CFA ® Scholarship Guide

CFA Scholarship Guide

A CFA Scholarship is financial support for individuals who may be unable to afford all the fees of the CFA program . All CFA Institute Scholarships include a waived enrollment fee and discounted registration.

There are multiple scholarships and each one has a different set of application requirements, eligibility rules, and application windows.  CFA scholarships are available for existing CFA program candidates and people considering pursuing the CFA charter.  If you are an existing CFA program candidate you can apply for a scholarship for Level I, II, or III exams depending on which stage of the program you are at.  

TABLE OF CONTENTS

What Are The Total Fees of The CFA Program?

  • CFA Access Scholarship
  • CFA Women’s Scholarship
  • CFA Student Scholarship
  • CFA Professor Scholarship
  • CFA Regulator Scholarship
  • How To Check Your CFA Scholarship Application Status
  • Can You Reapply for A CFA Scholarship If You Aren’t Chosen?

How Many People Get CFA Scholarships?

The total fees for a CFA program candidate are over $3,000 USD. Considering it’s common for CFA program candidates to have accrued debt from gaining a traditional education in finance from a college or university, a CFA Scholarship can make a difference.  

What Is The CFA Access Scholarship?

The CFA Access Scholarship is designed to specifically improve access for individuals who are considering the CFA program and may be unable to afford all the fees associated with the program.  Recipients of the CFA Access Scholarship will be able to enroll in the CFA Program for free and pay $250 USD to register for the CFA exam vs the standard exam registration fee. 

CFA Access Scholarship Application Requirements

As you gather materials for the CFA Access Scholarship application don’t forget to:

  • Disclose any potential conflicts of interest
  • Include references
  • Write a personal statement
  • Submit the application within the designated application window

How To Apply For The CFA Access Scholarship

The first step to applying for the CFA Access Scholarship is to make sure you meet the enrollment criteria and requirements for the CFA program . 

If you meet those requirements, check to see when applications are being accepted for the CFA Access Scholarship . 

The CFA Institute usually opens registration for the CFA Access Scholarship once or twice a year.  When the application window is open you can submit your application for the scholarship through your CFA Institute account.

How To Write A Personal Statement For The CFA Access Scholarship

Writing a personal statement for the CFA Access Scholarship is an important part of developing your application because awards may be granted based on a combination of factors.  The factors to emphasize in your personal statement should be:

  • Financial need
  • Academic, professional, or other accomplishments
  • Any obstacles you’ve overcome
  • Any contributions to your local community
  • Why you’re interested in pursuing the CFA charter
  • Some personal characteristics that indicate why you should be considered for the scholarship

What Are The Rules For The CFA Access Scholarship?

Besides being eligible to enroll in the CFA program and submitting your application on time, there are rules that you should be aware of when applying for the CFA Access Scholarship.

  • While your scholarship application is pending, you should not register for a CFA Program exam.
  • If you are awarded the CFA Access Scholarship, you’ll receive email instructions that must be followed about when you can register for the exam.
  • Awards may not be sold, transferred, deferred, or assigned and are not convertible to cash.
  • If you are awarded the CFA Access Scholarship, and you don’t show up for the exam, you may be ineligible to receive future scholarships.

CFA Access Scholarship Deadlines

CFA Access Scholarship application windows contain an open date and a deadline. The deadlines for applying to the CFA Access Scholarship fluctuate each year but are usually around 35 days after the open date.  

What Is The CFA Women’s Scholarship?

The CFA Women’s Scholarship is designed to specifically improve access for women who are considering or currently enrolled in the CFA program and do not qualify for other CFA Institute scholarships.  Recipients of the CFA Women’s Scholarship will be able to enroll in the CFA Program for free and pay $350 USD for exam registration vs the standard exam registration fee.

CFA Women’s Scholarship Application Requirements

Make sure to include these components in your CFA Women’s Scholarship Application:

  • Disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest
  • A personal statement

How To Apply For The CFA Women’s Scholarship

CFA Women’s Scholarship applicants can be currently enrolled in or be in the consideration phase of enrolling into the CFA program.  The steps for applying are the same however if you are not already enrolled in the CFA program you should make sure you meet the enrollment criteria and requirements for the CFA program first. 

The next step regardless of what stage of the CFA Program you are in is to check when applications are being accepted for the CFA Women's Scholarship . 

The CFA Institute usually opens registration for the CFA Women’s Scholarship once or twice a year.  When the application window is open you can submit your application for the scholarship through your CFA Institute account. 

If you receive the CFA Women’s Scholarship, apply for Kaplan Schweser’s materials scholarship to help cover the cost of your materials.

