Bronx medical student who suddenly got free tuition after a $1B donation says the school will be a nightmare to get into now

Bronx medical student who suddenly got free tuition after a B donation says the school will be a nightmare to get into now
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Avraham Kohanzadeh
Avraham Kohanzadeh will have his final semester at the Einstein College of Medicine paid for in full.

  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine received a record-breaking $1 billion donation for free tuition.
  • The donation means all current and future students will receive free tuition. 
  • It will make the school’s application process more competitive, according to a current student.

A student at a Bronx medical school that received a $1 billion tuition fee donation said he was elated, but he wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of future applicants.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine announced on Monday that it will give free tuition to all current and future students after receiving the record-breaking donation from Ruth Gottesman, chair of the college’s board of trustees.

Gottesman, 96, told The New York Times that she made the donation after inheriting $1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock from her late husband, David “Sandy” Gottesman, who was worth an estimated $2.9 billion before his death in September 2022, Forbes reported.

close-up of Ruth Gottesman smiling
Dr. Ruth Gottesman in 2016.

Sandy was a close friend of Warren Buffett and a cofounder of the investment company First Manhattan Co, the publication said.

Gottesman told The Times that her husband’s only instruction was to “do whatever you think is right” with the stock. She announced plans to donate the entirety to student tuition in an auditorium on campus on Monday — and was swiftly met by cheers, applause, and tears, as shown in a moving video posted to X.

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One person there to witness the announcement was Avraham “Avi” Kohanzadeh, a fourth-year student who said Gottesman’s donation means he will be reimbursed around $31,000 for the spring semester, his final semester at the college.

“I still have to pinch myself and remind myself that this actually happened,” Kohanzadeh told Business Insider.

“It was a surreal experience, really. If you asked me two weeks ago if something like this could have happened, I would’ve said, ‘You’re crazy,'” he added.

Kohanzadeh said his tuition fees at Einstein cost around $60,000 per year, which he has been able to pay through student loans. He said he’s thankful that Gottesman’s donation will help alleviate some of his debt.

Speaking of the atmosphere in the auditorium on Monday, Kohanzadeh said there was a “palpable feeling of excitement” and that he witnessed his classmates crying, cheering, and hugging each other as they celebrated.

And though the donation will have a positive impact, there’s also the question of what it means for future applicants. Will the college become increasingly difficult to get into? Kohanzadeh said he believes it will.

“Personally, I would not want to have to apply now. I’m very happy that I applied before this transition because I think it will be much more challenging to get an interview offer that turns into an acceptance,” he said.

Nonetheless, he said he would still encourage future students to apply as it isn’t “out of reach for anyone who is extremely passionate.”

The college prides itself on having a “diverse body of students” in its mission statement. However, it has yet to comment on how its selection process might change going forward.

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A spokesperson for Albert Einstein College of Medicine told BI that while it’s “a bit early to see any impact” from the donation, the student and faculty are both “excited and appreciative.”

“Overall, I think the hope is that it will enable generations of healthcare leaders who will advance the boundaries of research and care, free from the burden of crushing loan indebtedness,” the spokesperson added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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