Michael Bloomberg Donates $1.8 Billion to Johns Hopkins University

Former New York mayor and renowned philanthropist Michael Bloomberg will donate $1.8 billion—the largest-ever gift to a U.S. academic institution—to Johns Hopkins University to fund scholarships for low- and middle-income students. The Baltimore Sun reports that the donation will allow the university to run a need-blind admissions process in perpetuity, and remove student loans from financial aid packages. Currently, 44 percent of Hopkins students leave the university with debt. “No qualified high school student should ever be barred entrance to a college based on his or her family’s bank account. Yet it happens all the time,” Bloomberg wrote in a New York Times op-ed that announced the decision. He added that “I want to be sure that the school that gave me a chance will be able to permanently open that same door of opportunity for others.” The Sun notes that this is far from the first time Bloomberg has donated to his alma mater—out of the estimated $6.4 billion he’s donated in his lifetime, about $1.5 billion has gone to the university. But this donation, Johns Hopkins’ president noted, is “at another level—truly transformative.”