How to write your essay for the cfa women’s scholarship.

Writing a personal statement for the CFA Women’s Scholarship is an important part of developing your application because awards may be granted based on a combination of factors.  

The factors to emphasize in your personal statement should be:

  • Experience in the investment management industry

What Are The Rules For The CFA Women’s Scholarship?

Besides submitting your application on time and being eligible to enroll in the CFA program if you haven’t enrolled yet, there are rules you should be aware of when applying for the CFA Women’s Scholarship.

  • If you are awarded the CFA Women’s Scholarship, you’ll receive email instructions that must be followed about when you can register for the exam.
  • If you are awarded the CFA Women’s Scholarship, and you don’t show up for the exam, you may be ineligible to receive future scholarships.

CFA Women’s Scholarship Deadlines

The CFA Women’s Scholarship application window contains an open date and a deadline. The deadlines to apply for the CFA Women’s Scholarship fluctuate each year but are usually around 28 days after the open date.

What Is The CFA Student Scholarship?

The CFA Student Scholarship is designed to financially support students around the world who are enrolled at a CFA Insitute affiliated university and considering entering the CFA program. Recipients of the CFA Student Scholarship will be able to enroll in the CFA Program for free and will be able to pay $350 USD for exam registration vs the standard exam registration fee.

CFA Student Scholarship Application Requirements

Each CFA Institute-affiliated university has a different set of requirements for the CFA Student Scholarship so pay extra attention to the additional documentation pertaining to your college or university for the CFA Student Scholarship.

How To Apply For The CFA Student Scholarship

The first step to applying for the CFA Student Scholarship is to make sure your school or college is in the CFA Insitute University Affiliation Program . If they are not currently enrolled in that program you will need to discuss enrolling your college or university into this program with the appropriate person at your school.  

If your college or university is enrolled in the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program, start by checking when applications are being accepted for the CFA Student Scholarship .

The CFA Institute usually opens registration for the CFA Student Scholarship once or twice a year.  When the application window is open you can submit your application for the scholarship through your CFA Institute account. 

If you receive the CFA Student Scholarship, apply for Kaplan Schweser’s student scholarship to help with the cost of your exam prep materials.

What are the rules for the cfa student scholarship.

Besides being enrolled at a college or university that is a part of the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program, there are rules that you should be aware of when applying for the CFA Student Scholarship.

  • If you are awarded the CFA Student Scholarship, you’ll receive email instructions that must be followed about when you can register for the exam.
  • If you are awarded the CFA Student Scholarship, and you don’t show up for the exam, you may be ineligible to receive future scholarships.

CFA Student Scholarship Deadlines

The CFA Student Scholarship application window is open for most of the year but does contain an open date and a deadline. The deadline to apply for the CFA Student Scholarship fluctuates each year but is usually around 10 months after the open date.

What Is The CFA Professor Scholarship?

The CFA Professor Scholarship is designed specifically for full-time college or university professors or department administrators who teach topics found in the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge . Recipients of the CFA Professor Scholarship will be able to enroll in the CFA Program for free and pay $350 USD for exam registration vs the standard exam registration fee.

CFA Professor Scholarship Application Requirements

Applications for the CFA Professor Scholarship must:

  • Confirm you are a full-time professor and the number of credit hours you teach per quarter or semester
  • Include a CV
  • Attach a form of employment verification
  • Be submitted within the designated application window
  • Be submitted before registering for an exam

How To Apply For The CFA Professor Scholarship

The first step to applying for the CFA Professor Scholarship is to make sure you teach the minimum number of credit hours at your institution, which is set by the CFA Institute. 

If you do, then you must get that information verified by obtaining an English language letter from your university.  This English language letter should be on a university-branded letterhead and signed by an administrator from your institution. 

Then you’ll need to gather one of the following forms of employment verification:

  • A copy of a university-issued identification card
  • A university-affiliated email address
  • Proof of a teaching license from an issuing government agency
  • A list of current publications, research papers, or some other document that confirms your affiliation with said institution

Once you have those materials, you can start checking to see when applications are being accepted for the CFA Professor Scholarship .

The CFA Institute usually opens registration for the CFA Professor Scholarship once a year.  When the application window is open you can submit your application for the scholarship through your CFA Institute account. 

If you receive the CFA Professor Scholarship, apply for Kaplan Schweser’s professor discount to help with the cost of your exam prep materials.

What are the rules for the cfa professor scholarship.

Besides being teaching the minimum number of credit hours in topics covered in the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge, there are rules that you should be aware of when applying for the CFA Professor Scholarship.

