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Bloomberg Makes 'Unprecedented' Donation

New York's former mayor gives $1.8B to his alma mater
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2018 5:40 PM CST
Updated Nov 19, 2018 1:41 AM CST
In this file photo, former New York City Mayor and United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg speaks at World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(Newser) – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Sunday he's donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to boost financial aid for low- and middle-income students, the AP reports. The Baltimore university said the contribution—the largest ever to any education institution in the US—will allow Johns Hopkins to eliminate student loans in financial aid packages starting next fall. The university will instead offer scholarships that don't have to be repaid. University President Ronald Daniels says Bloomberg's contribution will also let the institution permanently commit to "need-blind admissions," or the principle of admitting the highest-achieving students, regardless of their ability to pay for their education.

"Hopkins has received a gift that is unprecedented and transformative," he says in a statement, noting the prestigious school was founded in 1876 by a $7 million gift from Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins that was, similarly, the largest gift of its kind at the time. By way of comparison, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Gates Millennium Scholars program in 1999 with a $1 billion commitment over 20 years. Bloomberg says he expects the money will allow Hopkins to offer more generous scholarships and ease the debt burden for graduates. "America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook," he says in a statement. "Denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity."

(Read more Michael Bloomberg stories.)

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