New York City: Medical students find out their course will be tuition-free

It is one of the largest donations ever made to an educational institution in the United States.
New York City: Medical students find out their course will be tuition-free

A New York City medical school promised to offer tuition-free education to students following a $1 billion bequest from a wealthy philanthropist.

Dr Ruth Gottesman, a 93-year-old former lecturer at the institution, made the generous donation to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx borough, the New York Times reported on Monday, 26 February.

"I'm happy to share with you that starting in August this year, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine will be tuition-free," Gottesman stated to wild applause in a video posted on X.

While teaching at Einstein, Gottesman created novel diagnostic methods and treatments for children with learning difficulties. She also led an adult literacy programme. It is one of the largest donations ever made to an educational institution in the United States.

According to the Times, Gottesman received the money from her late husband, David Gottesman, also known as Sandy. Sandy Gottesman amassed his fortune through investments in Berkshire Hathaway, the international business founded by billionaire Warren Buffett.

When Gottesman's husband died in 2022 at the age of 96, he left her a significant investment portfolio and instructed her to "do whatever you think is right with it," she told the Times.

Gottesman told the Times that she knew instantly what she intended to do with the money. "I wanted to fund students at Einstein so that they would receive free tuition," she went on to say.

According to the medical school, half of Einstein's most recent class of students are from New York; 59% are women, with the majority being people of colour. And Einstein's students finish with more debt than other medical students at New York City colleges.

Gottesman told the Times that she hopes her donation will help reduce the financial load that graduating students bear. She also expressed her hope that it will make medical education more accessible to individuals who could not previously afford it.

Dr Philip Ozuah, President and CEO of Montefiore Einstein, which manages Einstein College and the Montefiore Health System, announced the donation in a statement.

"I am profoundly grateful to Dr Gottesman for this historic and transformational gift," Ozuah said in a statement. "I believe we can change healthcare history when we recognise that access is the path to excellence."

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New York City: Medical students find out their course will be tuition-free

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