Skip to main content

Bloomberg Philanthropies Makes Medical School Free at Johns Hopkins University for Majority of Students

New $1 Billion Gift Addresses Decline in U.S. Life Expectancy by Covering Costs for All Medical School Students with Limited Means and Increasing Financial Aid at Schools of Nursing, Public Health, and Other Graduate Schools

100 Percent of Tuition Will be Covered for Medical Students from Families Earning Under $300,000 – Representing 95 Percent of All Americans – With Living Expenses and Fees Covered for Students From Families Who Earn Up to $175,000

Gift Will Help More of the Nation’s Brightest Minds Pursue Fields That Inspire Them, Not Necessarily Ones That Best Enable Them to Repay Loans

New York, NY – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced a new $1 billion gift to make medical school free at Johns Hopkins University for a majority of students, while also increasing financial aid for students at its schools of nursing, public health, and other graduate schools. The high cost of medical and nursing school has kept many talented lower-income students from enrolling, graduating, or working in the fields and communities most in need, exacerbating the decline in U.S. life expectancy that began before, and deteriorated during, the COVID-19 pandemic, from which we are only just starting to recover. The announcement was made in Michael R. Bloomberg’s (JHU ’64) annual letter on philanthropy in the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2023-2024 Annual Report released today.

“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. “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, nearly two-thirds of all students seeking an M.D. from Johns Hopkins qualify for financial aid, and future doctors graduate from Hopkins with an average total student loan debt of approximately $104,000. Beginning in the fall of 2024, Johns Hopkins will offer free tuition for medical students from families earning under $300,000 a year – representing 95 percent of all Americans. Additionally, Johns Hopkins will cover living expenses and fees on top of tuition for students from families who earn up to $175,000. This will bring the average student loan debt for the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine down to $60,279 by 2029 while students from the vast majority of American families will pay nothing at all.  This new gift ensures the most talented aspiring doctors representing the broadest range of socio-economic backgrounds will have the opportunity to graduate debt-free from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. And to further address recent declines in U.S. health, the gift will increase financial aid for students at its School of Nursing and the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The gift will also increase financial aid for low and middle-income students pursuing graduate degrees at Johns Hopkins’ School of Education, Whiting School of Engineering, Carey School of Business, School of Advanced International Studies, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Peabody Institute, and the upcoming School of Government and Policy. This generous aid will help Johns Hopkins attract more of the nation’s brightest students to pursue the fields that most inspire them, rather than ones that will best enable them to repay graduate school loans.

Recent experience shows that investments aimed at knocking down barriers to a Johns Hopkins education not only reduce student debt and increase socioeconomic diversity on campus, but they also increase the caliber of students who apply and matriculate. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies contributed a historic $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins to ensure that undergraduate students are accepted regardless of their family’s income, permanently establishing need-blind admissions. That gift lowered the net cost of attendance – the actual cost that most families pay – by 40 percent and had a transformative impact on the makeup of the Johns Hopkins student body. Students with the greatest financial need now represent 21 percent of the Johns Hopkins student body, compared with 9 percent a decade ago – a higher percentage of high-need students than there is at Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and nearly every other Ivy League and Ivy League-adjacent institution. As Johns Hopkins has become more economically diverse, it has also become more selective, attracting and enrolling more of the nation’s top students, including many from lower-income families who might not have applied before.

In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Johns Hopkins University announced the launch of the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, devoted to addressing historic underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields — particularly in leadership roles across universities, government, and industry. The $150 million endowment creates additional pathways for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions to pursue and receive PhDs in STEM fields at Johns Hopkins.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has worked to address life expectancy and the disparities in health care access in multiple ways. Among its key initiatives are The Bloomberg American Health Initiative, based out of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has worked since 2016 to comprehensively address five major causes of declining life expectancy: diet and lack of access to healthy food; environmental hazards like air and water pollution; adolescent health; violence, especially gun violence; and the devastating epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support for cities that are committed to protecting public health has also continued to grow through the expansion of Partnership for Healthy Cities, which has helped the mayors of more than 70 cities take action to confront the causes of noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched Beyond Petrochemicals, an initiative that is working to block the construction of new, polluting petrochemical plants in the U.S., which pose serious health threats to surrounding communities. To date, Beyond Petrochemicals has prevented the construction of seven new facilities and delayed the opening of 17 more, preventing emissions the equivalent of over 10 coal plants.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on creating lasting change in five key areas: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic consultancy that advises cities around the world. In 2023, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3 billion. For more information, please visit, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Threads, Facebook, and X.

Media Contact:
Rachel Nagler,