Thanks to Ruth Gottesman’s $1 billion donation, all current fourth-year students will be financially reimbursed for their tuition costs from the spring semester, and medical students will receive free tuition starting in August. (Credit: Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Some New York City college students will now go to medical school for free — all thanks to a widow’s generous donation. 

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx announced Monday that it received a $1 billion donation from its former professor Ruth Gottesman, who is also the 93-year-old widow of philanthropist and investor David Gottesman. 

Gottesman’s donation is the largest gift bestowed to a medical school in history and will make tuition free for all medical students in perpetuity. 

“Each year, well over 100 students enter Albert Einstein College of Medicine in their quest for degrees in medicine and science,” Gottesman said in a press release. “They leave as superbly trained scientists and compassionate and knowledgeable physicians, with the expertise to find new ways to prevent diseases and provide the finest health care to communities here in the Bronx and all over the world.”

The historic gift furthers Einstein’s mission by “removing the financial restrictions” for students who cannot afford medical school, the college said on its website. Yearly tuition at Einstein averages at about $58,000, with an enrollment of 795 students, according to U.S. News. Many of Einstein’s student population are those underrepresented in medicine, according to its website, and about 60% of students are women.

Gottesman joined Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center in 1968, where she developed screening, evaluation and treatment methods for thousands of children. She then initiated CERC’s adult literacy program in 1992, which is still currently in operation. 

After being named the founding director of the Emily Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities in 1998, Gottesman later joined Einstein’s board of trustees in 2002 where she currently serves as the chair. 

Gottesman acquired her late husband’s fortune after his death in 2022. Known as a close friend to Warren Buffet and founder of the investment firm First Manhattan, David Gottesman had a net worth of about $3 billion during the midpoint of 2022, according to Fortune.

Thanks to Gottesman’s donation, all current fourth-year students will be financially reimbursed for their tuition costs from the spring semester. Medical students will receive free tuition starting in August. 

Aside from the students, the gift also proves meaningful for Einstein’s faculty, including Dr. Yaron Tomer, the Marilyn and Stanley Katz Dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The donation, he said, “will free up and lift our students.”

“We will be reminded of the legacy this historic gift represents each spring as we send another diverse class of physicians out across the Bronx and around the world to provide compassionate care and transform their communities,” Tomer added.

Gottesman said she is “very thankful” to her late husband for leaving his funds in her care, granting her the opportunity to make an impact.

“l feel blessed to be given the great privilege of making this gift to such a worthy cause,” she said.