Michael Bloomberg Donates $1.8 Billion to Johns Hopkins University

By Taylor Smith 

Philanthropist and former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg recently announced on his Twitter account: “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 aid.” 

The donation is the largest ever to a higher education institution. Bloomberg wrote in a following New York Times op-ed, “My Hopkins diploma opened up doors that otherwise would have been closed, and allowed me to live the American dream.” Bloomberg has stated that he was able to attend Johns Hopkins because of a National Defense student loan. 

Beginning in fall 2019, Bloomberg’s donation will allow the Baltimore-based university to completely do away with student loans, replacing them entirely with scholarships. The money will also provide immediate loan relief to existing Johns Hopkins students and will reduce family contributions to financial aid.

John Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels said, “Now, as a consequence of Mike Bloomberg’s extraordinary gift, we will be fully and permanently need-blind in our admissions and be able to substantially enrich the level of direct assistance we provide to our undergraduate students and their families.” Daniels goes on to remark that the University’s previous dedicated financial aid endowment “was simply too small.” 

Bloomberg changed his voter registration from Republican to Democrat last month, but has decided against a 2020 presidential run. 

In his New York Times op-ed, Bloomberg says of his college experience, “I have always been grateful for that opportunity. I gave my first donation to Hopkins the year after I graduated: $5. It was all I could afford…. I’m increasing my personal commitment — the largest donation to a collegiate institution, I’m told. But it’s my hope that others will, too, whether the check is for $5, $50, $50,000 or more.”