Billionaire Robert Hill donated millions of dollars Thursday to 2,500 alumni of the University of Massachusetts, Boston — each giving $1,000 cash upon acceptance of their degrees — the latest donation from the billionaire to students, as tuition fees have skyrocketed.
Hill, a keynote speaker at the opening ceremony at UMass Boston, gave students two envelopes containing $500 each. Boston Globe mentioned.
The billionaire co-founder and CEO of Granite Communications asked seniors to keep one of the envelopes for themselves, and donate the other to a charity of their choice, calling it a “gift of giving” — though donating the money is up to him. they.
For Hill, the sudden $2.5 million loss represents only a dip in the bucket of his $5 billion net worth, according to ForbesEvaluation.
It’s also the second time college grads have been giving cash: In 2021 Hill handed out $1,000 to all 270 graduating students who attended a commencement address at Quincy College, several miles outside of Boston.
$15,535. That’s how much in-state students pay annually in tuition and mandatory fees at UMass Boston, a mostly commuter school, according to the school’s office of trustee. For out-of-state students, one year at UMass Boston costs $37,211, slightly less than the average price for tuition at a private college in the United States ($37,600, according to the National Center for Education Statistics), and much less than Columbia. University, the most expensive tuition school in the country ($69,986).
Although billionaires often make huge donations to colleges and universities—and gain recognition in the process by having a school building or department named after them—direct monetary donations to students are very rare. In 2019, billionaire Robert Smith told all 396 graduating seniors at Morehouse College, a historic black college in Atlanta, that he would personally pay off remaining student debt, spending $34 million to do so.
Hill’s donation comes nearly a year after President Joe Biden issued an executive order forgiving up to $20,000 in student debt relief — following up on a campaign promise and key progressive demand, though the order was immediately criticized by conservatives and some Democrats who argued for the plan. It would contribute to higher inflation. On Wednesday, the GOP-led House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal the plan — which has also been challenged in the courts and is awaiting a Supreme Court ruling — and reinstate federal student loan payments.
UMass Boston alumni receive $1,000 from Quincy-based billionaire Rob Hill (Boston Globe).
Why Billionaire Communications Executive Gave $1,000 Cash To Quincy College Alumni (Forbes)
Billionaire Robert Smith pays student loans to parents (Forbes)