  • If you are awarded the CFA Professor Scholarship, you’ll receive email instructions that must be followed about when you can register for the exam.
  • If you are awarded the CFA Professor Scholarship, and you don’t show up for the exam, you may be ineligible to receive future scholarships.

CFA Professor Scholarship Deadlines

The CFA Professor Scholarship application window is usually for most months of the year but it does contain an open date and a deadline. The deadline to apply for the CFA Professor Scholarship fluctuates each year but the application window usually closes around 11 months after the open date.

What Is The CFA Regulator Scholarship?

The CFA Regulator Scholarship is designed specifically for organizations in the financial industry that regulate operations in the investment management industry. Organizations that receive CFA Regulator Scholarships will be able to nominate employees to apply internally to receive free enrollment in the CFA Program and a reduced exam registration fee of $350 USD vs the standard exam registration fee. 

CFA Regulator Scholarship Application Requirements

If you are applying for the CFA Regulator Scholarship as an organization, the application should contain:

  • Disclosures of any potential conflicts of interest
  • Confirmation that the organization oversees or regulates operations, standards of practice, or business conduct in the investment management industry
  • Agreement to the terms and conditions of participation set by the CFA Institute 

How To Apply For CFA Regulator Scholarship

If you represent an organization, you will need to get in touch with the CFA scholarship team at CFA Institute to discuss the process of entering into a program agreement with CFA Institute.  

If you have been nominated to receive a CFA Regulator Scholarship on behalf of your organization, HR or the CFA representative in your organization will determine the requirements for your scholarship application.

What Are The Rules For The CFA Regulator Scholarship?

As an individual who gets nominated for the CFA Regulator Scholarship through their employer, you should be aware of the rules below if you are awarded the CFA Regulator Scholarship.

  • You’ll receive email instructions that must be followed about when you can register for the exam.
  • If you don’t show up for the exam, you may be ineligible to receive future scholarships.

CFA Regulator Scholarship Deadlines

CFA Regulator Scholarships are allocated annually to participating organizations and those organizations will determine the application window.

Check Your CFA Scholarship Application Status

If you want to check the status of your CFA Scholarship application, start by logging in to your CFA Institute account and looking for a status update on your application.  Pay attention to the dates listed for the application window and make sure the application deadline has passed.  

If you would like to speak with someone directly about your application email the CFA Insitute Scholarship department . 

When Are CFA Scholarships Recipients Announced?

It can take a few weeks or months for the CFA Institute to announce CFA Scholarship recipients. Sometimes members of the CFA society will request additional information from you or request to conduct a reference check or personal interview.  

Can You Reapply For A CFA Scholarship If You Aren’t Chosen?

Yes, if you are eligible and apply for a CFA scholarship and don’t get selected, you can re-apply.  Even if you receive a CFA scholarship, you can be selected again for the same CFA scholarship if you re-apply.  

The CFA Institute does not disclose how many scholarships are awarded each year, however, it is fair to assume that at least one CFA scholarship is awarded each year for each type of scholarship.

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sample essay for access scholarship

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can anyone share sample essay for access scholarship?

  • CFA Charterholder

We have a CFA scholarships guide here , which includes tips on how to write your essay (see point #3 in the Handy Tips section). Good luck, and let us know if you have more questions!

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I have a plan to studyboard. I want to pass the essay. So, your sample helped me. I will try my best to pass.

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CFA Scholarship [Access, Women, etc.], Essay, Results, Application and more

Diving into the CFA Program marks the start of an ambitious journey toward becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst, a title that holds immense prestige in the finance industry. But with high aspirations often comes a significant financial commitment. Enter CFA Scholarships : your golden ticket to advancing your career without the burden of heavy fees.

In this blog, we cut straight to the chase, providing you with essential information on the scholarship types available, how to apply, and strategies for writing an essay that stands out. Whether you’re a budding finance professional or a student with big dreams, we’re here to guide you through the scholarship process, making your path to CFA certification both accessible and clear.

Understanding CFA Scholarships

The path to becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is both prestigious and demanding, with a significant investment in time and resources.

Recognizing the financial challenges many candidates face, the CFA Institute offers a variety of scholarships to help reduce the financial burden and make the CFA Program more accessible to a broader audience.

