Ethiopia—What’s Next For The Student Who Won $2 Million+ In Med School Scholarships
Not only did Johns Hopkins senior Melaku Arega get accepted to all ten of the medical schools he applied to, including Harvard and Stanford. He also received full rides at seven schools and partial scholarships at the other three, raking in more than $2 million dollars in total scholarship offers.
And what did he do to celebrate?
Arega, who will attend Harvard this fall, teamed up with his two JHU classmates, Lamin Sonko and Haziq Siddiqi, to launch White Coat Strategists, a consulting company focused on providing medical school applicants with accessible one-on-one application support.
Melaku Arega with his JHU classmates Lamin Sonko and Haziq Siddiqi
“We felt that there were not enough advising resources when we applied, and the limited resources that were available were marketed at a very high, unaffordable price,” he says. Whereas private admissions consultations tend to start around $2,000, White Coat Strategists’ starting packages can be up to 80 percent lower in cost, says Arega, adding that the organization has already offered pro-bono packages to a few high-potential students.
Counseling also comes from insiders. “We think we can bring value to pre-med students by giving them more accessible advising services from students who know what the experience is like,” says Arega, whose co-founders – Sonko and Siddiqi – are headed to the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and Harvard School of Medicine respectively"
Born and raised in a small town in Ethiopia, Arega immigrated to America in 2009 when he was 14 years old. As a child, he was starkly aware of how the poor quality of health in his hometown afflicted his community. His choice to pursue medicine stems from a desire to help more people – especially those from backgrounds similar to his – achieve the health they need to lead longer, better lives.