With speculation mounting about his chances of running for president come 2020, former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg pledged $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. It is believed to be the largest single donation ever to have been given to a US university.
The donation will allow Hopkins, a research-based private institution of higher learning, to provide money for students who are qualified to learn at Hopkins, but who could not afford it.
Bloomberg graduated from Hopkins in 1964.
“I want to be sure the school that gave me a chance will be able to permanently open that same door of opportunity for generations of talented students, regardless of their ability to pay,” Bloomberg said in a New York Times opinion piece published Sunday.
Bloomberg hopes his gift can address some of the issues facing society today. One is the growing, cumulative student debt hovering around $1.5 trillion. Another is the fact that many or most of America’s best universities are simply unaffordable for a large percentage of Americans.
“The school will be able to offer more generous levels of financial aid, replacing loans for many students with scholarship grants,” Bloomberg said. “It will ease the burden of debt for many graduates. And it will make the campus more socioeconomically diverse.”