Hopkins Hospital dome

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Graduate education

Johns Hopkins receives transformative Bloomberg Philanthropies investment in financial aid for future generations of doctors, nurses, and research pioneers

Thanks to new $1 billion financial aid gift, most medical students will now attend Johns Hopkins tuition-free, and many will receive additional support to cover living expenses. Financial aid for nursing, public health, and other graduate programs will ensure access for top talent from middle-class and low-income backgrounds.

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Doug Donovan
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Johns Hopkins University celebrated today's announcement by Bloomberg Philanthropies of a new gift of $1 billion to make Hopkins free for most medical students and expand financial aid for future nurses and public health pioneers, infusing these critical professions with top talent from all socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds and communities. For most students seeking an MD at Hopkins, the gift will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition and living expenses such as rent.

The new gift to Hopkins furthers Bloomberg's commitment to addressing complex American health challenges by removing the economic barriers that stand between America's most promising students from low-income and middle-class families and their dreams of saving lives and making an impact on their communities. This dramatic expansion of financial aid support for graduate and medical students also builds on the transformative impact of Bloomberg's 2018 gift for undergraduate aid at Johns Hopkins University.

"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."
Michael R. Bloomberg
Founder, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Beginning in fall 2024, Hopkins will offer free tuition for students pursuing an MD who come from families earning under $300,000, a figure that represents 95% of all Americans. Additionally, Hopkins will cover living expenses on top of tuition and fees for medical students from families that earn up to $175,000, a threshold inclusive of the vast majority of families in the U.S. Nearly two-thirds of current and entering medical students at Johns Hopkins will immediately qualify for either free tuition or free tuition plus living expenses. Eligible new and returning medical students will receive updated financial aid packages this summer that reflect the gift's impact.

This new scholarship formula will ensure the most talented aspiring doctors representing the broadest and deepest range of socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds have the opportunity to graduate debt-free from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and students from the vast majority of American families will pay nothing at all.

"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," said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. "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."

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From The Washington Post
$1 billion gift to make Johns Hopkins medical school free for most

The donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies will also expand financial aid for the school’s other graduate programs, including nursing and public health

For nearly 150 years, graduates of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have pioneered lifesaving treatments and revolutionary clinical care, improving and extending countless lives around the world. Addressing the complex challenges driving recent declines in American life expectancy—including chronic diseases and entrenched health inequities—requires institutions like Hopkins to bring new perspectives to the field and to seek out untapped talent and brilliant ideas in every corner of the country. But the high cost of a medical education today discourages some of the brightest students from low-income and middle-class families from even applying to medical school.

"Extraordinary talent exists in every community across America, a fact borne out by the transformative impact of Mike Bloomberg's historic gift for financial aid to Hopkins undergraduates six years ago that dramatically expanded the breadth of experience and accomplishment of our student body," said Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University. "Removing financial barriers to individual opportunity fuels excellence, innovation, and discoveries that redound to the benefit of society."

"Removing financial barriers to individual opportunity fuels excellence, innovation, and discoveries that redound to the benefit of society."
Ron Daniels
President, Johns Hopkins University

This new gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies builds on the School of Medicine's student debt–reduction initiative launched in 2020 with generous gifts from Joanne and Bill Conway and from Kim and Jim Davis, as well as numerous alumni and other donors. Through those prior scholarships, Hopkins was able to begin expanding access and reducing medical student debt. (In the 2023–24 academic year, the average total student loan debt for School of Medicine graduates had declined to approximately $105,000.)

In addition to investing in future generations of doctors, this $1 billion endowment from Bloomberg Philanthropies will support leaders in other critical health-related fields through increased graduate financial aid in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Nursing, and it will expand aid for graduate degrees offered by the Johns Hopkins schools of Education, Engineering, Business, Arts and Sciences, and Advanced International Studies; the Peabody Institute; and the newly announced School of Government and Policy. The gift also will support the development of a new program to draw impact-focused interdisciplinary leaders into the worlds of research, industry, and government through innovations in PhD education and training.

This new philanthropic contribution is Bloomberg's latest effort to remove economic barriers to opportunity for top American students. Bloomberg's record 2018 contribution of $1.8 billion to undergraduate financial aid had a transformative impact on the Hopkins student body. By dramatically expanding scholarship support, Hopkins was able to simultaneously attract the world's most academically qualified undergraduates and transform the makeup of their undergraduate programs. The number of undergraduate students entering Hopkins from low-income backgrounds and/or who are the first in their families to attend college (FLI) has grown by 43% since the Bloomberg gift went into effect. Today, FLI students make up nearly a third of the Hopkins undergraduate population, surpassing most other Ivy League and Ivy League–adjacent institutions.

In 2021, Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced the launch of the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, devoted to addressing historical underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, particularly in leadership roles across universities, government, and industry. The $150 million endowment creates additional pathways for students from historically Black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions to pursue and receive PhDs in STEM fields at Johns Hopkins.

Bloomberg is a 1964 graduate of Johns Hopkins, the founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the 108th mayor of New York City. He also served as the chairman of the Johns Hopkins University board of trustees from 1996 to 2002.