect costs” of the program, which predicted how much students would pay during the year for housing, food, insurance, etc.

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After sharing that the indirect costs varied depending on where the student lives and their individual needs, Licia said the total cost to attend UPenn is about $106,955 for one year!

“It just, like, feels like highway robbery,” the TikToker accurately described her tuition costs. “I don't know. Maybe it’s just me.” No, it definitely isn't just you.

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Underneath her comments, Licia discovered she wasn't the only one floored by her medical school costs. Several TikTok users shared their disbelief over the costs and expressed being horrified for Licia and fellow medical students.

“My face when you said for ONE year 😦,” one user said.

“Can’t lie, it really is daylight robbery😭,” another agreed.

“Literally half the fees are embezzlement 😭😂,” said a third shocked commenter.

Let’s hope Licia laughs about her school’s costs when she’s out of med school and living the good life on some hospital’s dime!

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