Donation of $1bn cancels tuition fees at NYC medical school

Medical students in New York’s worst-performing borough for health will now receive free education.

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is in the Morris Park neighbourhood in the Bronx borough of New York City [AFP]Published On 27 Feb 202427 Feb 2024

A $1bn donation by a former professor will allow a medical school in New York’s worst-performing borough for health to fund tuition fees for all of its students.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City announced on Monday that the gift granted by Dr Ruth Gottesman, who first joined the medical college in 1968 and is now chair of the Einstein Board of Trustees, will transform the school.

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“This historic gift – the largest made to any medical school in the country – will ensure that no student at Einstein will have to pay tuition again,” it said.

The school is reimbursing all current students with the tuition fees from their latest semester. All new students will receive free tuition from now on.

Gottesman is making the donation from the fortune left by her late husband David “Sandy” Gottesman. The Wall Street financier, an early investor in Berkshire Hathaway, died in September 2022.

“I am very thankful to my late husband, Sandy, for leaving these funds in my care, and I feel blessed to be given the great privilege of making this gift to such a worthy cause,” she said, adding that more than 100 students enter the college each year.

The donation to the medical school is one of the largest-ever charitable gifts to an educational institution in the United States. [Michael M Santiago/Getty Images/AFP]

Tuition at the school costs about $60,000 a year. That means that until now, many students have finished their studies more than $200,000 in debt.

“This transformational gift is intended to attract a talented and diverse pool of individuals who may not otherwise have the means to pursue a medical education. It will enable generations of healthcare leaders who will advance the boundaries of research and care, free from the burden of crushing loan indebtedness,” the school said.

The school, attended by some 1,100 students, is located in the Bronx, an area that ranks last in the state of New York for health outcomes and factors, according to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies