A Bronx Medical School Will Offer Free Tuition Thanks To A $1 Billion Donation From A Single Lady

(NewsSpace.com) – Going to medical school can be very costly. There’s a lot of time involved, typically 10 to 12 years from undergrad to completion of residency. Eight of those years are spent completing an undergrad degree and medical school, which can cause people to rack up loans quickly. There are scholarships and grants available for some, but often people take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to achieve their goal of one day being called doctors. Now, one woman is making it easier for many future students.

A Hefty Donation

Ruth Gottesman, who once worked as a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is 93 years old. She’s also the widow of a prominent Wall Street financier, a protege of Warren Buffet, who amassed quite a fortune while he was alive. Gottesman decided to put the money to good use and donate $1 billion to the school where she once taught. She gave the institution very specific directions, though.

The money is to be used to cover the tuition for all of the students going forward. The figure is so stunning that Montefiore Health System said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that no student will ever need to pay tuition again. When she made the announcement in front of a room full of students that the college would be tuition-free beginning this August, she was met with a mixture of raucous applause and stunned silence.

That’s not all. The money will also go toward refunding fourth-year students’ spring 2024 tuition.

Gottesman’s Fortune

While Gottesman has worked with the college in some respect since 1968 and currently chairs the Board of Trustees, her fortune came from her husband. When David Gottesman, who was affectionately known as Sandy, passed away in 2022 at the age of 96, he left her “a whole portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock” with the instructions to “do whatever you think is right with it.” The inheritance took her by surprise, as she had no clue about it. Gottesman immediately knew what she wanted to do, and she made it happen.

The gift is one that will keep giving for years, and it will make students’ lives a lot easier. One year’s tuition at Albert Einstein College is more than $59,000. Graduates often leave with more than $200,000 in debt. Thanks to Gottesman’s donation, this will no longer be the case. They will be able to focus on their studies instead of finances in school and leave without the crushing debt most medical students experience.

More than that, Gottesman hopes that the donation opens up the field to those who want to attend but cannot afford to.

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