Medical students across the country were given the surprise of a lifetime Monday: no more student loan debt.
Former New York City Mayor and one-time presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg pledged $100 million through Bloomberg Philanthropies to the nation's four historically Black medical schools.
About 800 students attending Atlanta's Morehouse School of Medicine, Los Angeles' Charles R. Drew University of Medicine, Washington's Howard University College of Medicine, and Nashville's Meharry Medical College will be awarded about $100,000 per student over the next four years.
"More Black doctors will mean more Black lives saved, and fewer health problems that limit economic opportunity," Bloomberg said. "During my campaign for President, I proposed a bold set of policies - which we called the Greenwood Initiative - to shrink the racial wealth gap. Today's commitment by Bloomberg Philanthropies is just the first step we will take to bring that work to life."
According to Morehouse School of Medicine, this is the largest scholarship investment it has ever received, as well as the largest aggregate gift to date given to historically Black medical schools from a single source.
Bloomberg's Greenwood Initiative, which is named after the historical site of "Black Wall Street" and the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, seeks to "increase generational wealth among Black families and address systemic underinvestment in Black communities and institutions."
Students at MSM alone were gifted $26.3 million in grants as part of the donation.
In a release, MSM said students currently in years two, three, and four of medical school will receive retroactive scholarships of roughly $25,000 per year through their graduations, with the current class of first-year students graduating in 2024.