Maximize your chances of CFA® exam success with 10% OFF Schweser’s Premium Study Packages. Use promo code ResultsNow to take your next step. Find Your Premium Package »

CFA® Scholarship Guide

By: Kaplan Schweser
August 8, 2022
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?

The total fees for a CFA program candidate are somewhere in the range of $3,050 to $3,950 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 of $1,200 USD. 

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 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.

  1. While your scholarship application is pending, you should not register for a CFA Program exam.
  2. 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.
  3. Awards may not be sold, transferred, deferred, or assigned and are not convertible to cash.
  4. 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 of $1,200 USD.

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
  • References
  • 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:

  • Financial need
  • Academic, professional, or other accomplishments
  • Experience in the investment management industry
  • 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 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.

  1. While your scholarship application is pending, you should not register for a CFA Program exam.
  2. 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.
  3. Awards may not be sold, transferred, deferred, or assigned and are not convertible to cash.
  4. 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 of $1,200 USD.

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.

  1. While your scholarship application is pending, you should not register for a CFA Program exam.
  2. 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.
  3. Awards may not be sold, transferred, deferred, or assigned and are not convertible to cash.
  4. 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 of $1,200 USD.

CFA Professor Scholarship Application Requirements

Applications for the CFA Professor Scholarship must:

  • Disclose any potential conflicts of interest
  • 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.

  1. While your scholarship application is pending, you should not register for a CFA Program exam.
  2. 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.
  3. Awards may not be sold, transferred, deferred, or assigned and are not convertible to cash.
  4. 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 of $1,200 USD. 

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.

  1. You’ll receive email instructions that must be followed about when you can register for the exam.
  2. Awards may not be sold, transferred, deferred, or assigned and are not convertible to cash.
  3. 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.  

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

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.  

How Many People Get CFA Scholarships?

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.

Free eBook: Before You Decide to Sit for the CFA® Program Exam

Free eBook: CFA® Program Fundamentals, 2nd Edition

Ready to Pass the CFA® Exam?