The time has finally arrived! It's scholarship week! This week we'll be giving away over $28,000 in cash and prizes to five lucky winners! We started this process way back in May and reached the 100 applications we were going to read within just a few days. Actually, we took 117, since the last 25 or so all arrived the same day. Next year we may have to enlist a little more help from readers so we can accept more applications. We had tons of great submissions. We laughed, we cried, we rolled out eyes. Some stories were inspiring accounts of incredible hardships. Others were excellent explanations of great financial ideas. Some were politically oriented diatribes on important subjects. Many were obviously a rehashed (or not even rehashed) medical or dental school application essay. But we read every one of them. I read over half of them myself, and then we whittled them down to just ten finalists that we sent out to our jury of 12 judges representing readers of this blog. Most of the judges were physicians, but a few were dentists and other high income professionals. About half were men, half were women, and, judging by their names, we had a good mix of various ethnicities.

The judges clearly had a hard time deciding. I found it amazing that every finalist received at least one 8 (out of 10) and most of them received a 10 from somebody. Likewise, every essay received at least one 3 (or lower) and most received a 1 from somebody. But when it was all said and done, and all the scores were added up, the winners were pretty clear. Well, except for third and fourth, who were tied. So I had to find a 13 judge, which was pretty easy since 100 of you volunteered. We made him read all ten essays, so he wouldn't be biased, even though we were only going to use his rankings to break the tie (they didn't change anything else anyway.) He ranked the 3rd and 4th place winners only one point apart, but at least we now had our five winners! First place received 89 points (out of 120), but even tenth place received 54 (minimum would be 10 if every judge gave a 1.) So clearly they were all very good.

We will run one of their essays each day this week, starting on Monday with fifth place, and moving forward to Friday with first place. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as we have. It reaffirms my faith in humanity and my profession and helps me recapture some of that idealism knocked out of me at some point during residency (maybe it was the two Notices of Claim I received as an intern.)

It's not too late to donate, and 100% of your donation goes to scholarship winners. Here's how to do it. 

Also, a special thank you to the sponsors of this scholarship. It is completely funded by profits from this website, corporate sponsors of this website, and regular readers. Here I list the Platinum, Gold, and Silver level sponsors. Please support them with your business and thank them for their support.


Gold Level Scholarship Sponsor

Platinum Level Contributors ($2500 or more)

The White Coat Investor, LLC
Larry Keller (Physician Financial Services) – Disability and Life Insurance
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing
Michael Relvas (MR Insurance) – Disability and Life Insurance
CommonBond – Student Loan Refinancing
Sandi Frith (Huntington Bank) – Doctor Mortgages

Gold Level Contributors ($500 or more)

Johanna Turner (Fox and Company Wealth Management) – Financial Advising
Pradeep Audho (PKA Insurance Group) – Disability and Life Insurances
SoFi – Student Loan Refinancing and Doctor Mortgages
Chris Roberts (Regions Bank) – Doctor Mortgages
Bob Bhayani (Axiom Financial Services) -Disability and Life Insurances
Jon Appino (Contract Diagnostics) – Contract Review/Negotiation
Physician Home Loans at Citywide Home Loans – Doctor Mortgages
DRB – Student Loan Refinancing – Locum Tenens Education
CompHealth – Physician Staffing
Weatherby Healthcare – Physician Staffing

Silver Level Contributors ($100 or more)

Grant Maxted
Thomas A. Hackett (NW Legacy Law) – Attorney
Jamie Fleischner (Set for Life Insurance) – Disability and Life Insurance
Joe Capone (Insuring Income)
– Disability and Life Insurance
Jim Webster (Fulton Mortgage Company) – Doctor Mortgages
Robert Kanterman
Physician On Fire – Physician’s blog with a charitable mission
Jim Wang (Wallet Hacks) – A personal finance blog sharing strategies to get ahead financially and in life
Mukesh Sahu
Jennifer Petrillo
Sanghamitra Sadhu
Spencer Palmer
David Spilker
Brian Weatherby
Justin Hilson
Rich Radmall
Mark Floyd
Jeffrey Bath

What do you think? Did you contribute to the scholarship? Why or why not? Would you be willing to help screen essays next year? What changes do you think we should make for next year? Do you like reading these essays? Comment below!