Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is gearing up to create a university in Austin, Texas, according to tax filings obtained by Bloomberg that revealed the educational institution is seeded with a $100 million gift from the world’s richest person.
The organization plans to launch a STEM-focused primary and secondary school with an initial class of 50 prior to the university, which will be “dedicated to education at the highest levels” and will seek accreditation from the Georgia-based Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, according to the filing, which requested tax-exempt status.
Details on the school are scant, but the filing says the university will employ “experienced faculty” and have a traditional curriculum backed by hands-on learning experiences including “simulations, case studies, fabrication/design projects and labs.”
The university will be funded through tuition and donations, likely from Musk’s charity, The Foundation, which he dumped $2.2 billion worth of Tesla stock into last year, according to Bloomberg (the filing said the school “intends to be tuition-free,” though it may charge tuition and offer need-based scholarships).
Students will be selected on merit, according to the filing, which notes the school doesn’t guarantee admission to foundation trustees, officers, employees or their family members.
Representatives for Musk didn’t immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.
$410 million. That’s how much money Forbes estimates Musk has given to charity during his lifetime. The figure excludes amounts still sitting in his foundation, which received $7.9 billion of his Tesla stock from 2021-2022, and amounts sent to donor advised funds for which the end recipients are unknown.
We estimate Musk’s net worth at $243.5 billion, making him the wealthiest person in the world.
Musk’s last educational institution was a California school made for his five kids and children of some SpaceX employees, Bloomberg reported, though the school has since been relocated to Texas. The tech billionaire is also planning for a new community called Snailbrook outside of Austin, one that will feature a school, recreational facilities and subsidized housing for employees of Tesla, SpaceX and the Boring Company. Musk owns around 6,000 acres in the Austin area, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported internal conversations between Boring employees that described bigger plans for the community including the construction of an entire city. Snailbrook has been under construction for more than six months and will need at least 201 residents before it can apply to incorporate, the Journal added, noting a final approval will be needed from a county judge.
Elon Musk Is Planning a New University in Austin (Bloomberg)