[Update November 2020: The 2020 WCI Scholarship Competition is over. You can read more about the winners here. Expect information about the 2021 Scholarship around the first of June 2021. Subscribe to the WCI newsletter to make sure you don't miss it.]
Purpose of the WCI Medical School Scholarship
We're very grateful for the financial success The White Coat Investor has seen. Although it has always been a for-profit business, its primary purpose is to “help those who wear the white coat get a fair shake.” The White Coat Investor Scholarship is a way for the entire WCI Community to “pay it forward.” This community includes blog readers, podcast listeners, Facebook Group and WCI Forum members, WCI Redditors, sponsors, staff, and owners.
The Scholarship has no endowment fund so the scholarship money is raised anew every year. The purpose of the scholarship is to directly reduce the indebtedness of a few students and to promote financial literacy in professional schools.
2020 will be the sixth year we do the WCI Medical School Scholarship. Previous winners (and prizes) include:
2015 was the first year we awarded a scholarship. The winner, selected by a volunteer committee of readers was Landon Woolf, whose winning essay can be found here. Excerpts from other exceptionally good essays can be found here. Landon received a cash award of $12,625.
In 2016, our winner was Joshua Fullmer who received a prize of $15,600. Our second prize winner won $7,600 and third prize was won by Katherine Bakke, for $2,500. Brian Warden won 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 his class for fourth place. Conor Smith won a $100 Amazon gift certificate for fifth place.
In 2017, our grand prize winner was Andrew Goates who received a prize of $21,400. 2nd place went to Natalie Moreno with a $10,700 prize. 3rd place went to Adam Goode, for $3,570 in cash. 4th place, a $100 gift certificate and a copy of the WCI book for each member of his class, went to Joshua Weinberg. Fifth place, a $100 gift certificate, went to Samuel McMillen.
In 2018, the top five winners received access to a WCI Online Course of their choice. In addition, our grand prize winner Jaclyn Mauch, received a prize of $28,887. Second place, Yidan Xu, received a prize of $14,444. Third place and $4,815 went to Carlos Garcia. Fourth place, $2,000, and a WCI book for every member of the class went to Nate Alder. Fifth place, $1,000, and a WCI book for every member of the class went to Brent Wright.
In 2019, the top ten winners received access to a WCI Online Course of their choice. The top five also received a copy of the WCI Financial Boot Camp book for every member of their class and some cash. The grand prize winner, Allison Neeson, took home $42,660. Second place went to Momina Mazhar, with a check for $21,330. Third place and a check for $7,110 went to Evan Mercer. Fourth place and $2,000 went to Oluwatomisin Bellow. Fifth place and $1,000 went to Iman Khan.
2020 Prize Money
We're going to do something a little different this year. We're going to have ten winners, but only two levels of prizes. All winners will receive a WCI online course. There will be five second prizes which will be $2,000 cash and five grand prizes which will split equally all remaining cash.
WCI will cover all of the expenses of running the scholarship, the ten online courses, and the cash for the second prizes. The grand prizes will come from three places:
- Donations from Corporate Sponsors
- Donations from WCI Readers, Listeners, Community Members
- The WCI “Match”. Katie and I will match any dollar donated by a reader/listener up to $50,000. The more you donate, the larger the prizes will be.
WCI Medical School Scholarship Sponsors 2020
Thank you to the scholarship sponsors!
Platinum Level Contributors ($7,000 or more)
The White Coat Investor, LLC
Larry Keller (Physician Financial Services) – Disability and Life Insurance
Bob Bhayani (Dr Disability Quotes) -Disability and Life Insurances
Splash Financial – Student Loan Refinancing
Laurel Road – Student Loan Refinancing
Michael Relvas (MR Insurance) – Disability and Life Insurance
Gold Level Contributors ($1000 or more)
Pradeep Audho (PKA Insurance) – Disability and Life Insurance
Scott Nelson Archer (MD Financial Services) – Disability and Life Insurance
Jon Appino (Contract Diagnostics) – Contract Review/Negotiation
Chuck Krugh (Doctor Disability) – Disability and Life Insurance
Johanna Turner (Fox and Company Wealth Management) – Financial Advising
Rick Warren (Insuring Income) – Disability and Life Insurance
Chad Chubb (WealthKeel LLC) – Financial Advising
Pattern – Disability and Life Insurance
Adam Grossman (Mayport Wealth Management) – Financial Advising
Jay Weinberg, CLU, ChFC – Disability and Life Insurance
Alexis Gallati (Cerebral Tax Advisors) – Tax Strategist
Thomas Hackett (NW Legacy Law) – Estate Planning
Wende Headley (Abacus) – Financial Advising
Silver Level Contributors
Michael Bruegel (First National Bank of Omaha) – Physician Mortgage Loans
Jeremy Glassenberg (My 401K) – Self Directed Individual 401K
Jason Puthottile Williams
Who can apply?
