‘Worthy cause’: Bronx Albert Einstein College of Medicine receives $1B donation for free tuition

A person walks by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine one the NYC Health + Hospitals Jacobi campus on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.
A person walks by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine one the NYC Health + Hospitals Jacobi campus on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.
Photo Camille Botello

The Bronx’s own Albert Einstein College of Medicine received the largest medical school donation in the country this week, which will guarantee that no Einstein student will have to pay for tuition again. 

Ruth L. Gottesman, the chair of the Einstein Board of Trustees and a Montefiore Health System board member, announced she was donating $1 billion to the Bronx medical school on Feb. 26 to an auditorium full of students who leapt from their seats exclaiming after hearing the news. The school is located at 1300 Morris Park Ave. in the East Bronx. 

In a statement from Einstein, Gottesman said she is blessed to be able to provide for students in this way. According to Fortune, Gottesman’s late husband David was a friend of Warren Buffet and early investor in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. — a man worth $3 billion in 2022, the year he died at 96 years old. 

“Each year, well over 100 students enter Albert Einstein College of Medicine in their quest for degrees in medicine and science. They leave as superbly trained scientists and compassionate and knowledgeable physicians, with the expertise to find new ways to prevent diseases and provide the finest health care to communities here in the Bronx and all over the world,” Gottesman said after the announcement. “I am very thankful to my late husband, Sandy, for leaving these funds in my care, and l feel blessed to be given the great privilege of making this gift to such a worthy cause.” 

According to Albert Einstein admissions data, there are currently 740 medical students enrolled at the college this school year (2023-2024). Tuition is on average $59,458 annually, or about $237,832 across all four years. 

Around a quarter of a million dollars over four years is no small feat for many med students — especially those from low and middle income backgrounds. And the cost isn’t getting more affordable. 

According to the Education Data Initiative, the cost of a medical school education has risen by about 2.5% each year since 2014. The Initiative also states that 73% of med students have educational debt once they leave school — the average total being $250,995. 

“This donation radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it,” Dr. Yaron Tomer, dean at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said in a statement.

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