It's WCI Medical School Scholarship season, and applications for 2023 are now being accepted. More than $70,000 in scholarship money and prizes will be available to medical, dental, and other professional degree students who earn one of the 10 scholarships we're awarding. Here's what you need to know.
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 Medical School 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.
Applications will be accepted from June 1 through August 31, 2023.
Important Application Information
Who Can Apply?
Only professional students enrolled full-time in a professional school located in the United States for the 2023-2024 year and who are verified to be in good academic standing are eligible. 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.
- No online schools (brick and mortar only).
- No undergraduates.
- You can't already have a full scholarship and be eligible.
- No residents. Even if you’re a dental resident paying tuition. Students only.
What Does an Application Consist of?
You will need to fill out the application which will ask for your name, school, email address, and similar information. You will then be required to submit an 800-1,200 word essay written in English. The word count is STRICTLY enforced. If you are over or under the word count, your essay will be disqualified. You may not attach a Word document. It must be pasted directly into the application. Emailed submissions will not be accepted. If you win, your essay will be published on The White Coat Investor blog. Submitting an application is considered your agreement to having your essay published along with your name and picture. No anonymous entries.
You may submit an essay to the “Inspiring Stories” category or the “Financial” category. Five winners will come from each category. You can only apply in one category.
Inspiring Stories are true stories about you, your family, and your background; why it has led you into your profession; and how it will affect your career. Perhaps the essay details an experience that happened to you in school that others would find humorous, interesting, or inspiring. Most of the winners from the earlier years would fall into this category. You can find links to those essays below.
The Financial category essays will describe what you have done in the past or will do in the future to become financially literate or to help others do so. They may explain a financial principle or experience, or they may give advice to your peers. They may be humorous or serious. But they have to be about a financial topic.
For all of the Rules/FAQ, click here
2023 Prize Money
Once again, we're going to keep the prize money simple. There will be 10 winners, and we're going to split the prize money between all of them equally. Each winner will also receive a WCI T-shirt, a WCI insulated water bottle, the WCI Financial Wellness and Burnout Prevention for Medical Professionals Course, a WCI Guide for Students Book, and a Personal Finance Bundle from Making your Money Matter . Since we'll be covering all the expenses of the scholarship, any money that the audience donates will go entirely to the winners.
WCI will cover all of the expenses of running the scholarship and the cost of the WCI gear and book. The prize money comes from three places:
- $25,000 from The White Coat Investor
- Donations from corporate sponsors
- Donations from WCI readers, listeners, and community members
Thank you to the scholarship sponsors!
Platinum Level Contributors ($8,000 or more)
Gold Level Contributors ($1,500 or more)
Jon Appino (Contract Diagnostics) – Contract Review/Negotiation
Chad Chubb (WealthKeel LLC) – Financial Advising
Johanna Turner (Fox and Company Wealth Management) – Financial Advising
Rick Warren (Insuring Income) – Disability and Life Insurance
Dennis Hursh (Physician Agreements Health Law) – Contract Review/Negotiation
DK Unger (DI4MDs) – Disability and Life Insurance
Silver Level Contributors
Bronze Level Contributors
When Can I Submit My Application?
The application period opened on June 1. The final date for submission is August 31, 2023. Don't procrastinate.
In 2022, we ended up receiving 701 applications (and we had nearly 800 in 2021), so this won't be an easy competition.
What Should I Write About?
For the third-straight year, you will need to apply in one of two categories: either the Inspiring Stories category or the Financial category. Five winners will come from each category. You can only apply in one category.
For what it's worth, 80% of the 2021 scholarship entries were written for the Inspiring Stories category. Last year, 73% of entries were for Inspiring Stories, while only 27% were tagged for Financial. In both categories, judges will also be instructed to give some credit for the quality of the writing. The better the writing, the better your chance to win. Remember, your essay must be between 800-1,200 words. Too many or too few, and we'll just throw it out.
Can I Submit Anonymously?
No. Your name and photo will be published along with your essay if you are selected as one of the 10 winners. If you do not feel comfortable with that, don't apply 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 10 winners in October 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. We'll also send out an email to all applicants to let them know the winners. We'll also use your email to sign you up to get the monthly WCI Newsletter. Don't worry: it's free and you can unsubscribe at any time. But if you unsubscribe from everything we send you (the nuclear unsubscribe button), you won't get that email announcing the winners.
How Does the Selection Process Work?
You can be assured that if you did not follow the directions contained on this page, you will not be selected as a finalist. English. Proofread. 800-1,200 words. If you are chosen as a winner, 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. Judges will be randomly assigned into one of the two categories to maintain consistency.
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 it 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 nine points, then eight points, etc. The five essays with the highest scores in each category will win. 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 who donate, the larger the scholarship will be. Currently, the total raised is $59,450 in cash, plus prizes.
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 if 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 are taxable.
If you received a taxable scholarship or fellowship which was not reported to the IRS on a W-2 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.
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 10) 1,000-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 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 the “send money to friends and family” option to maximize your contribution). If you would like to use a credit card, let us know, and we'll send you a PayPal invoice so that 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
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 five sponsored posts on the blog this summer as part of the Platinum sponsorship package.
2023 will be the ninth 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 Katherine Bakke won a third prize of $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. Second place went to Natalie Moreno with a $10,700 prize. Third place went to Adam Goode, for $3,570 in cash. Fourth 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 10 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 Bello. Fifth place and $1,000 went to Iman Khan.
In 2020, we had 10 winners, five grand prize ($12,000 and a WCI online course) winners and five second prize ($2,000 and a WCI online course) winners. You can read their essays here.
In 2021, we split the essays into two categories: Inspiring Stories and Financial. Each category had five winners for a total of 10 grand prize winners, all of whom received $7,671. You can read all the essays from the five Inspiring Stories winners and from the five Financial winners.
In 2022, we again awarded 10 scholarships (five for Inspiring Stories and five for Financial), and the winners received $7,841 a piece. You can read all the essays from the five Inspiring Stories winners and from the five Financial winners.