Here at The White Coat Investor we have an immense sense of gratitude for the success this site has seen in helping those who wear the white coat get a “fair shake” on Wall Street. As owners, employees, and partners, we are also grateful for the financial success of the site, which has been far more than we ever dreamed it could be. One way in which we have chosen to give back to the community is by running The White Coat Investor scholarship program, now back for its third year.
This year, we will personally contribute $7,000 cash, a big box of WCI books (value of $2000+), a couple of $100 Amazon gift certificates, and all of the costs of administering the program. Site sponsors have already contributed $33,500 toward the scholarship and we haven't even hit you, the readers, up yet for a contribution. This scholarship not only directly reduces the debt burden for the winning students, but also spreads an important message of financial literacy throughout medical, dental, and other professional schools.
In 2015, our first year running this scholarship, we awarded over $12,000 for this winning essay. In 2016, we awarded over $30,000 in cash and prizes, with the lion's share going to the author of this winning submission.
- Grand Prize: 60% of the cash raised
- 2nd Place: 30% of the cash raised
- 3rd Place: 10% of the cash raised
- 4th Place: A $100 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing for each member of your class
- 5th Place: A $100 Amazon gift certificate
Only professional students enrolled full-time for the 2017-2018 year and in good academic standing are eligible (yes, we actually call your school and check.) That means medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, law, pharmacy, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, optometry, podiatry etc. No undergraduates. No residents. Even if you're a dental resident paying tuition. Sorry. Students only. You do not need to be a US resident, but you MUST HAVE A US SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. As we are not a registered charity, the winners of the top three prizes will be required to fill out a W-9 for us and we will issue them a 1099 and report the income to the IRS. Consider it to be fully taxable income. The good news is your tax bracket is almost surely dramatically lower than ours, allowing us to give more and you to receive more on an after-tax basis.
How To Apply
All applications that followed the guidelines and were submitted between June 1 and August 31, 2017 will be accepted.
The application consists of a .doc file (such as that produced by Microsoft Word) sent via email attachment to [email protected] with the Subject Line “WCI Scholarship Application” that includes the following:
- Full Name
- Your Anticipated Degree and date of graduation
- Full Name of Your School
- Your Mailing Address
- Your Phone Number
- Your Email Address
- An 800-1200 word proofread essay written by you in English on any topic you choose.
If you are a prize winner, your essay will be published on this website in October 2017, and barring particularly exceptional circumstances like these, with your name and photo. (We only ask for a photo and a W-9 for winners.) Be aware that people in your hospital and perhaps future professional life will read your essay.
The Judging Process
We had a few complaints last year that there was bias in the judging process. Although the selection of the winners was done by a blinded “jury” of 12 professionals and WCI readers, WCI staff selected 10 finalists from the 100 essays we accepted. This year we have decided to remove WCI staff from the process completely. We have also decided not to limit the number of applications. Given that we received 100 in 4 days last year, we expect to get several hundred applications over the course of the summer. There will be a three stage judging process. All volunteer judges will be WCI readers who are working or retired professionals (not students or residents).
In the first round we will provide a number of essays (10-20) to each judge and ask them to recommend 2-3 to pass on to the next round. The second round will consist of fewer judges and a lot fewer essays, but will follow a similar format. The final round will consist of 12 judges who rank the 10 finalist essays with the top essay getting 10 points, then 9 points, then 8 points etc. The essay that receives the top score will receive the grand prize and so forth. If there is a tie, only the tied essays will be provided to an additional judge to make a selection. The round a judge serves in will be determined randomly to minimize bias. Judges will remain anonymous to each other and to applicants.
Needless to say, since we're going to be getting a lot more submissions and since the WCI staff won't be doing any screening, we're going to need a lot of judges. If you are a professional and would be willing to read and rank 10-20 (hopefully ten) 1000 word essays in a timely manner at some point in September, please send an email to [email protected] with the words Volunteer Judge in the subject line. You'll have a few days for the task, but not a few weeks. If you discover you cannot fulfill this duty at any point, please advise us ASAP so we can find someone else.
