Bloomberg's donation to Johns Hopkins gives medical students free tuition

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Business titan and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s charity is trying to ensure that the majority of Johns Hopkins medical students can graduate debt free. 

On Monday, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that it is donating $1 billion to cover the tuition for the “majority of students” at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, effectively driving down the average student loan debt for the school to $60,279 by 2029. 

However, “students from the vast majority of American families will pay nothing at all,” the charity said.  

Bloomberg graduated from Hopkins in 1964 and, in short order, founded Bloomberg L.P., the global financial technology, data and media company, in 1981, followed by Bloomberg Philanthropies in the early 2000s. 

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Starting in the fall of 2024, his alma mater will offer free tuition for medical students from families earning under $300,000 a year. That represents 95% of all Americans, according to the philanthropy. 

The school will also cover living expenses for students from families who earn at most $175,000. 

The philanthropy has already invested $3 billion in charities worldwide. Among its areas of focus, it is trying to address the issue of the high costs of graduate schools, which it says often prevents lower-income students from enrolling, graduating and working in areas and communities that are most in need. The charity believes that this problem has contributed to the decline in U.S. life expectancy, which was only exacerbated by the pandemic.

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“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,” Bloomberg said. 

Future doctors graduate from the Baltimore school with an average total student loan debt of approximately $104,000, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies. Nearly two-thirds of these students qualify for financial aid.  

The funds will also help increase financial aid for students at its School of Nursing and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

It will also provide financial support for low and middle-income students that are pursuing graduate degrees at Johns Hopkins’ School of Education, Whiting School of Engineering, Carey School of Business, School of Advanced International Studies, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Peabody Institute and the upcoming School of Government and Policy. 

The charity already gave $1.8 billion to the school in 2018 to ensure undergraduates are not barred from being accepted depending on their family’s income. This donation lowered the cost that families pay, net cost, by 40%. 

Today, students who have the biggest financial needs make up 21% of the student body, up from 9% a decade ago. 

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