All NYU Medical Schools Are Tuition-Free After Ken Langone’s $200M Donation

The Home Depot co-founder previously funded the free tuition program at NYU's Manhattan medical school.

Current and future students attending medical school at New York University (NYU) will be offered free tuition, all thanks to donations from billionaire investor Ken Langone and his wife Elaine. Following the couple’s most recent gift, a $200 million donation to NYU’s Long Island School of Medicine, both of the university’s medical programs now offer tuition-free education.

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Old man sitting in office wearing white shirt and black tie
Ken Langone poses in his Manhattan office in 2018. Yana Paskova/The Washington Post via Getty Im

NYU’s Long Island School of Medicine, which will be renamed after Robert Grossman, dean of NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine in Manhattan, began offering full-tuition scholarships to all students when it opened in 2019. But it didn’t have a large enough endowment to establish the initiative permanently—until now. Langone’s gift will allow future attendees to avoid around $200,000 of debt, covering yearly tuition costs of nearly $60,000 for each student regardless of need or merit.

“By providing our future doctors with an affordable education, we are investing in a brighter and healthier future for all, particularly here on Long Island, where Elaine and I grew up,” said Langone in a statement. A co-founder of Home Depot, the 87-year-old businessman has an estimated net worth of $6.7 billion, according to Forbes. 

Langone has given millions to NYU over the past two decades

He is also one of the most prominent donors in NYU history. Back in 1999, Langone anonymously gave $100 million in unrestricted funds to the school’s medical center after he was named chairman of its board. He matched the donation in 2008, making his gifts to the center, which was subsequently renamed the NYU Langone Medical Center, the largest in its history.

A decade later, the Langones contributed another $100 million towards NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine’s plan to offer free tuition in perpetuity, in addition to helping fundraise another $350 million towards the scholarships. And earlier this year, the billionaire gave $25 million to NYU’s Stern School of Business to fund scholarships supporting its part-time MBA program, which was named after him in 1999 after a previous $10 million donation from Langone.

However, the investor’s philanthropy has long extended beyond the walls of the New York-based university. Langone donated $30 million to Bucknell University in 2017, bringing his total gift giving to the school to $40 million after a previous anonymous donation. In addition to numerous anonymous gifts throughout the decades, Langone funded the Cancer Institute at the Animal Medical Center, with donations surpassing $5 million, and contributed $100,000 to the restoration of Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral. He’s also a prominent donor to conservative groups and Republican candidates, and in 2018 he authored the bestseller I Love Capitalism!: An American Story.

Alongside his wife Elaine, Langone is a signee of the Giving Pledge, a campaign founded by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates which urges the world’s wealthiest to commit to giving away most of their fortune. “It is because we live in a special country, where freedom of opportunity is a cherished virtue that we can reach so high in the first place,” said Langone in his 2010 pledge letter. “But nothing makes our society better than when we live up to its most caring ideals of service and selflessness.”

All NYU Medical Schools Are Tuition-Free After Ken Langone’s $200M Donation