To know more about CFA as a course, read – All About CFA

Overview of Available Scholarships

  • Access Scholarship: Aimed at making the CFA Program more accessible to individuals who may not afford the full program fees. It’s open to anyone who meets the CFA Program enrollment requirements but lacks the financial means.
  • Women’s Scholarship: Specifically designed to support women around the world in obtaining the CFA Charter, promoting gender diversity in the finance profession.
  • Student Scholarship: Offered to students currently attending affiliated universities, this scholarship encourages aspiring young professionals to start their CFA journey.
  • Professor Scholarship: Available to full-time college or university professors who teach finance-related courses, facilitating educators to further contribute to the finance education ecosystem.
  • Regulator Scholarship: Intended for employees of regulatory agencies, central banks, and securities commissions, among others, to aid in their professional development.

Criteria and Eligibility for Each Scholarship Type

  • Access Scholarship: Applicants need to demonstrate financial need and cannot be currently enrolled in the CFA Program.
  • Women’s Scholarship: Open to women around the world who are interested in earning the CFA Charter but require financial assistance to do so.
  • Student Scholarship: Students must be enrolled at an affiliated university and recommended by their academic institution.
  • Professor Scholarship: Professors must be employed full-time at an academic institution and actively teaching finance or related subjects.
  • Regulator Scholarship: Employees or members of regulatory bodies in the finance sector who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Objective and Benefits

The primary objective of CFA Scholarships is to reduce financial barriers for promising candidates who demonstrate a strong commitment to their finance careers but require support to cover the costs of the CFA Program.

These scholarships not only make the CFA Charter more accessible but also strive to promote diversity and inclusion within the finance industry.

  • Reduced Exam Fees: Significantly lower registration fees, which cover the program enrollment fee and the exam registration fee for the respective level.
  • Access to Resources: Scholarship recipients gain access to the CFA Program curriculum and a plethora of study resources and support networks.
  • Professional Recognition: Receiving a CFA Scholarship itself is an accolade, recognizing the recipient’s potential and commitment to their finance career.

In summary, CFA Scholarships offer a pathway for individuals from diverse backgrounds and financial circumstances to embark on or continue their journey toward becoming a CFA Charterholder.

By understanding the types of scholarships available and their eligibility criteria, candidates can identify the opportunities that best align with their circumstances and career aspirations.

Scholarship Application Process

Securing a CFA Scholarship is a competitive process that requires careful preparation and attention to detail.

Understanding the application steps, key deadlines, and essential documents can significantly enhance your chances of success.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for a CFA Scholarship

Applying for a CFA Scholarship requires a detailed understanding of the process to ensure your application is complete and submitted on time.

  • Determine Eligibility: First, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the scholarship you’re interested in. Each scholarship type has specific requirements based on factors like financial need, gender, academic status, or profession.
  • Create a CFA Institute Account: If you haven’t done so already, you will need to create an account on the CFA Institute website. This account is essential for accessing scholarship applications and managing your CFA Program journey.
  • Go to the CFA Institute’s official website.
  • Hover over or click on the “Programs” tab, then select “CFA Program” from the dropdown menu.
  • Look for a section titled “Scholarships” or use the search feature to find the scholarship page.
  • Select the Scholarship: On the Scholarships page, you’ll find detailed information about each scholarship, including Access, Women’s, Student, and Professor Scholarships, among others. Click on the scholarship you wish to apply for to view specific details and requirements.
  • Access the Application Form: Within the scholarship’s detailed page, there will be a link or a button labeled “Apply” or similar. Click on this to either log in to your existing CFA Institute account or to create a new one if you haven’t already. Once logged in, you can access the scholarship application form.
  • Complete the Application Form: Fill out the application form with all the required information. This typically includes personal details, academic and professional background, a statement of financial need or an essay (depending on the scholarship), and any other information specific to the scholarship.
  • Prepare and Upload Required Documents: Some scholarships may require additional documentation, such as proof of income, academic transcripts, or letters of recommendation. Prepare these documents in advance and upload them as part of your application.
  • Review and Submit Your Application: Before submitting, double-check all the information you’ve entered and ensure that all required documents are attached. Make sure your application is complete and accurate, then submit it before the deadline.

Required Documents and Information for Application

  • Personal Identification: A copy of your passport, national identity card, or other government-issued identification.
  • Academic Records: Transcripts or records from your highest level of education.
  • Proof of Financial Need: This may include income statements, employment status documentation, or a written statement explaining your financial situation (specifically for the Access Scholarship).
  • Recommendation Letters: Some scholarships may require letters of recommendation from professors or industry professionals.

Key Dates and Deadlines to Remember

For the 2024 CFA exam year, the CFA Institute offers several scholarship cycles with specific opening and application periods for different types of scholarships, including the Access, Women’s, Student, Professor, and Regulator Scholarships.

