Who can apply for the CFA Institute Access Scholarships, and how?

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The cost of the CFA Program is certainly not low, especially if you are at the early stage of your career looking to get knowledge and accreditation necessary for your professional development and advance in career. Find out more about the CFA Program fees here.

Luckily, CFA Institute grants scholarships for various categories of potential candidates. Apart from the Awareness scholarships that are available to college/university professors, students, employees of qualified government securities regulators/central banks and employees of media organizations, CFA Institute Access Scholarships are aimed at those who have difficulties in financing their education.

Access scholarships

As outlined previously, Access scholarships are available to those prospective candidates who are not in a position to finance the full price of enrollment and exam registration fee. Access scholarships are awarded annually in December for exams in the next year. This scholarships consist of free enrollment fee and reduction in exam registration fee to USD 250. Note however that this package does not include printed curriculum which will, in case you would like to have it, cost you additional USD 150 + shipment cost. Candidates who want to apply for the Access scholarships need to apply prior December, for one level of the following year (either June or December exam).

CFA Institute has published official scholarship rules available on their web pages, consisting of simple 6 rules. Below we extract the most important from the rules you need to know prior to applying for the scholarship.

  • There is no minimum or maximum income or asset level for candidates as a threshold for the application.
  • Candidates can not apply for the scholarships if their current employer gives any financial assistance for CFA Candidates.
  • A candidate can apply only for one scholarship in a year.
  • If a candidate applies for a scholarship and then, while waiting for the results of the competition, registers for the exam, his/her application for the scholarship will be voided because the candidate has demonstrated her/his ability to finance the program. Consequently, his/her fees paid are non refundable.
  • Selection criteria are financial need, academic and professional accomplishment, obstacles overcame by the candidate, contribution to the community and other personal characteristics.
  • If a recipient of scholarship fails to sit on the exam for which he/she was granted a scholarship, he/she will be ineligible to receive future scholarships. In addition, recipients must participate in CFA Institute pre and post exam surveys.

Please note also that although a candidate who applied for a scholarship may not register for the exam prior to scholarship notification, he can purchase the curriculum by contacting CFA Institute.

In your quest for professional education, you may really lower your costs by applying for one of the applicable scholarships offered by the CFA Institute. CFA Institute awards more than 2,600 candidates with scholarship annually, making this exceptional education program more accessible to candidates worldwide.

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