What Should You Write About?
You may write about anything you wish. However, after two years of reading a whole bunch of these, I can tell you that most judges aren't too impressed with you resubmitting your medical or dental school admissions essay. Also remember that the judges are WCI readers with at least a passing interest in financial matters. You may also wish to go back and read some of the prize-winning essays in the past to see what did well. And please have someone else read it before submitting it; typos, misspellings, and grammar errors don't impress anyone. You can write about a cool experience, your financial needs, what you would use the money for, what your future professional plans are, your family, something suitable for a guest post on a financial website, or just some random poem about tulips. However, if it is fiction, it needs to be very clear from the essay that it is fiction. No making yourself out to be Little Orphan Annie if you aren't.
Call For Contributions
Please consider donating to the scholarship fund. 100% of your donation will go to the prize winners. Unfortunately, we are not a 501(c)3 registered charity, so your donation is not tax-deductible unless you can write it off as a marketing expense for your business (which is what most sponsors do.) Even without a tax deduction, it's a great cause, a lot of fun, and a chance to pay your financial success forward. You can remain anonymous or not, your choice.
We can take contributions most easily via Paypal to [email protected] (use “send money to friends and family” option to maximize your contribution) although if you would like to use a credit card, let us know and we'll send you a Paypal invoice you can use a credit card to pay. You can also send checks to:
The White Coat Investor, LLC
P.O. Box 520421
Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-0421
Perhaps most easily, just use this handy button to contribute using Paypal or any major credit card.
Who Has Already Contributed?
We are extremely grateful for the scholarship sponsors who have already stepped up and made significant contributions. We have divided sponsors into 4 levels.
Platinum Level Contributors ($3500 or more)
The White Coat Investor, LLC
Larry Keller (Physician Financial Services) – Disability and Life Insurance
DRB – Student Loan Refinancing
Michael Relvas (MR Insurance) – Disability and Life Insurance
Locumstory.com – Locum Tenens Education
Jamie Fleischner (Set for Life Insurance) – Disability and Life Insurance
Gold Level Contributors ($500 or more)
Jonathan Brozek (US Bank) – Doctor Mortgages
Foster Group – Financial Advising
Johanna Turner (Fox and Company Wealth Management) – Financial Advising
Chase Cawyer (Navigo Wealth Management) – Financial Advising
Bob Bhayani (Dr Disability Quotes) -Disability and Life Insurances
Chris Roberts (Regions Bank) – Doctor Mortgages
Jon Appino (Contract Diagnostics) – Contract Review/Negotiation
W. Ben Utley (Physician Family Financial Advisors) – Financial Advising
Andy Borgia (DI4MDS) – Disability and Life Insurance
Tal Frank (PhysicianLoans.com) – Doctor Mortgages
Chad Chubb (WealthKeel LLC) – Financial Advising
CommonBond – Student Loan Refinancing
Sandi Frith (Huntington Bank) – Doctor Mortgages
Matt Rodak (Fund That Flip) – Real Estate Investing
Physician Home Loans at Fairway Mortgage – Doctor Mortgage
Bo Liu (FutureproofMD) – physician financial blogger
Silver Level Contributors ($100 or more)
Your name could be here!
Bronze level Contributors ($10 or more)
Your name could be here!
Although we limit the platinum level sponsors to just 5, Gold and Silver level sponsors also receive valuable advertising benefits for their contribution. Contact [email protected] for corporate sponsorship details if you are interested in sponsoring the scholarship at the Gold or Silver levels. Like last year, you will see five sponsored posts this summer, one for each of the Platinum level sponsors.
Thank you for supporting those who support the website and the scholarship. Also, consider posting this flyer in your school or hospital.
What do you think? Will you be applying? Will you be judging? Will you be contributing? Comment below!