  • Access Scholarship: The second cycle for the Access Scholarship opens on January 24, 2024. The first cycle has already closed in late 2023.
  • Women’s Scholarship: For the Women’s Scholarship, the second cycle opens on January 9, 2024. Like the Access Scholarship, its first cycle has already closed.
  • Student Scholarship: Applications for the Student Scholarship are accepted from September 1, 2023, through July 31, 2024.
  • Professor Scholarship: The application period for the Professor Scholarship runs from September 1, 2023, until July 15, 2024.
  • Regulator Scholarship: Similarly, applications for the Regulator Scholarship are accepted from September 1, 2023, through July 15, 2024.

Each scholarship type offers specific benefits, such as waived enrollment fees and reduced exam registration fees, aiming to make the CFA charter more accessible to a broad range of candidates.

The scholarships cater to individuals based on financial need, academic or professional status, and efforts to promote diversity within the finance industry.

Tips for a Successful Application

  • Start Early: Begin your application well in advance of the deadline to allow ample time for gathering documents and refining your essay or statements.
  • Be Thorough: Answer all questions fully and provide detailed responses where applicable. Comprehensive answers can better demonstrate your eligibility and need.
  • Focus on Your Essay: If required, your essay should clearly articulate your passion for finance, your career aspirations, and how the CFA Charter will help you achieve those goals. Be authentic and specific.
  • Proofread: Typos and grammatical errors can detract from the quality of your application. Review your application carefully or have someone else check it before submitting.
  • Follow Instructions: Adhere strictly to the guidelines for document formatting, word limits, and any other application instructions.

How to Write a Great Scholarship Essay?

Crafting a scholarship essay that captures the essence of your aspirations and aligns with the CFA Institute’s values is paramount. This section breaks down the process into digestible tips, ensuring your essay stands out.

Why Your Essay Matters?

  • Your unique opportunity to showcase personality, drive, and commitment.
  • Goes beyond grades and scores to reveal who you are and why you deserve the scholarship .

What the CFA Institute Values?

  • Essays should reflect integrity , excellence , and respect .
  • Highlight your understanding of finance , ethical commitment , and career alignment with the CFA Charter .

Crafting Your Essay

  • Introduction : Grab attention and state your goals.
  • Body : Detail experiences, challenges, and learnings.
  • Conclusion : Reinforce your commitment and future plans.
  • Be specific about your finance aspirations.
  • Include personal stories that showcase your values.
  • Explain how the scholarship will help overcome financial barriers .
  • Professional yet personal ; let your personality shine.
  • Honesty and enthusiasm are key.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Vagueness : Specific details set you apart.
  • Ignoring the Prompt : Address all parts of the question.
  • Typos and Errors : Proofread to maintain professionalism.
  • Repeating Your Resume : Offer new insights about yourself.

An impactful essay is your ticket to making a memorable impression on the scholarship committee. By following these guidelines, you’re well on your way to crafting a compelling narrative that not only highlights your financial acumen and ethical stance but also brings your personal journey to life.

Scholarship Results, Acceptance, and Reapplication

Navigating through the outcomes of your CFA Scholarship application encompasses several key phases, each critical to your journey towards earning the CFA Charter.

Scholarship Results Announcement

Timing and Notification : Scholarship results are generally announced via email a few months following the application deadline. Ensure your contact details are up-to-date in your CFA Institute account to receive all communications promptly.

Accepting a CFA Scholarship

Upon receiving a scholarship:

  • Email Confirmation : Look out for an email from the CFA Institute detailing your scholarship award.
  • Profile Update and Acceptance : Log into your CFA Institute account, find the scholarship notification, and follow the instructions to accept your award.
  • Terms and Conditions Review : Carefully read through any terms associated with the scholarship, particularly those regarding exam registration deadlines.
  • Exam Registration : Utilize the scholarship to register for the CFA exam within the specified period to leverage the financial benefits fully.

If Not Selected for a Scholarship

Should your application not result in a scholarship, consider the following steps for reapplication:

  • Reflect and Enhance : Review your initial application to identify areas for improvement. Update your CFA Institute profile with any new achievements, experiences, or qualifications that strengthen your candidacy.
  • Revise Your Essay : Take a critical look at your scholarship essay. Enhance it to reflect any new insights, experiences, or professional growth that align more closely with the CFA Institute’s mission and values. A more compelling narrative can significantly impact your reapplication.
  • Monitor Deadlines : Keep an eye on the CFA Institute’s website for the next scholarship cycle dates. Planning your reapplication early can give you a strategic advantage.
  • Update Application Materials : Prepare your reapplication by emphasising any new accomplishments or experiences. Ensure your financial need is clearly articulated, and your commitment to the finance profession is evident.
  • Submit Your Reapplication : Revisit the scholarship section in your CFA Institute account when the next cycle opens. Fill out the application form with updated information and submit it ahead of the deadline, ensuring all newly added achievements are highlighted.

