AICPA Foundation Awards $375,500 to 82 Outstanding Minority Accounting Students

November 30, 2015

New York (November 30, 2015) - The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is pleased to announce that 82 accounting students from across the United States and its territories have been awarded the AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students award for the 2015-16 academic year. These exceptional students were selected for the award, part of the AICPA’s Legacy Scholars program, through a rigorous process that took into account both their academic performance and leadership capability.

“The AICPA has helped mentor me and guide me throughout the educational process. In addition to financial assistance through the Minority Accounting Scholarship, AICPA has given me the opportunity to serve as the AICPA campus ambassador at UCLA. This has allowed me to meet many professionals and peers which has enriched my professional and academic experience,” said Bahareh Zebarjad, UCLA class of 2016 and an AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students recipient. “I would like to thank the AICPA Foundation for their generosity and for helping me reach my career goals.” 

The AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students is one of four scholarship awards available through the AICPA Legacy Scholars program.  The program was created in 2011 and awards recipients a one-year AICPA scholarship while helping to develop the soft skills needed to sustain a successful career through service. Scholarship recipients perform eight hours of service each semester planning and executing events on campus to advocate for the accounting profession.

“The AICPA is thankful for the generous contributions of our partners who have contributed to specific awards, as well as the AICPA Foundation who’s generosity have allowed us to greatly increase our minority scholarship funding for this academic year,” said Joanne Fiore, vice president, professional media, pathways and inclusion. “These scholarships not only help the students cover the cost of their education, but also help move the profession closer to our goal of a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”

Scholarship funding is provided by the AICPA Foundation, with contributions from the Accounting Education Foundation of the Texas Society of CPAs, the New Jersey Society of CPAs, the Virgin Islands Society of CPAs and Robert Half International. The majority of students receive individual awards of $5,000 to fund expenses related to their pursuit of an accounting degree.

Students receiving specific awards this year are:

Accounting Education Foundation of the TSCPA
Benjamin Holden
Christopher Gervasio
Layeeka Ismail
Jose Luna
Taylor Wilborn
Maia Yang

New Jersey Society of CPAs
Justin Melendez
Muhammad Rasheed

Virgin Islands Society of CPAs
Eula Cyrille
Shanee Isaac

Stuart Kessler Scholarship Recipient
David Floyd

States with the most Minority Scholarship recipients this year are California, Texas and Virginia.

The AICPA Legacy Scholars  program will provide more than 100 scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year, totaling more than $485,000 for students from all across the nation. AICPA Legacy Scholars
are Student Affiliate Members  of the AICPA, which is a free membership option available to college students. Each AICPA Legacy Scholar is given access to a coach to provide mentoring on the student’s service events and guidance on questions related to the profession.

The scholarship award winners were chosen from more than 700 AICPA Legacy Scholarship applicants.  Eligible applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and completed at least 30 semester hours in college-level coursework, including six semester hours in accounting.  A task force comprised of AICPA Student Recruitment Committee members, CPA volunteers selected the recipients based on academic achievement; demonstration of leadership and volunteerism; and, overall commitment to becoming a licensed CPA.

The application deadline for the 2016-17 AICPA Legacy Scholarship is April 1, 2016.   More information, about  the  the AICPA Legacy Scholars Program and scholarship awards offered to accounting students offered to accounting students are available online.