Many national organizations and state CPA societies have created accounting scholarships to support the academic endeavors of financially savvy students seeking to become accountants.
Not only can your love of number crunching and data analysis turn into a rewarding career with expected job growth faster than average at 13 percent before 2022, it can also qualify you for some lucrative scholarship opportunities.
Below we've highlighted 20 of the greatest scholarships available for undergraduate and/or graduate studies in accounting to help get started on the pathway towards a career preparing and evaluating financial records.
1. A.A. and Hattie Mae Bush Accounting Scholarship
Deadline: February 13th
Established in 1978 by a late accountant and entrepreneur who enjoyed giving a helping hand to younger people, the A.A. and Hattie Mae Bush Accounting Scholarship is offered for $1,000 through the Amarillo Area Foundation annually. Eligible candidates must be graduating high school seniors or current enrolled undergraduate students from the 26 northernmost counties of the Texas Panhandle majoring in accounting at Amarillo College, Texas Tech University, or West Texas A&M University. Applicants must submit an official seven-semester transcript showing a minimum GPA of 2.5, two letters of recommendation, and ACT or SAT scores.
2. AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students
Deadline: April 1st
Through the American Institute of CPAs, the Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students has provided over $14.6 million in tuition funding to around 8,000 accounting scholars over the past 40 years. To qualify for earning up to $5,000 each year, outstanding undergraduate and graduate minority students should be enrolled full-time in an accredited accounting program, have completed at least 30 semester hours in college coursework, and hold a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher. Recipients must demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, leadership potential, and a dedication to pursuing CPA licensure.
3. Ben W. Brannon Memorial Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 2nd
In collaboration with the Livingston Foundation, the Ben W. Brannon Memorial Scholarship Fund is awarded through the Georgia Society of CPAs for $5,000 to Georgia residents who display a firm commitment to pursuing a career in accounting. Qualified applicants must be rising junior or senior undergraduate accounting majors or graduate students enrolled in a master's level accounting program at a university accredited by the SACS. It's required that all recipients maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher while staying enrolled in at least six semester hours throughout funding.
4. Carl W. Christiansen Scholarship
Deadline: January 9th
Sponsored by the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants (RISCPA), the Carl W. Christiansen Scholarship was founded in 1974 to assist students hoping to build a career in the public accounting profession. In order to qualify for a portion of the $9,800 in funding offered annually, applicants must be legal residents of Rhode Island, have U.S. citizenship, be enrolled as undergraduate or graduate accounting majors, and carry an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. With the application, students should submit an official transcript, letters of recommendation from accounting faculty, and a short one-page memo illustrating their goals in public accounting.
Carl W. Christiansen Scholarship
40 Sharpe Drive Unit 5
Cranston, RI 02920
Denise Jacobson, RISCPA
5. Excellence in Accounting Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
Through the Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE) of the New York Society of CPAs, the Excellence in Accounting Scholarship is granted annually for $2,500 to full-time students and $1,250 for part-time students with a declared major in accounting. Qualified candidates must be residents of New York State, be currently enrolled into a state accounting program, have completed at least 72 credit hours of college coursework, and possess an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 on a four-point system. Applicants must file a FAFSA form to prove financial aid, attach an official college transcript, and receive approval from their FAE Campus Liaison.
6. Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship
Deadline: February 20th
Each year, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) grants the Frank L. Greathouse Accounting Scholarship for $7,000 to two undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time in an accredited accounting program to prepare for a career in local or state government. Eligible applicants must have at least junior-level status, be citizens of the United States or Canada, submit a recommendation from the accounting program's chair, and write a one-page statement of their proposed career plan in government. Recipients will be chosen based on past academic record, work experience, career goals, recommendations, and GPA.
