Montefiore's Albert Einstein College of Medicine receives $1 billion donation to offer free tuition

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Bronx medical school receives $1B donation to ensure free tuition
Lauren Glassberg has the story.

THE BRONX, New York (WABC) -- The Montefiore Albert Einstein School of Medicine on Monday announced it has received a $1 billion donation which will allow free tuition for all medical school students.

The donation marks the largest made to any medical school in the United States. It was made by 93-year-old Dr. Ruth Gottesman, the chair of the Einstein Board of Trustees and a former professor.

The money came from her late husband's investment in Berkshire Hathaway -- an investment that is now changing lives.

"My mom's been a physician for 30 years," said first-year student Leeva Laub. "She's still paying off her debt for medical school. Like this is really, really life-changing. I think people don't even comprehend how much it can change the trajectory of our life. We're really, really grateful."

The historic announcement also allows current fourth-year students to be reimbursed their spring 2024 semester tuition, and effective beginning in August of this year, all students moving forward will receive free tuition at the college.

"I really hope this brings more diversity to the fields because, there are so many people who I guess wouldn't have chosen this field because they didn't want to be in so much debt," added first-year medical student Julia Zheng.

Officials say the gift is intended to attract a talented and diverse pool of students who may not otherwise have the means to pursue a medical education.

The donation goes to the school in the Bronx where the poverty rate is higher than any other borough and it is also the least healthy county in the state -- with high rates of obesity and premature death.

Doctors educated at the school may also choose to work there -- and that is another way the donation is doing good.

"I think a lot of people are going to stay, which I think was great for the community," said first-year student Nick Garvey.

As of the 2023-24 school year, Einstein is home to 737 M.D. students, 209 Ph.D. students, 124 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and approximately 239 postdoctoral research fellows.

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NJ Burkett reports.


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