Here at The White Coat Investor we're excited to announce that we'll be doing another WCI Scholarship competition this year. It was a lot of work last year, but we had a great time doing it and were so inspired by the applicants that we felt we had to do it again. We're also grateful for the financial success of WCI and this is one way we have to pay it forward. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, it is a great way to directly impact the indebtedness issue that professional students are facing due to skyrocketing tuition. We try to give >1% of the previous year's profits as our contribution to the scholarship. In 2015, that was $2000. In 2016, we'll be giving $4000. In addition, we'll be giving away more than $2000 worth of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing books, two $100 gift certificates and we'll be covering all the administrative and marketing expenses for the scholarship. (In case you're wondering, we're mailing a copy of the book and the scholarship announcement to the financial aid director at every medical and dental school in the country.)
Once more, I ask for your donations. No, they're still not tax-deductible (unless you're self-employed, then you can write them off like I do as marketing costs.) Maybe next year we'll do the charity thing. We welcome a donation of any amount, but have established the following donation levels for 2016:
- Platinum: $2500
- Gold: $500
- Silver: $100
- Bronze: $10
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
You may also use this handy button to contribute.
The entire amount donated will be given to the winning applicants. We cover all the expenses of administering the scholarship.
You'll be pleased to know that the long-term sponsors of this website have already stepped up in a big way. As of right now, counting our cash contribution, we have already raised $21,310 in cash for the scholarship. (Remember last year's total was only $12,625.)
A complete copy of the rules can be found here. We'll be doing things a little bit differently this year. Instead of one big fat prize, we're going to have five winners this year:
- 1st Place- 60% of the cash raised
- 2nd Place- 30% of the cash raised
- 3rd Place- 10% of the cash raised
- 4th Place- A copy of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to Personal Finance and Investing for every member of your class, plus a $100 Amazon gift certificate
- 5th Place- $100 Amazon gift certificate
The application period is open now and will remain open until the earlier of September 15, 2016, or until we get 100 applications. Remember we closed the competition about a week early last year, so don't procrastinate. It would not surprise me to see it close by the end of May. The application is easy. It is basically a 1000 word essay. Hmmmm……1000 word essay for a 5% chance of winning something cool including a $12K+ first prize. Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Later in the summer, we'll find some volunteer judges who will help select the winners from a group of 10 finalists that our staff will select. Don't email me now asking to be a judge!
A Couple of Other Important Things To Note
The cash awards this year will be taxable earned income. I won't send you a check until you send me a W-9, and you'll get a 1099 in early 2017. That's what happens when you're not a charity. But I figure it's better for you to pay the taxes on it at a medical student's tax bracket than me at an attending's tax bracket. Trust me, you end up with more after-tax than you would if I were paying the taxes. So if you win, hold on to a quarter of the prize for taxes, just in case. Plus, you'll probably even get the earned income credit.
Some of you might be wondering how we managed to convince blog sponsors to donate $2500 a piece to the scholarship. Well, the truth is that most of them feel just as passionately about the mission of The White Coat Investor as we do. In fact, we limited the platinum level to the first five sponsors, and we were “sold out” within 24 hours of sending an email. There were several others interested whose generous offers we had to turn down (they mostly became gold sponsors.) However, the sponsors also get significant publicity, goodwill, and advertising in exchange for their sponsorship.
This year, we decided to do something we've never, ever done on The White Coat Investor. I offered every platinum sponsor a sponsored post. Bloggers are continually hounded to do sponsored posts. I get about three requests a week from businesses offering to pay me money to run a post about them. I have always turned them down. Even though it seemed like an easy way to raise some scholarship money, I was still a little worried about how my readers would take that sort of thing. I hope you don't mind given that none of that money will be going to me. It's really not a big deal anyway, since all of the platinum sponsors are long-term, vetted website sponsors that have worked with hundreds of you anyway. What is a sponsored post you may ask? It's a post where I give away editorial control. So they get to write what they want about their company and have final approval over what the post looks like. Since I like to encourage scholarship fund contributions, I would hope that you will not only be kind to these sponsors in the comments section, but that you will take the time to thank them for their sponsorship! We'll be running one of these a month for the next five months. They'll run on a Saturday morning and will be clearly identified as sponsored posts.
Your Chance to Pay It Forward
This is your chance to get involved. If you feel like what you have found on this website has saved/made you some money, now is your chance to pay it forward. Please consider making a donation of $10 or more to the scholarship. Over 100,000 people a month come to this website. If even 1% of them donated $10 a piece, reader donations would be twice as large as the corporate donations. Please donate today! Even my daughter donated $10 to the scholarship out of her babysitting money.
What do you think? Did you have fun with the scholarship last year? Will you donate this year? Will you tell any professional students you know about it? Comment below!