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The most generous private donations to universities by individuals


Billionaire Robert F. Smith shocked the nation after announcing he would pay off all student loans for the 400-person graduating class at Atlanta’s Morehouse College.

The gift, which reportedly amounts to $40 million, differs from other college donations because it goes toward eliminating college debt for students. Philanthropists and billionaires typically give colleges millions to fund programs or build new schools.

Read more: A billionaire’s vow to pay Morehouse graduates’ loans isn’t a surprise move, it’s just the newest trend in the student-debt crisis

The largest gift in higher education belongs to Michael Bloomberg, who recently donated $1.8 billion to make his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, “need-blind.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education, which tracks major donations to higher education after 1967, updated its list of the priciest single donations to universities and colleges earlier this month. The Chronicle found over 100 donations that totaled $101 million or more.

Here are the 15 most generous single-time donations to colleges and universities since 1967. (The list excludes donations to educational institutes or programs.)



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