Yale University has announced a gift of $25 million from The Starr Foundation in support of financial aid at Yale School of Medicine. This major commitment from one of the nation’s largest private foundations, chaired by Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg, is a significant step toward making Yale’s premier MD program more affordable for students with financial need. Mr. Greenberg also serves as Chairman and CEO of Starr Insurance Companies, a leading global insurance and investment organization.
In her announcement, Nancy J. Brown, MD, the Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Yale School of Medicine, said, “Reducing medical student debt enables exceptional candidates from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to attend Yale School of Medicine and ensures that they have the financial support and freedom to pursue their education and future careers in medicine without financial burden.”
“I am deeply grateful for this new contribution from The Starr Foundation,” said President Peter Salovey ’86 PhD. “Across the university, we have a goal to increase the scholarships we offer our students and to reduce the debt they carry upon graduation. Hank Greenberg and The Starr Foundation, by endowing scholarships in the School of Medicine, have enabled a permanent and significant expansion of the support we provide to our medical students.”
A long-time benefactor of the university, The Starr Foundation has contributed widely to collections, international programs, and financial aid, and it has funded scholarships for Yale medical students for nearly three decades. “The Yale School of Medicine attracts the world’s brightest candidates and prepares them for leadership in every area of medicine,” Greenberg said. “This new program will help to eliminate any concerns about funding the cost of medical school, so that these aspiring doctors can focus instead on their vital work to alleviate suffering and promote health for people everywhere.”
Thanks to a fundraising challenge announced last year through the For Humanity campaign, the university will also make an equal and unrestricted contribution of $25 million to the medical school’s general endowment to advance the dean’s priorities.
Each year, Yale School of Medicine enrolls roughly 104 students in its MD program. Of that number, more than half the class receives need-based financial aid, with an average scholarship award of $66,000. Even with this support, students must borrow to cover their costs.
With this gift, beginning with the 2023–2024 academic year, Yale medical students with demonstrated financial need will not be called upon to take out more than $10,000 in loans per year, enabling them to graduate with significantly lower debt than students at most medical schools across the country.
Dean Brown described the gift as a game changer: “I want to thank The Starr Foundation for this landmark gift and for bringing the school significantly closer to our goal of debt-free education for students with demonstrated financial need. It will empower our graduates to make career decisions based on their passions and desire to serve rather than on financial considerations.”