Why Michael Bloomberg donated a record $1.8B to Johns Hopkins University
Entrepreneur and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said he donated a record $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University because students denied entry to college due to finances “undermines equal opportunity.”
In an opinion piece published by The New York Times, Bloomberg said his donation would go toward financial aid for qualified students from low- and mid-income households.
“This will make admissions at Hopkins forever need-blind; finances will never again factor into decisions,” wrote Bloomberg.
The donation to the university is the largest ever to an academic institution in the U.S., Hopkins said in a statement. Bloomberg graduated from Hopkins in 1964.
“Hopkins has received a gift that is unprecedented and transformative,” said university president Ronald J. Daniels in a statement.
In his op-ed, Bloomberg recalls receiving a $6,000 National Defense student loan to attend Hopkins. He also worked on campus while going to college.
He said his diploma from Hopkins provided opportunities he wants to offer others who have the talent but lack the financial means to go to college.
“When colleges review applications, all but a few consider a student’s ability to pay,” wrote Bloomberg. “As a result, high-achieving applicants from low- and middle-income families are routinely denied seats that are saved for students whose families have deeper pockets. This hurts the son of a farmer in Nebraska as much as the daughter of a working mother in Detroit.”
Bloomberg also encouraged other steps to improve college admissions from lower- and middle-class families, including better government support, persuading more schools to boost financial aid given and asking alumni to donate more toward providing financial aid.
“There may be no better investment that we can make in the future of the American dream — and the promise of equal opportunity for all,” he wrote.
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