$1B donation makes med school free for almost everyone at this university

(NewsNation) — Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $1 billion gift Monday to make medical school free for a majority of students at Johns Hopkins University, according to a news release

Beginning in the fall of 2024, Johns Hopkins will offer free tuition for medical students from families earning under $300,000 annually, which includes 95% of Americans. The university will also cover the living expenses of students from families who earn under $175,000, according to the university

Bloomberg Philanthropies said that currently almost two-thirds of all students seeking a doctor of medicine degree from Johns Hopkins qualify for financial aid, and 45% of the current class will also receive living expenses. The school estimates that graduates’ average total loans will decrease from $104,000 currently to $60,279 by 2029.

Some federal student loan interest rates at record highs

Eligible returning students will receive updated financial aid packages that reflect the impact of this donation. 

The gift will also increase financial aid at Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing, School of Public Health and other graduate programs. 

The gift will go to John Hopkins' endowment and every penny will go directly to students, said Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University.

For most students, this will cover the cost of tuition and living expenses such as rent. Other expenses, such as textbooks and technology, have not been included in this gift.

Bloomberg Philanthropies previously gifted $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins in 2018 to ensure that undergraduate students are accepted regardless of their family’s income.

Johns Hopkins will be the latest medical school to offer free tuition to most or all of their medical students.

In February Ruth Gottesman, a former professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the widow of a Wall Street investor, announced that she was donating $1 billion to the school. The gift meant that four-year students immediately received free tuition and all other students will be offered free tuition in the fall.

In 2018, Kenneth and Elaine Langone gave $100 million to the NYU Grossman School of Medicine to make tuition free for all current and future medical students through an endowment fund. The couple gave a second gift of $200 million in 2023 to the NYU Grossman Long Island School of Medicine to guarantee free tuition for all medical students. Kenneth Langone is a co-founder of Home Depot.

Other medical schools, like UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, offer merit-based scholarships thanks to some $146 million in donations from the recording industry mogul, David Geffen. The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine has also offered tuition-free education for medical students since 2008.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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