Navigating the path to becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can be both exciting and challenging, especially when considering the financial investment required for exam preparation and the application process. Fortunately, there are numerous scholarships and financial aid options available to aspiring CPAs to help alleviate these costs, ensuring that talented candidates from all backgrounds have the opportunity to achieve their professional goals.


Scholarships for CPA Candidates

Many organizations recognize the importance of supporting the next generation of accounting professionals and offer scholarships specifically designed for CPA candidates. These scholarships can cover a range of expenses, including exam fees, review course costs, and educational materials. Here are a few examples:

  1. AICPA Scholarships: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offers several scholarships for accounting students and CPA candidates, such as the AICPA Legacy Scholars program, which includes scholarships like the John L. Carey Scholarship Award for those transitioning to a graduate accounting program.
  2. State CPA Society Scholarships: Many state CPA societies offer scholarships to residents currently pursuing accounting degrees or those preparing for the CPA exam. These scholarships often target specific groups, including minority students, women, and those demonstrating financial need or academic excellence.
  3. Educational Institution Scholarships: Universities and colleges frequently provide scholarships for their accounting and finance students. Some of these scholarships are reserved for students who express a clear intention to pursue the CPA designation after graduation.
  4. Private Organizations and Foundations: Private entities and foundations, such as the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA) and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), offer scholarships to support underrepresented groups in the accounting field.


Financial Aid Options

In addition to scholarships, there are other financial aid options available for CPA candidates:

  1. Grants and Fellowships: While less common, some organizations offer grants and fellowships to accounting students and CPA candidates, which do not require repayment.
  2. Student Loans: Federal and private student loans can help cover the costs associated with CPA preparation and exam fees. It’s important to research and compare different loan options to find the most favorable terms.
  3. Employer Assistance Programs: Some employers offer tuition assistance or reimbursement programs for employees pursuing professional certifications like the CPA. These programs may cover exam fees, review courses, and other related expenses.
  4. Payment Plans and Discounts: Many CPA review course providers offer payment plans or discounts to make their courses more accessible. It’s worth exploring these options to reduce upfront costs.


Maximizing Your Financial Aid Opportunities

To take full advantage of available financial aid options, it’s crucial to:

– Start Early: Begin researching scholarships and financial aid opportunities well in advance of when you’ll need the funds.

– Meet Deadlines: Pay close attention to application deadlines to ensure you don’t miss out on potential funding.

– Be Thorough: Carefully review the eligibility criteria and application requirements for each scholarship or financial aid option.

– Apply Broadly:Don’t limit yourself to one or two opportunities. Apply for as many scholarships and financial aid options as you qualify for to increase your chances of receiving support.


Becoming a CPA is a significant milestone in an accounting professional’s career. While the financial aspect of preparing for the CPA exam can be daunting, a wide range of scholarships and financial aid options are available to help candidates reach their goals. By exploring these opportunities, aspiring CPAs can find the support they need to advance in their careers without being burdened by excessive financial strain.