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David M. Rubenstein, the founder of the Carlyle Group, the influential private equity firm, has donated $5 million to the University to support students pursuing joint degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School.
The gift will provide one year’s tuition, fees, and summer internship support for up to 20 Kennedy School and Business School joint degree students per year for the next five years. In addition, some money will go toward supporting curriculum and case study development, the Kennedy School said in an announcement.
The Rubenstein Fund will be available to students starting this fall.
“I have said for a long time that I think all of the most important public problems in the world cross the boundaries between business, government, and civil society, and that’s why I think it’s so critical that students that are interested have the opportunity to be exposed to all sorts of things,” Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood ’75 said this weekend.
For incoming Rubenstein Fellows such as Justin V. Reed, the fund is meant to alleviate some of the financial burdens entailed by the Joint Degree program’s extra year of schooling.
“It’s a great opportunity to take a couple of chances and follow a career path you might be less motivated to do so beforehand,” said Reed, who plans to focus on financial policy issues.
According to Ellwood, Kennedy School students who graduate with debt are less likely to pursue careers in the public sector. The jobs students take, he said recently, are highly correlated to the amount of financial aid they receive as well as the debt with which they graduate.
“We remain committed to the ideal that student debt must not inhibit the career choices of our graduates, and the Rubenstein Fund will help enormously in that effort,” Ellwood said in a press release.
—Staff writer Lindsay P. Tanne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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