$1 billion gift to make medical school free for most Johns Hopkins students

michael bloomberg 11252019

A $1 billion donation from Michael Bloomberg to Johns Hopkins University will make medical school free for nearly all students at his alma mater.

The donation, which Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Monday, will cover 100 percent of tuition for medical students whose families earn less than $300,000. The gift will also cover living expenses and fees for students whose families earn up to $175,000.

The gift also increases financial aid for students at its schools of nursing, public health and other graduate schools, according to a press release.

Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist and politician, said he hopes the gift will help address the decline in U.S. life expectancy – which has not seen the same return to pre-pandemic levels as other countries have.

“As the U.S. struggles to recover from a disturbing decline in life expectancy, our country faces a serious shortage of doctors, nurses, and public health professionals – and yet, the high cost of medical, nursing, and graduate school too often bars students from enrolling,” Bloomberg said in a press release.

“By reducing the financial barriers to these essential fields, we can free more students to pursue careers they’re passionate about – and enable them to serve more of the families and communities who need them the most,” he added.

Johns Hopkins said two-thirds of current or incoming medical students will be eligible for free tuition. They will receive updated financial aid packages soon.

The announcement follows a handful of other medical schools taking a similar approach. A $1 billion donation to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from Ruth Gottesman, a longtime professor there, made medical school free there earlier this year. Kenneth and Elaine Langone’s $200 million gift last year to NYU Grossman Long Island School of Medicine made medical school tuition free last year.

Bloomberg in 2018 made a $1.8 billion donation to Johns Hopkins to make undergraduate admissions need-blind – so family’s income cannot factor into admissions decisions.

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