$1 Billion Gift to Make Medical Education Free for Most Johns Hopkins Students

Thanks to a $1 billion donation from Michael Bloomberg to Johns Hopkins University, nearly all students at his alma mater can attend medical school for free.

The donation that 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.

According to a press release, the donation also increases financial support for students in the faculties of nursing, public health and other postgraduate programs.

Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist and politician, said He hopes the gift will help address the decline in life expectancy in the US, which has not seen the same rate of return to pre-pandemic levels as other countries.

“As the U.S. struggles to recover from a troubling decline in life expectancy, our country faces a critical shortage of doctors, nurses and public health professionals. And yet the high cost of medical, nursing and graduate education all too often deters students from enrolling,” Bloomberg said in a press release.

“By lowering the financial barriers to these essential fields, we can give more students the freedom to pursue careers they are passionate about — and enable them to serve more families and communities that need them most,” he added.

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

The announcement follows a handful of other medical schools taking a similar approach. A $1 billion donation at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine by Ruth Gottesman, a longtime professor there, made the medical school there free 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.

In 2018, Bloomberg donated $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins to make undergraduate admissions need-blind, meaning family income plays no role in admissions decisions.

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