Wealthy Individuals Are Funding University Scholarships Based on Race

by Mckenna Dallmeyer ’22


Wealthy individuals in America often provide scholarships for college students. However, some of these scholarships are only for members of specified races.

Campus Reform has compiled a list of the colleges that have received funding for college scholarships based on race.

Meharry Medical College

In September 2020, former New York City Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg announced that Meharry Medical College would receive $34 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies because “America urgently needs more Black doctors.” The scholarship will fund scholarships for minority medical students with financial need.

Meharry School of Medicine students demonstrating financial need could be eligible for scholarships of up to $100,000 over four years under the gift. The grant also covers financial counseling for students and resources to track the program’s success.

The college’s largest-ever individual gift is part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, which intends to “accelerate the pace of wealth accumulation for Black individuals and families and address decades of underinvestment in Black communities.”

“More black doctors will mean more black lives saved,” Bloomberg said in his announcement.

Middlebury College

Middlebury alumni Ted and Kathy O’Connor Truscott made a $10 million donation that will enable the college to hire a “leading scholar” for Black Studies, increase financial aid for students, and “provide unrestricted support for institutional priorities.”

“We want to make sure that our students are fluent in cross-cultural understanding as it is practiced in the 21st century,” Middlebury president Laurie Patton said in the statement.

“We are particularly focused on building our new Black Studies major and on integrating the study of race and anti-racism across the curriculum. A fully endowed professorship will allow us to attract a superb scholar and teacher—strengthening the department and accelerating the pace of its expansion,” she continued.

Weill Cornell Medicine

Founder and Chairman of Barnes & Noble Leonard Riggio made a $5.6 million gift to Weill Cornell Medicine’s debt-free scholarship program to establish a named scholarship for Black medical students with financial need.

Two Black medical students will be awarded the Holcomb-Riggio scholarship annually. The scholarship will cover all tuition and fees for all four years of medical school for each student.

University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) received its largest private gift in school history. The $2.3 million donation comes after an initial $300,000 was given earlier this year by this donor toward the Developing America’s Workforce Nucleus (DAWN) initiative.

The multi-million-dollar gift will create two new scholarship programs under the university’s DAWN initiative, which seeks to “transform public education so that public education represents a sustainable source of opportunity for all students and creates a source of business-ready talent from the economically-disadvantaged (all ethnic and racial backgrounds), brown and black student population.”

Explaining why he or she decided to make the donation, the anonymous donor said to UDC president Ronald Mason, Jr in the award letter, “[y]ou and your staff responded promptly, efficiently and with great enthusiasm for the institution and the students you represent. Your passion and dedication are heartwarming, and your stewardship of the gift gives us confidence that you are serving your students with care.”

Cornell University

An alumnus of Cornell University and his wife made a $1 million gift to the College of Arts and Sciences to support Black students with financial need and those who “enhance Cornell’s diversity, equity and inclusion” initiatives.

“We are very proud that Cornell has need-blind admissions, but the reality is some students have ongoing struggles which distract them from their primary goals and may affect their career choices,” Robert Jain said to the Cornell Chronicle.

“We hope that our gift will inspire others to recognize that these students will be our future leaders, and we need to give them all we can to help them succeed,” he continued.

The Jain Cornell Promise Scholarship is part of the larger Cornell Promise initiative which provides an “excellent education to highly qualified students regardless of their background or financial circumstances.”

Campus Reform reached out to Weill Cornell, Meharry, Cornell, Middlebury, UDC, and FIU but did not receive responses in time for publication. This article will be updated accordingly.

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McKenna Dallmeyer is a Virginia and Texas Senior Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. She is a Senior studying Cybersecurity at Liberty University. McKenna was the Deputy Communications Director for a congressional campaign in Iowa. She previously attended Texas A&M where she was the Founder and President of Young Women for America and Events Coordinator for TPUSA.
Photo “Cornell University Students” by Cornell University.




Appeared at and reprinted from campusreform.org

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