Bloomberg donates 1,800 million dollars to lower the university cost in the US | Society
Michael Bloomberg announced a $ 1.8 billion donation to Johns Hopkins University on Sunday to facilitate access for people with few resources. The donation, considered the highest in recent history in the education sector, seeks to lower the university cost in the United States, which has not stopped growing in recent years, strengthening economic inequalities in the face of the passivity of public administrations.
The former mayor of New York and founder and CEO of Bloomberg LP, a financial information company, has already donated more than $ 1.5 billion in the past to Johns Hopkins, the university where he studied. Bloomberg - the eleventh richest person in the world, according to Forbes - has made millionaire donations to the education sector and to a host of other causes, such as the fight against climate change and the control of firearms. The philanthropist, who came to the mayoralty of New York as a Republican, also turned to helping the Democrats financially in the last legislative elections, which has fanned the speculations about whether he could try to run for the Democratic presidential candidate of 2020 against Donald Trump.
"I bet most Americans agree: you should never prevent a qualified high school student from entering college based on your family's bank account. However, it happens all the time, "Bloomberg wrote in an article in the newspaper. The New York Times, in which he announced his donation. "Denying students access to the university according to their ability to pay undermines equal opportunities. Perpetuates intergenerational poverty. And it hits the heart of the American dream: the idea that any person, coming from any community, has the ability to grow by its merit. "
Thanks to Bloomberg's gift, the budget of Johns Hopkins, whose central campus is in Baltimore, will grow 30% to 6,100 million dollars. The donation, whose effect will be immediate, will be used so that the student only pays what can be covered by the university tuition and residence expenses. For practical purposes, in its rigorous process of student selection, the university will stop taking into account the financial circumstances of the applicant and will guarantee that the student will not have to borrow. Only 18 elite universities in the US can afford to offer such generous packages, according to data from the specialized portal U.S. News & World Report.
The annual cost of studying at Johns Hopkins is $ 72,566, according to the latest official data. That includes the cost of tuition, living on campus and books and materials. The university provides grants for students with few resources, but on average they cover up to $ 41,000. That is to say, there are about $ 31,000 left to pay that correspond mostly to the student and that now, with the donation of Bloomberg, will be assumed by the university.
In parallel, the federal government grants scholarships to low-income students, but the maximum amount is $ 6,095. In addition, many States have lowered their own contributions in the last decade, which has triggered costs and forced many students into debt.
In his article, Bloomberg emphasizes that universities are a "great equalizer" in the US and cites studies that suggest that graduates earn a similar salary after college regardless of their family's economic situation. The problem, however, is that it is much more difficult for the poorest to enter the best centers than the richest. Other studies, warns the former mayor of New York, point out that, in dozens of elite universities in the US, there are more students coming from the richest 1% of the country than 60% of the economic scale.
University debt in the US skyrocketed 62% between 2007 and 2017, up to 1.5 trillion dollars. It affects about 44 million citizens. It is an amount equivalent to one twelfth of the national GDP or higher than that of countries like Spain, which has led many economists to put the cry in the sky. The average of the liabilities is $ 37,172 per student. In recent years, only specific initiatives have emerged to tackle the problem. Former President Barack Obama proposed that in the technical universities, in which it is easier to enter, the first two years of enrollment are free, but never achieved the funds necessary to move forward.