Whether moving forward with scholarship funding or preparing to reapply, maintaining focus on your ultimate goal of earning the CFA Charter is paramount.

Each step, from application to exam preparation, contributes to your professional development in the finance industry.

Stay engaged, seek growth opportunities, and persist in your efforts to secure the scholarship and achieve your career aspirations.

Preparing for the CFA Exam with a Scholarship

Receiving a CFA Scholarship not only alleviates the financial burden associated with pursuing the CFA Charter but also provides a unique set of resources and opportunities to enhance your exam preparation.

Understanding how to leverage these advantages effectively can significantly impact your study strategy and exam performance.

Impact of Scholarship on Exam Preparation

  • Reduced Financial Stress : With the scholarship covering a substantial part of the exam fees, you can focus more on your studies without the added pressure of financial constraints.
  • Increased Motivation : Winning a scholarship often boosts confidence and motivation, as it recognizes your potential and commitment to a career in finance.

Resources Available for Scholarship Recipients

  • Study Materials : Scholarship recipients typically gain access to a wealth of CFA Institute study materials, including the official CFA Program Curriculum, sample exams, and preparatory content designed by Quintedge to aid in understanding the vast subjects covered in the exams.
  • Workshops and Webinars : Some scholarships may offer exclusive access to workshops, webinars, and online classes focusing on exam preparation strategies, time management, and specific content areas.
  • Networking Opportunities : Being a scholarship recipient can open doors to networking events with CFA charterholders, industry professionals, and fellow candidates, providing insights into the exam and career advice.

To get suggestions about some of the best CFA Study Material available, read – Best CFA Study Material in 2024

Planning Your Study Schedule Around Scholarship Deadlines

  • Start Early : Once you receive your scholarship, begin your exam preparation as early as possible. Consider the scholarship award date and exam registration deadlines to maximize your study time.
  • Set Milestones : Break down the curriculum into manageable sections and set milestones based on the exam date. This helps ensure you cover all topics thoroughly and have time for review.
  • Incorporate Resources : Integrate the resources provided by the scholarship into your study plan. Utilize official study materials for in-depth learning and attend workshops for additional guidance.
  • Practice and Review : Allocate ample time for practice exams and review sessions. These are crucial for reinforcing your understanding and identifying areas that need further attention.
  • Adjust as Needed : Be prepared to adjust your study schedule based on progress and comprehension. Flexibility is key to addressing challenging topics and avoiding burnout.

Stepping into the world of finance with the CFA Charter as your goal is a pursuit of excellence. The CFA Scholarship not only eases the financial journey but also opens up a world of opportunities for dedicated candidates.

With determination, strategic planning, and the right resources , achieving your dreams is within reach. Whether you’re gearing up for a reapplication or leveraging a scholarship win, remember that every step you take is a leap towards your future in finance.

Let this guide inspire you to aim high, persevere, and embrace the opportunities that come your way. The path to becoming a CFA Charterholder is rich with challenges, but with the support of the CFA Scholarship, your finance career is set on a trajectory towards success.

Frequently Asked Questions

No difference; the Access Scholarship is one type of CFA Scholarship aimed at those with financial need.

Personal info, educational background, financial need statement, and sometimes an essay.

Focus on your finance career aspirations, financial need, and ethical commitment to the profession.

sample essay for cfa access scholarship

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sample essay for cfa access scholarship

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  • How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example

How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example

Published on October 11, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on May 31, 2023.

A good scholarship essay demonstrates the scholarship organization’s values while directly addressing the prompt. If you plan ahead , you can save time by writing one essay for multiple prompts with similar questions.

Table of contents

Apply for a wide variety of scholarships, make a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, tailor your essay to the organization and the prompt, write a focused and relevant personal story, scholarship essay example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

Scholarships are a type of student financial aid that don’t require repayment. They are awarded based on various factors, including academic merit, financial need, intended major, personal background, or activities and interests.

Like college applications, scholarship applications often require students to submit their grades, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay.

A scholarship essay shares your values and qualities in the context of a specific question, such as “How does technology affect your daily life?” or “Who has had the greatest impact on your life?”

Be wary of scholarship scams

While some applications may not require an essay, be wary of scholarship scams that do the following:

  • Guarantee you scholarship money for a fee
  • Claim scholarship information is exclusive to their company
  • Ask for your bank or credit card information to hold the scholarship

Some legitimate companies do charge for releasing comprehensive scholarship lists or creating a tailored list of scholarship opportunities based on your profile.