7. GWSCPA Educational Fund Scholarships
Deadline: February 20th
Since its inception in 1963, the Greater Washington Society of CPAs has proudly awarded more than $300,000 in Educational Fund Scholarships to full-time students earning a bachelor's or master's degree in accounting at American University, Catholic University, Gallaudet University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, or the University of the District of Columbia. To qualify for up to $4,000 each year, applicants must be a rising senior or above, have passed at least nine accounting credits, have U.S. citizenship, and carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2. With a transcript and recommendation letter, applicants should submit a 500-word essay describing the importance of the CPA credential to them.
GWSCPA Educational Fund Scholarships
1140 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 606
Washington, DC 20036
8. Herman J. Neal Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Administered by the Illinois CPA Society in honor of a distinguished Chicago physician, the Herman J. Neal Scholarship is presented annually for up to $4,000 to African American students in pursuit of an accounting education who show significant potential to become a Certified Public Accountant. Eligible junior and senior-level undergraduate students must be enrolled in an Illinois university, have U.S. citizenship, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and show adequate progress in their accounting degree. Recipients are expected to sit for the CPA examination in Illinois within three years of their scholarship application date.
Herman J. Neal Scholarship
550 West Jackson Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60661
9. John L. Carey Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Also sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs, the John L. Carey Scholarship is awarded for $5,000 annually for up to five students with liberal arts or non-business undergraduate degrees who are pursuing a master's degree in accounting for CPA licensure. Established in honor of Mr. Carey's 40-year tenure as the AICPA executive director, the scholarship is designed to encourage students with little to no previous accounting education to consider a career in professional accounting practice. Applicants must be accepted at a public or private non-profit university in the U.S., be enrolling full-time in a graduate accounting program accredited by the AACSB or ACBSP, and demonstrate some financial need.
10. Laurels Fund Post-Graduate Scholarship
Deadline: May 15th
Since 1978, the Laurels Fund Post-Graduate Scholarship has been offered through the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA) to give $5,000 to deserving female Ph.D. students who are pursuing an advanced education in accounting to teach at the university level. Selection will be based on academic achievements, research involvement, community service, and financial need. Along with the application, qualified candidates are asked to submit a current curriculum vitae, official transcript, abstract of published articles, letter of reference on teaching potential, and a personal statement discussing accounting career objectives.
11. Michele L. McDonald Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
Also granted through the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA), the Michele L. McDonald Memorial Scholarship is awarded for $1,000 to female undergraduate students returning to college from the workforce or raising children to complete their bachelor's degree in accounting. Eligible applicants must have financial need, be committed to pursuing a career as an accountant, demonstrate an aptitude in accounting by prior coursework, and clearly display a plan for achieving their professional goals. Candidates must submit an official transcript, employment record, list of volunteer activities, personal statement, tax returns, references, and any academic honors.
12. NABA National Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 31st
Ranging in value from $1,000 to $5,000, the National Scholarship Program through the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) is designed to offer financial support for up to 70 minority students seeking to break through economic barriers to enter an accounting career. In order to apply, candidates must represent an ethnic minority, be enrolled at a four-year U.S. university full-time, gain acceptance into an accredited undergraduate or graduate accounting program, and meet minimum GPA requirements. Applicants should submit an application, official transcript, current resume, letter of recommendation, and a 75-word personal biography.
NABA National Scholarship Program
7474 Greenway Center Drive Suite 1120
Greenbelt, MD 20747
13. National Society of Accountants Scholarships
Deadline: March 31st
Through the NSA Foundation, the National Society of Accountants Scholarships are awarded each year for $500 to $2,200 apiece to U.S. or Canadian citizens who are enrolled part or full-time in an accredited undergraduate accounting program in America. Qualified applicants in their second, third, or fourth year of studies must have a declared major in accounting, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or better, and exhibit financial need. Selection will be strongly based on academic achievements, leadership potential, community service involvement, honors/awards, accounting work experience, and stated career aspirations.
