By Deanna C. White
This winter, the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS) is offering Illinois college students majoring in accounting the opportunity to alleviate the skyrocketing cost of college while pursuing their dream of becoming a CPA by earning a scholarship.
ICPAS is now taking scholarship applications for the 2013-2014 academic year. The scholarship opportunity is open to Illinois college students pursuing an accounting degree with plans to become a CPA.
Students who meet those criteria can apply for the following scholarships:
- Illinois CPA Society Accounting Tuition Scholarship. Multiple scholarships of up to $2,000 each are available to senior or graduate students.
- Illinois CPA Society Textbook Scholarship. Multiple awards of up to $500 each in book and curriculum expenses are available to junior, senior, or graduate students.
- Herman J. Neal Scholarship. Multiple scholarships of up to $4,000 each are available to African-American junior, senior, or graduate students.
- Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship. Multiple scholarships of up to $4,000 each are available to high-achieving females enrolled as a senior or graduate student.
The deadline for applications is April 1, 2013. Candidates may apply for multiple scholarships.
ICPAS provides these scholarships thanks to the efforts of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois and its support of the future of the accounting profession via the generosity of its members and their firms and organizations.
Wendy Kelly, principal at Itasca, Illinois-based Corbett, Duncan & Hubly, PC, and chair of the ICPAS Women's Executive Committee (WEC), said as a young woman who turned her budding love of math into a burgeoning career in public accountancy, she has always been "passionate about helping other women succeed in accounting."
That's why, Kelly said, she is always excited by the yearly prospect of awarding the WEC Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship and proud to support the committee's ongoing mission to support and mentor young women entering the profession.
Kelly said while she believes that ultimately "women and men have to be responsible for their own careers", she does hope scholarships like the WEC scholarship, as well as the committee's efforts to mentor and support women in the profession, will help to increase the number of women in leadership roles at public accounting firms.
"Looking at recent statistics on women in leadership roles in the profession, I still believe there is work to be done in opening up those roles", Kelly said.
Jennifer Ellison, one of the recipients of the 2012-2013 WEC Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship, said the scholarship not only helped her achieve her personal dream of becoming a CPA, it also reminded her to always be appreciative of the opportunities afforded to her and her contemporaries.
"The scholarship reminds me of how fortunate my generation is", Ellison said. "I am very fortunate to pursue a professional career in an area of my own selection."
Many of the former ICPAS scholarship recipients, like Emily Loerger, a 2012-2013 WEC Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship recipient, also say they have every intention of making sure that good fortune is passed along to future generations when they become members of the profession.
"I look forward to continuing my education, advancing the profession, and being able to give back to the community through my career as a CPA", Loerger said.
For more information on the ICPAS scholarships and to apply, visit www.icpas.org/students.htm.