News broke recently that all students at NYU's medical school would be able to attend for free. Billionaire Ken Langone and his wife Elaine made this amazing thing possible. He recently told CNBC that this was his way of sharing the American dream. Langone is the co-founder of Home Depot. He is also the chair of the board of trustees of the Langone Medical Center at NYU. The Langones donated $100 million to NYU to fund the medical school's tuition.
Langone feels that over the next 15 years, a shortage of doctors – especially in primary care, pediatrics, and OB-GYN – will emerge. These areas of medicine don't pay well but are very important. The average medical school debt for 2016 was about $176,000 – that's up $19,000 from the 2010 debt of $160,000, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Students at NYU's medical school will have around $55,000 in tuition waived. It does not cover room and board. Langone said this will provide med school students with relief during a very challenging time in their education. He hopes other medical schools will also become tuition free.
"We didn't do this to stimulate more applications. We think we're giving them a good start in life to leave here debt free. And we think it's the right thing to do. If you look at my life and Elaine and you look at the opportunities we've had and you look at where we are, there's no place on this Earth better than America. I think everything you can do to continue to be a great country, we all win."
Ken Langone has a net worth of $3.3 billion.