However, you can always discover scholarship opportunities for free through your school counselor, community network, or an online search.

Many students focus on well-known, large scholarship opportunities, which are usually very competitive. To maximize your chance of success, invest time in applying for a wide variety of scholarships: national and local, as well as big and small award amounts. There are also scholarships for international students .

In addition to charitable foundation and corporate scholarships, you should consider applying for institutional scholarships at your prospective universities, which can award money based on your application’s strength, your financial situation, and your demonstrated interest in the school.

Check with your guidance counselor, local organizations, community network, or prospective schools’ financial aid offices for scholarship opportunities. It’s a good idea to start applying as early as your junior year and continue throughout your senior year.

Choose the right scholarships for you

Choose scholarships with missions and essay topics that match your background, experiences, and interests. If the scholarship topic is meaningful to you, it will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay.

Don’t shy away from applying for local scholarships with small dollar amounts. Even a few hundred dollars can help you pay for books.

Local scholarships may be more tailored to your community, background, and activities, so they’re likely more relevant to you. Fewer students apply for these scholarships, so you have less competition and a higher chance of success.

Some places to look for local scholarships include

  • Civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Lions Club, etc.
  • Your church, mosque, synagogue, or place of worship
  • Community groups, such as the YMCA
  • Ethnicity-based organizations
  • Your local library or local small businesses
  • Organizations related to your intended major
  • Your city or town
  • Your school district
  • Unions, such as SEIU, the Teamsters, CWA, etc.
  • Your employer or your parents’ employers
  • Banks, credit unions, and local financial institutions

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

While researching scholarship opportunities, create a scholarship tracker spreadsheet to keep track of the following:

  • Scholarship amounts
  • Required application materials

You can use our free Google Sheets template to track your scholarship applications.

Scholarship application tracker template

You can also include scholarship essay prompts in your college essay tracker sheet . By grouping or color-code overlapping essay prompts, you can plan to write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can also reuse or adapt your main college essay .

Even if you’re adapting another essay, it’s important to make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, stays within the word count limit , and demonstrates the organization’s values. The scholarship committee will be able to tell if you reuse an essay that doesn’t quite respond to the prompt, so be sure to tailor it to the questions asked.

Research each organization

Before writing, research the scholarship organization’s mission and reason for awarding the scholarship. Learning more about the organization can help you select an appropriate topic and relevant story.

While you should tailor your essay to the organization’s values, maintain your authentic voice. Never use false or exaggerated stories. If the organization’s values don’t align with yours or you can’t brainstorm a relevant story for the scholarship, continue searching for other scholarship opportunities to find a more appropriate one for you.

After researching the organization, identify a specific personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies why you will be a successful student.

Choose a story with the following criteria:

  • Responds to the prompt
  • Demonstrates the organization’s values
  • Includes an authentic story
  • Focuses on you and your experience, not someone else’s

A good scholarship essay is not

  • A resume of your achievements
  • A lengthy opinion piece about the essay topic
  • An essay featuring a negative tone that puts down others

If appropriate, you can briefly address how the scholarship money will help you achieve your educational goals. You should also end with a brief thank-you.

Take a look at the full essay example below. Hover over the underlined parts to read explanations of why they work.

Prompt: Describe how working for Chelsea’s Chicken restaurant has developed leadership skills that will help you succeed in college. Give specific examples of leadership characteristics that you have exhibited during your employment with us.

As a nervous 16-year-old, I walked into Chelsea’s Chicken for my first day of work determined to make enough money to put gas in my car and buy pizza on the weekends. My only previous job was mowing my neighbors’ lawns when they were on vacation, so I had no idea what to expect. I was a bit intimidated by my new responsibilities, especially handling money and helping disgruntled customers.

However, it didn’t take me long to learn my way around the cash register and successfully address customer complaints. One day, Roger, the store manager, asked me if I wanted to join Chelsea’s Chicken Leadership Training Initiative. He said he saw leadership potential in me because of my attitude with the customers and my enthusiasm for learning new job responsibilities. It surprised me because I had never thought of myself as a leader, but I quickly agreed, and Roger handed me a three-ring binder that was thicker than my math and science textbooks put together! He told me to take it home and read over it during the following week.

In that binder, I discovered that being a leader means taking the initiative, especially when the job is undesirable. One week later, I got to practice that idea when a little kid threw up in the bathroom and missed the toilet. It smelled terrible, but I stepped forward and told Roger that I would clean it up. My coworkers thought I was crazy, but I started to believe in my leadership potential.

