The largest-ever gift to an academic institution in America will enable Johns Hopkins to permanently commit to a need-blind admissions policy and ensure unparalleled educational opportunities for the next generation of global leaders. Starting in the fall of 2019, the university will begin offering no-loan financial aid packages, replacing loans with scholarships; currently, 44 percent of Johns Hopkins students graduate with some form of loan debt, with the average amount more than $24,000. Johns Hopkins also will reduce the amount that middle- and low-income families who qualify for financial aid have to pay toward their child's education; provide comprehensive student support for first-generation and lower-income students, including increased recruitment efforts, programs, and support for research experiences, internships, and study abroad opportunities; and increase its enrollment of low-income students who qualify for federal Pell Grants, with the goal of building a more socioeconomically diverse student body.
In addition, the university will step up its efforts to address the critical issue of college "under-matching" — whereby talented high school students from middle- and low-income backgrounds are not matched with competitive college options — through an intensive outreach and recruitment program designed to ensure that middle- and low-income students understand that an education at an institution like Johns Hopkins is attainable and affordable. Bloomberg Philanthropies is working to address the issue through two education initiatives, CollegePoint and the American Talent Initiative, both of which are designed to help high-achieving lower-income students apply to, enroll in, and graduate from top institutions of higher education.
"America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook," said Bloomberg. "Denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity. It perpetuates intergenerational poverty. And it strikes at the heart of the American dream: the idea that every person, from every community, has the chance to rise based on merit....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."