Bloomberg’s Big Donation 💰

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

A record-breaking donation

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University (JHU). This is the biggest donation to an academic institution in the US from a single individual and will be used to fund need-based financial aid for students.

Donation debate

Large donations to prestigious universities always cause debate. The debate is usually focused on whether a donation to a prestigious/elite university makes more sense than donating to an underfunded public institution.


Daily News: Bloomberg's breakthrough: His massive gift to Johns Hopkins begins to change the depressing truth about equal opportunity in America today

NY Times: Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid

Those supporting the donation believe that it will level the playing field for all JHU applicants, many of whom are held back by high tuition fees and insufficient financial aid packages. They point out that at elite institutions more students now come from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the whole bottom 60 percent. They argue the donation is about equal access.


Splinter: Actually Mike Bloomberg Your Charity Donation Is That of a Selfish Prick

The Atlantic: The Limits of a Billion-Dollar Donation to Johns Hopkins

Those criticizing the donation argue that if Bloomberg really wants to help low and middle-income applicants, he should donate money to community colleges where these students are more highly concentrated. They also doubt the impact of the donation, since the low acceptance rate at Johns Hopkins limits the number of students who will benefit from the donation.

Elites get the most

Elite universities tend to get the most money since their alumni are usually doing pretty well. This leads to a cycle of rich individuals building elite schools that develop more rich individuals. Take a look at a list of the biggest donations to higher education. Most of these are elite household names: Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Cal Tech, Cornell, Princeton, etc. Should this change?

A huge problem that needs solving



Share this story!