That night as we closed the store, Roger pulled me aside in the parking lot and told me that he could tell that I had been studying the manual. He wanted to give me more responsibility, along with a dollar-per-hour pay raise. I was surprised because I had been working there for only a couple of months, but his encouragement helped me make a connection: good leadership helps other people, and it often is rewarded. I was determined to experience more of both.

Within a month, I was ready to take the Team Leader exam, which mattered because I would receive a promotion and a much bigger raise if I passed. But, when I got to work, two of the scheduled team members had called in sick. We were noticeably short-handed, and our customers weren’t happy about it.

I walked back to the lockers, put on my vest and hat, and took my place behind an open register. Customers immediately moved into my line to place their orders. Roger looked at me with surprise and asked, “Did you forget that you’re testing tonight?” I responded, “No, sir—but what’s the use of taking a leadership test if you aren’t going to lead in real life?” Roger smiled at me and nodded.

He stayed late that night after we closed so that I could leave early and still take the test. I noticed that Roger was always staying late, helping employees learn new skills. His example taught me that leaders take the initiative to develop other leaders. He gave me a clear picture of what shared leadership looks like, making room for others to grow and excel. When I asked him where he learned to do that, he said, “From the same leadership manual I gave you!”

Chelsea’s Chicken has offered me so much more than a paycheck. Because of Roger’s example, I have learned to take the initiative to care for my family and friends, such as being the first to do the dishes without my mom asking or volunteering to pick up my friend for our SAT prep course. Now, as I prepare to enter college, I have confidence in my leadership ability. I know I’m signing up for a challenging major—Biology, Pre-Med—yet I also know that Chelsea’s Chicken has helped me to develop the perseverance required to complete my studies successfully.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing

 Communication

  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

A scholarship essay requires you to demonstrate your values and qualities while answering the prompt’s specific question.

After researching the scholarship organization, identify a personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies how you will be a successful student.

Invest time in applying for various scholarships , especially local ones with small dollar amounts, which are likely easier to win and more reflective of your background and interests. It will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay if the scholarship topic is meaningful to you.

You can find scholarships through your school counselor, community network, or an internet search.

You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.

Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count , and demonstrates the organization’s values.

If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can even reuse or adapt your main college essay .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Courault, K. (2023, May 31). How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/college-essay/scholarship-essay/

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CFA Institute

The CFA Institute Access Scholarship Program is designed to make CFA® Program more available to individuals who may not be able to afford the full program fees and are not already registered for their next exam. 

  • Must meet entry requirements for CFA Program and adhere to Access Scholarship Rules
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CFA Scholarship Essay – Example

CFA Scholarship Essay – Example I believe I am an excellent candidate for the CFA designation scholarship. My plans for the rest of my year at UW-L is to complete my finance and accounting classes for my major and minor, and to take the FIN 400 course. I am very excited to

be taking the Advanced Financial Analysis course because I feel the course will complete my major and combine all my finance classes into one review course, which will prepare me for the most important test of my career. I am fully prepared to study the recommend 250 hours for the first exam and for following two rigorous exams in the next 3 years to come.

My ambitions after graduating from college are to go into the corporate world as a financial analyst. During the past summer, I had a financial analyst internship at Kohler Co., where I learned a lot about the financial world from a corporate level and realized I could have a very successful, rewarding career in this area of finance. Having the CFA will grant my employer the security and confidence in knowing I have knowledge, integrity and professionalism of someone you can trust with your financial information and most personal details.

The CFA will provide me with a broad range of investment knowledge and high ethical standards of which will provide my future employer with a well-rounded individual. In working towards my CFA, I will not only learn and apply finance but economics, accounting and basic business management. I also plan to expand on my financial analyst real-life experiences and relate them to what have studied for the CFA (and vise-versa), so I can apply my education in a meaningful manner.

I hope while I am studying for all three exams of the CFA I will gain knowledge that will lead me to promotions. In the near future I would like to be a manager or controller of business/financial analyst or capital planning. The CFA will provide me with wisdom, standards and ethics to be an even better manager and leader. I already have powerful leadership qualities, most of which I have learned through the many positions I have held in my sorority Alpha Xi Delta, but I would like to expand on those qualities to become more successful in my career.

Not only will the CFA help me with my career, but also to help me grow as a person, learning self-discipline and guidance. The CFA will also help me keep on track with my future profession, and will keep concepts and ideas fresh in my mind and will make them easier to recall and use when needed.

Thank you for taking the time to review my application. Any financial help or program fees will be greatly appreciated and put to good use.

Student Name Student Address

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