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Medical students can now attend Johns Hopkins University for free

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A new $1 billion financial aid gift will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition and living expenses for students.

Morning Medical Update : © klyaksun - stock.adobe.com

Morning Medical Update : © klyaksun - stock.adobe.com

On Monday, Johns Hopkins University announced a $1 billion financial aid gift by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The goal of the contribution is to make the university free for most medical students and expand financial aid for future nurses and public health professionals, integrating top talent from all socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds and communities.

For students seeking an MD at the university, the gift will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition and living expenses such as rent.

This fall, the university will offer free tuition for students pursuing an MD who come from families earning under $300,000, which represents 95% of all Americans. It will also cover living expenses for students from families that earn up to $175,000. Nearly two-thirds of current and entering medical students will immediately qualify for either free tuition or free tuition plus living expenses. Additionally, eligible new and returning medical students will receive updated financial aid packages this summer.

“As the US 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,” Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, said. “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 most.”

This expansion of financial aid support for graduate and medical students adds onto Bloomberg’s previous gift in 2018 for undergraduate aid at Johns Hopkins University. It also builds on the school of medicine’s student-debt reduction initiative, which was launched in 2020. Through these investments, the university was able to expand access and reduce medical student debt.

After its 2018 contribution of $1.8 billion to undergraduate financial aid, the number of undergraduate students entering the university from low-income background and/or who were first-generation students grew by 43%. Now, these students make up nearly a third of the undergraduate population on campus, surpassing most other Ivy League and Ivy League-adjacent institutions.

While investing in future generations of doctors, the $1 billion endowment will also 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. It will expand aid for graduate degrees offered as well by the university’s schools of education, engineering, business, arts and sciences, and advanced international studies.

In his annual letter, Bloomberg said: “If this initiative succeeds, it can serve as a model for other high-growth industries. The operating model of American high schools is stuck in the past, and it’s leaving too many students behind, with tragic consequences for them, their communities, and our country. We need elected officials and education leaders to find new and better ways to connect them to growing fields and careers, whether or not they decide to go to college — and philanthropy can help lead the way.”

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