Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a massive donation to Johns Hopkins University to help provide financial aid for low- and middle-income students. The university announced in a press release Sunday Bloomberg will contribute a whopping $1.8 billion — the biggest donation ever given to an academic institution in the U.S. Bloomberg was quoted in the release as saying, “America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook.”
The gift comes as the nation grapples with a cumulative $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Amid that, there’s growing concern that America’s top universities are financially out of reach for students from lower- and middle-income families — the group Bloomberg says the gift is solely targeting.
Bloomberg, a billionaire philanthropist who served as both a Republican and political independent while mayor of New York, is registered today as a Democrat. He’s among a large crop of Democrats considering a presidential bid. He spent millions in the 2018 midterms helping House Democratic candidates in the party’s successful push to reclaim the House.