14. Paula Zanni Undergraduate Award
Deadline: April 1st
As part of the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA), the Paula Zanni Award is presented annually to one outstanding undergraduate scholar in honor of a beloved AFWA regional director for the Mesa East Valley Chapter. To be considered, students must have at least junior-level status, have completed at least 60 semester hours, have a declared major in accounting or finance, carry a solid cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and exhibit the character for future accounting leadership. Applicants must attach a 200-word essay describing their career goals in the financial world, an official transcript, and an AFWA chapter endorsement.
15. Rhonda J.B. O'Leary Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
Specifically distributed through the Seattle Chapter of the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA), the Rhonda J.B. O'Leary Memorial Scholarship offers $2,000 annually to an undergraduate or graduate student earning a degree in accounting from an accredited business school in the state of Washington. Eligible full or part-time students must have completed at least 30 semester hours of college studies, carry a minimum accounting GPA of 3.0, and submit two signed letters of recommendation. Selection will be based on career goals, communication skills, financial need, personal circumstances, academic record, and chapter involvement.
16. Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program
Deadline: February 5th
Ranging in value from $1,000 to $10,000, the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program was established by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in honor of two members who are fatally wounded when terrorists filed upon their vehicle in Karachi, Pakistan in 1997. Applicants must be currently enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year university with a declared major in accounting, business, or finance to pursue a career in fraud examination. To qualify, undergraduate or graduate students must have anti-fraud career interests, be enrolled in at least nine semester hours per term, submit three letters of recommendation, and display solid academic achievement on an official transcript.
17. Stuart Cameron & Margaret McLeod Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 17th
Within the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the Stuart Cameron & Margaret McLeod Memorial Scholarship is granted for $5,000 annually to undergraduate or graduate student members who are enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution to pursue a career in management accounting. Applicants must carry at least six credits per semester, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, participate in IMA chapter events, be actively seeking the CMA credential, and submit a one-page resume reflecting community leadership. In addition to the tuition support, recipients will be given up to $1,000 to cover lodging and transportation costs to attend the IMA Annual Conference & Exposition.
18. TACTYC Transfer Accounting Student Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Initially founded in 1974 by a group of innovative educators from New York, the Teachers of Accounting at Two Year Colleges (TACTYC) awards the Transfer Accounting Student Scholarship for $1,000 annually for five students graduating from two-year colleges who will be pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting by transferring to a four-year university. Candidates must have completed at least six college credits in accounting, have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and display a clear commitment to an accounting career. For consideration, applicants must submit a one-page statement describing professional goals, a two-page essay answering a required question for the "Creative Sweets" case study, and recommendation letters.
TACTYC Transfer Accounting Student Scholarship
P.O. Box 69
Greeley, CO 80632
19. Texas Fifth Year Accounting Student Scholarship
Deadline: September 1st
Through the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, the Texas Fifth Year Accounting Student Scholarship is awarded for up to $5,000 each year to state residents who are enrolled at a participating public or private non-profit university at least half-time as an accounting major. With the purpose of increasing the number of highly trained professional accountants, the program is only open to students who have completed 120 credit hours, are pursuing a master's degree in accounting, and plan to take the CPA exam in Texas. Interested students should obtain the scholarship's application from the Dean of their college's Accounting Department.
20. Walter A. Friedly Memorial Scholarships
Deadline: April 15th
Within the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA), the Walter A. Friedly Memorial Scholarships are awarded in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Broward to support eight full or part-time students enrolled in their fourth or fifth year of accounting studies at Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, or the University of Florida. Applicants should be residents of Broward County, demonstrate financial need, carry at least six credit hours per term, and show satisfactory academic progress. Students must submit a completed application, official transcript, determination of financial need, and recommendations from accounting faculty.
Finding a successful career in accounting will require at least a bachelor's degree, but you may need to attend graduate school as well to complete the 150-hour requirement mandated for aspiring CPAs in most states. Since tuition costs continue to climb, it's essential that you utilize various financial aid resources to reduce the burden of completing up to six years in college. Therefore, it's highly advised that you consider applying to these great accounting scholarships to finance your educational journey into the exciting accountancy profession.