- Billionaire Michael Bloomberg announced on Nov. 18 a donation of $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University.
- The donation is designed to help alleviate student loan debt at Bloomberg’s alma mater.
- Current student loan debt is $1.44 trillion.
Michael Bloomberg, the co-founder and CEO of his eponymous finance and media company, Bloomberg LP, announced on Sunday, Nov. 18 that he would be donating around $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University where he graduated in 1964. The contribution would expand the school’s endowment by 30 percent, to a more than $6 billion, according to the New York Times.
I’m giving $1.8 billion to @JohnsHopkins for financial aid so admissions can be permanently need blind. I want to open the same door of opportunity that I had for generations of talented students, regardless of financial circumstances. https://t.co/zgyD7jDGfI
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) November 18, 2018
Check out Bloomberg’s net worth and learn more about how student loan debt has more than doubled in a decade.
Bloomberg’s Student Aid Donation
The donation is intended to make the school need-blind and loan-free, according to NPR. Need-blind is an admissions factor that means the school will no longer have to take financial need into account for a prospective student’s acceptance, and loan-free means the school will no longer package loans into its financial aid, but rather scholarships that do not need to be paid back. Both factors should allow the school to focus on students’ ability rather than their finances.
“America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook,” Bloomberg said in an op-ed published by the New York Times on Nov. 18.
This donation is the largest ever for any U.S. educational institution, with the university’s president Ronald Daniels calling the action “unprecedented and transformative.” Bloomberg has already given more than $1.5 billion in total to Johns Hopkins, but the money has typically gone to scholarships and research. The new focus on student aid alone follows his company’s coverage of the matter. One Bloomberg article published in October, for example, ran the headline “The Student Loan Debt Crisis Is About to Get Worse.” The current amount of student loan debt held is $1.44 trillion according to the New York Federal Reserve.
Bloomberg himself required a loan to complete his education at Johns Hopkins. He first donated to the school in 1965, the year after he graduated — he donated $5.
Michael Bloomberg Net Worth: $46.3B
Bloomberg’s net worth totals more than $46 billion, according to Forbes. He began his climb to wealth in 1966, when he accepted a banking job with the now-defunct Salomon Brothers.
Bloomberg, a billionaire who has graced various Forbes net worth lists over the years, is known for his philanthropy. He’s donated more than $6 billion to a variety of causes, including gun control and climate change, according to his company’s website. Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million in 2017.
With a rumored presidential run in 2020, there’s some speculation his donation was timed to bolster early support for his candidacy.
Read about billionaires like Oprah Winfrey who grew up poor.
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