$1 billion donation will make Johns Hopkins medical school free for most

Johns Hopkins medical school will be free for most students starting this fall, thanks to a $1 billion donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies. 

Tuition will be completely free for medical students whose families earn less than $300,000, with the gift also covering living expenses and fees for students from families earning up to $175,000.

Previously, tuition was roughly $65,000 a year for four years. 

The gift aims to improve declining life expectancy in the U.S. by making medical and nursing school more accessible to lower-income students and diversifying the medical and public health fields. 

“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. in a statement Monday. “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.”

Currently, future doctors graduate from Hopkins with an average total student loan debt of approximately $104,000, while the median debt from all medical schools 2023 graduates was $200,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Bloomberg’s gift will lower the average student loan debt for Hopkins medical school graduates to $60,279 by 2029, with most students paying nothing at all, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies. In other words, it knocks down the hurdles that can prevent aspiring doctors from low-income families from pursuing careers in medicine. 

The gift will also increase financial aid for students at its School of Nursing and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. It comes after the organization made a $1.8 billion financial aid donation to Johns Hopkins in 2018 to establish need-blind admissions for undergraduates. 

The donation isn’t the first to make medical school tuitinon free for students. In February, a $1 billion donation from Dr. Ruth L. Gottesman made Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, where she is a professor and board member, free for students in perpetuity. 

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