The funds will be distributed to the College of Medicine at Howard University in Washington, the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The schools said they will use the donations to create scholarships of up to $ 100,000 for students currently enrolled and receiving financial assistance. Students who graduate in the spring are not eligible for financial assistance.
All schools involved except the Morehouse School of Medicine confirmed that Bloomberg̵
Dr. Hugh Mighty, who serves as the dean of Howard University’s College of Medicine, said Thursday that Bloomberg’s donation is a “game changer” for black students who tend to move from undergrad to medical school with higher levels of debt to enter.
“By the time they graduate, medical students can have up to $ 218,000,” Mighty said. “You reduce that enormously.”
Dr. James Hildreth, resident and executive director of Meharry Medical College, said Bloomberg’s gift will dramatically change lifelong earning potential for its black recipients, whose post-medical career options are often determined by the need to repay hundreds of thousands of student loan debt.
While the average white medical student comes from a household that makes $ 175,000 or more, the average black medical student comes from a family with a household income of $ 75,000 or less, according to Hildreth.
“There is a huge difference in the amount of support families can provide,” he added.
Schools said they could distribute funds differently depending on how students enroll. Dr. David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, noted that only about 50% of the current 112 students at his school in Los Angeles are black. He estimated that approximately 45% of Drew U’s students are Latino, and noted that all currently enrolled students who receive funding will receive a portion of the Bloomberg funding.
Mighty said that only black students who receive financial aid from Howard are eligible for Bloomberg donations. “Our population is largely African-American,” noted Mighty. “There is a difference in the need and how you would analyze that need. We will make sure we match the donor’s intent.”