Only professional students enrolled full-time in a professional school located in the United States for the 2020-2021 year and in good academic standing are eligible (yes, we actually call your school and check.) That means medicine, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, dentistry, law, pharmacy, optometry, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, CRNA, anesthesiologist assistant, or veterinarian. We will also consider physical therapy and occupational therapy students if the program leads to a doctorate degree. Yes, I know the post title says “medical school scholarship” and most of our applicants and winners in the past were working toward MD and DO degrees, but all of these degrees are eligible.
- No online schools (brick and mortar only).
- No undergraduates.
- No residents. Even if you’re a dental resident paying tuition. Sorry. Students only.
What does an application consist of?
The application consists of the following information submitted between June 1st and August 31st:
- 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 in English on any topic you choose. This limit is STRICTLY enforced. Don't be “that guy” who lost tens of thousands because he couldn't count to 1200.
Emailed submissions will not be entered into the contest. If you win, your essay will be published on The White Coat Investor blog. Entering the contest is considered your agreement to having your essay published along with your name and picture.
When can I submit my application?
You may not submit an application prior to June 1, 2020. The final date for submission is August 31, 2020. Don't procrastinate.
So far in 2020 we have received 892 applications. (This will be updated as the contest progresses)
What should I write about?
Anything you like. We have seen essays that ranged from typical medical school admissions essays to inspiring personal stories to posts about personal finance. The essays from previous year's finalists can be found on the white coat investor blog on the first or second week of October each year. Based on feedback from judges, resubmitting your medical school admissions essay is probably not a good idea.
Can I submit anonymously?
No. Your name and photo will be published along with your essay if you are selected as one of the ten winners. If you do not feel comfortable with that, do not bother applying for the scholarship. No exceptions.
How can I help spread the word?
Please download and post our flyer and email it to everyone you can think of!
When will the winners be announced?
We anticipate announcing all ten winners on October 5th as a blog post on The White Coat Investor blog, although the winners will likely find out the week before when they are asked to send us a headshot picture. They still won't know which prize they won until the announcement.
How does the selection process work?
You can be assured that if you did not follow the directions contained on this page that you will not be selected as a finalist. English. Proofread. 800-1200 words. If you are chosen as a finalist, we will verify your attendance and good-standing.
There will be three rounds of judging. All judging will be done by regular WCI readers/listeners who are neither students nor 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 10 judges who rank the 10 finalist essays with the top essay getting 10 points, then 9 points, then 8 points etc. The highest scoring five essays will receive the grand prize and the next five essays will receive the second prize. If there is a tie for fifth, 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.
How much cash has been raised so far?
We will update this page as the contest goes on to let you know the current size of the Grand Prize Pot. The more readers and listeners donate, the larger the scholarship will be. Currently the total raised is $70,082.
Is the prize money taxable?
It depends on what the winners use the money for.
Generally speaking, a scholarship or fellowship is tax free if you are a degree candidate and the award is used to pay for tuition and required fees, books, supplies and equipment, however there are some scholarship and fellowship opportunities that are not tax exempt. Any amounts used to pay for room and board and a stipend for living expenses is taxable.
If you received a taxable scholarship or fellowship which was not reported to the IRS on a W2 or 1099 form, you are required to include it on line 7 and write “SCH” to the left. If you report taxable scholarship or fellowship income in this fashion, it is wise to attach an explanatory letter to your return, especially if you exclude any required educational expenses.
Per IRS instructions, we will not be issuing a 1099-MISC to scholarship recipients.
How can I volunteer to be a judge?
We expect hundreds of submissions and since the WCI staff won’t be doing any screening to eliminate bias, we’re going to need a lot of judges. If you are a working or retired professional (no students or residents) 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.
Are my donations tax-deductible?
Neither The White Coat Investor nor the scholarship are registered charities and so donations are not deductible as a charitable contribution. Donations may be deductible to you as a business expense however.
How Can I Contribute?
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. We will be taking Venmo this year as well. You can also send checks to:
The White Coat Investor, LLC
P.O. Box 520421
Salt Lake City, Utah
or just 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.
What Do Corporate Sponsors Get For Sponsoring the Scholarship?
Aside from knowing you are helping The White Coat Investor, LLC to fulfill its important mission, each successive level of sponsorship comes with more perks (primarily advertising benefits.) If you are interested in becoming a Gold or Silver level sponsor, contact [email protected] for details. You will notice 5 sponsored posts on the blog over the next few months as part of the Platinum sponsorship package.
How will you be supporting The White Coat Investor scholarship this year? Comment below!