New Scholarship Helps Black Students Pursuing CPA

The Illinois CPA Society and the Black CPA Centennial announced today the establishment of the Aspiring Black CPA Scholarship. This one-time national scholarship initiative will provide immediate financial support for Black and African American accounting students and professionals pursuing the CPA credential. 

This exciting initiative is a promising step toward assisting students and professionals who continue to face obstacles in achieving their career goals, often due to a lack of funds. It also marks one of the first times an organization in the accounting profession has provided an actionable solution for Black and African American accounting students and professionals who face these barriers. 

The scholarship is supported by the Black CPA Centennial Fund, which raised nearly $84,000 as part of the 2021 Black CPA Centennial, a yearlong celebration honoring John W. Cromwell Jr., who in 1921 became the first Black CPA.

The Aspiring Black CPA Scholarship will be worth up to $5,000 each and may provide financial support for expenses related to preparing for or taking the CPA exam, including college tuition toward CPA eligibility, classroom materials, preparation courses, application fees, tutoring and more.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must identify as Black or African American; be a senior in college, a graduate student or a professional pursuing the CPA license; intend to sit for the exam within one year of applying for the scholarship; and demonstrate a commitment to the accounting profession and an immediate financial need. Applicants must not have already completed all four sections of the CPA exam.

This year’s application deadline is May 1, 2022. Eligible individuals are encouraged to apply at

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