Accounting Scholarships and Grants

Because accounting is a professional field which does not traditionally attract women and visible minorities, many of the scholarships offered for study in this field are targeted at these groups.

Attracting Women & Minorities to Accounting

The American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) (www.aswa.org) and The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (www.efwa.org) are two such providers offering scholarships to women in a number of situations and from a range of different backgrounds. Other accounting organizations that offer scholarships to attract special groups are:

Minority Accounting Doctoral Support Program Sponsor

The KPMG Foundation (www.kpmgfoundation.org) offer scholarship awards and grants to African-American, Hispanic American, and Native American students in full-time accounting doctoral programs.

National Association of Black Accountants

www.nabainc.org

To qualify for this scholarship program individuals must be an ethnic minority currently enrolled as a full-time student (12 semester hours or equivalent), and have a minimum grade point average in his or her major overall of 2.5.

National Society of Accountants

www.nsacct.org

Up to 30 scholarships a year are awarded to students majoring in accounting with a B-grade, or better, grade point average. Students must be enrolled in a degree program at an accredited 2 year or 4 year college or university. High school students must wait until they are attending college to apply. Only undergraduate students are eligible for these scholarships and only U.S. or Canadian citizens attending a U.S. accredited business school, college or university may apply.

Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting

www.alpfa.org

Eligibility requirements for these scholarships require the student to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of Hispanic/Latino heritage, residing in the fifty states or Puerto Rico. Students must also be in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative 3.0 grade point average based on a 4.0 scale

Accounting Scholarships for All

There are a number of organizations which offer accounting scholarships for any student interested in the profession. These include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) at www.aicpa.org, National Society of Public Accountants (NSPA) at www.nsacct.org, NSPA Scholarship Foundation or the Robert Kaufman Memorial Scholarship - to name a few.

The government Finance Officers Association (www.gfoa.org) offer scholarships to accounting students wishing to follow a career path in government or public service.

Interesting Accounting Scholarships

An interesting scholarship provider for future accountants is the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (www.acfe.com). This organization provides funding to students who are interested in pursuing a career in fraud examination or criminal justice programs.

The Cost

The estimated cost of becoming an accountant is considerable. An accountant requires at least a Bachelors degree to become a basic accountant and many student’s will add another year or two of education on top of that. Depending on the education and accommodation options available to a student, college will cost an estimated $13 000 to $30 000 dollars per year.

Based on these figures each student can expect to fork out a minimum of $39 000 for a three year degree with the most basic funding, to a maximum of $120 000 for a four year degree, including room and board. That is a lot of money. Most students do not want to begin their careers with a huge student debt and so the time and effort investigating scholarships and grants is truly time well spent.

Be Prepared

As with all other scholarships the criteria is varied but the process is similar. Good rules of thumb are to prepare early, research a lot and prepare paperwork and references before you begin the process. That means looking at all of the different scholarship offers that may apply to your situation or abilities. Getting the criteria and application guidelines for each and compiling these in some sort of priority order.

Prepare a folder in which you keep this information and other important details and documents which are related to the application process. Also include in the folder, copies of references, personal details and financial data so that if an opportunity arises there is no reason to delay an application.

Top accounting Colleges

Scholarships are available also directly from some of the best accounting colleges in the country.

2009 rankings (USNews)

  1. University of Texas, Austin, Texas
  2. University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
  3. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
  4. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  5. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  6. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
  7. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  8. University of Notre Dame, Indiana
  9. New York University, New York
  10. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

University of Texas’ first place ranking is not surprising considering recent accolades including these ratings, from the most reputable business media, for the various programs offered:

As of Saturday, January 30, 2010 (http://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/)

MBA

#11 Forbes (8/09)
#18 U.S. News (4/09)
#21 BusinessWeek (11/08)
#26 U.S. Financial Times (1/10)

BBA

#6 U.S. News (8/09)
#10 BusinessWeek (3/09)

Executive MBA

#15 Wall Street Journal (10/08)
#18 U.S. News (4/09)
#19 U.S., Financial Times (10/09)

Part-Time MBA (Texas Evening MBA)

#5 Southwest Region, BusinessWeek (11/09)
#27 U.S. News (4/09)

Accounting

#1 Accounting (Undergraduate), U.S. News (8/09)
#1 Accounting (Graduate), U.S. News (4/09)
#1 Graduate Program, Public Accounting Report (10/09)
#1 PhD Program (Teaching), Public Accounting Report (10/09)
#1 PhD Program (Research), Public Accounting Report (10/09)
#2 Undergraduate Program, Public Accounting Report (10/09)
#6 Accounting (Undergraduate), BusinessWeek (3/09)

While institutions like the University of Texas offer their own array of scholarships, many postgraduate and continuing education scholarships are awarded to students from Texas in direct recognition of the very high calibre of education and the success of the school’s students. It is therefore a good idea to consider a university’s reputation when choosing where to study and how to pay for college.

The other top ten accounting universities are almost equally impressive and any one of them offer remarkable opportunities for aspiring accountants.