By Deanna C. White
The Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)
made the road for twenty-three accounting students from multiple colleges throughout the state of Illinois, much smoother this spring when it awarded $47,000 in scholarships to help them pursue their dream of becoming a CPA.
The ICPAS scholarships awarded for the 2012‒2013 academic year include:
- Accounting Tuition Scholarship, which awarded multiple scholarships, up to $2,000 each.
- Accounting Textbook Scholarship, which awarded multiple scholarships, up to $500 each.
- Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship, which awarded multiple scholarships, up to $4,000 each to high-achieving female students dedicated to becoming CPAs.
- Herman J. Neal Scholarship, which awarded multiple scholarships, up to $4,000 each to support African-American students in their pursuit of an accounting education and CPA designation.
The scholarship recipients include students in both undergraduate and graduate level accounting programs who have maintained a minimum 3.0 grade point average. All scholarship recipients plan to pursue the CPA licensure and demonstrate a course of study that reflects that goal.
"Congratulations to the scholarship recipients," said Elaine Weiss, president and CEO of the ICPAS. "These students represent the continuing strength of the pipeline and can contribute much to growing our profession while facing new challenges."
Several of the recipients said the ICPAS scholarship program will help them ease the overwhelming financial obligations and alleviate the sometimes "overwhelming stress" that staggering tuition and textbook costs place on today's college students.
"The textbook scholarship will lighten the financial burden graduate school places on scholars," said Bradley Winkler, a student at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. "It will allow me to focus on what is most important in graduate school ‒ learning."
But along with alleviating the cost of their own education, most of the recipients said the generosity of the ICPAS scholarship program has sparked a personal desire to help future generations of accounting students.
"I now see how things can change with the help of others, and I hope one day I can help students achieve their goals as the ICPAS has helped me," said Andrew Barnes, a student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and the recipient of the Herman J. Neal Scholarship.
Jennifer Ellison, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the recipient of the Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship, said in the future, she hopes to encourage young girls to embrace IT and financial information-based careers.
"Having the support of the Illinois CPA Society encourages me to bring my goals to life," Ellison said.
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The ICPAS Accounting Scholarship Program is funded by the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. In addition to providing financial assistance, the scholarship program provides the students with a variety of professional development opportunities to build professional skills, network, and learn from practicing CPAs, who can offer invaluable advice to enhance the students' careers.
For more information on the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois, visit the ICPAS website