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Academics and Education can sometimes cost a huge chunk of money. Professional qualifications can be way too expensive and might result in snatching a huge opportunity from the hands of the ones who can’t afford to lock such huge amounts.

If you’re someone who is Interested in doing CFA or has planned to pursue CFA in your career – then in this article we will be discussing how you can apply for scholarship from CFA Institute and reduce a huge chunk in your cost.

I myself have seen so many CA’s and CA Students pursuing CFA. It is a major hit on your pocket. I am sure so many of you reading this would want to pursue CFA but have a second thought due to the $1,300 fee (roughly Rupees 95,000) and this is exclusive of books, tuitions and other stuff.

As expensive as it might be, CFA definitely is a globally known qualification and speaks volumes for an individuals’ interest in the field of finance and investing.

If you’re not aware of this fact that the CFA Institute offers various scholarships to the pursuant. Now, getting the scholarship is a ghost of chance but it definitely is worth giving a whirl for people who ‘genuinely’ can’t take the hit or are an academic genius. I would say the probability would be 4 out of 10. 40% is still worth taking a chance.

To begin with, I’d like to enlighten the fact that this programme can bring the fees down to as much as $250 to $350. I know that sounds outrageous, right?

But, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. The CFA institute is a very particular organization in all its aspects and would want to make sure that the benefit out of such programmes goes to the well deserved one and hence, the verification to make that sure is complex and elaborate.

Now, the kinds of scholarships the institute offers are of six different kinds –

  • the access scholarship,
  • the women’s scholarship,
  • the student’s scholarship,
  • the professor’s scholarship,
  • the regulators scholarship and
  • the media scholarship.

The Access Scholarship:

Narrowing it down to each one in particular, the access scholarship is for the people who otherwise won’t be able to fully afford the fee.

However, that isn’t the ONLY criteria, the award could be a mixture of a number of factors like the candidate’s hardships in life, his contributions to the society and the strong will to pursue the CFA charter, the financial needs still being one of the key determinants.

The window for the same is from March 1st to September 15th and you could only be required to pay ameagrefee of $250 which converts to roughly Rs. 18,000

The Women Scholarship:

The women’s scholarship is for the women who have applied for other scholarships but weren't awarded with one. Now, the fee for the women’s is waived and the exam would cost you a $350. The application window for the June exam closes on the 1st February whereas for the December exam, it closes on the 1st September. But, you need to make sure to apply in time because it generally closes before the deadlines. So, I advise you to keep a check on the website regularly.

The Student Scholarship:

The student scholarship is awarded to the students who are full-time enrolled in the universities affiliated with the CFA institute. Three students from these affiliated universities are granted the scholarship. There can be a number of ways by which you are awarded including the principals’ recommendation. Of course, for this you’ve be academically outstanding.

The Professor’s Scholarship:

For the professor’s scholarship, there’s a minimum credit hour requirement to be fulfilled as an eligibility criterion for the scholarship. This would require an English language letter as well as a letter reinforcing the number of hours they dedicate. For the regulator scholarship, people who are working for employers whose entities regulate or supervise the operations, standards of practice or business conduct of the investment management industry are considered.

The Media Scholarship:

Lastly, the media scholarship is for the full-time employees involved with organizations whose business is of communication and distribution of financial news, data and educating the world. It requires you to submit your work samples and an employee letter. The window for each of these scholarships except the Access scholarship ends on February 1st for the June attempt and September 1st for the December attempt. 

To further elucidate the process and the requirements, the CFA institute offers needs-based opportunities to the people. So, it wants to make sure that the candidates awarded are awaiting such an opportunity and are dead serious about the charter programme.

You can fill up an application online by simply logging into the CFA institute website. There’s a detailed application form of seven steps. The institute is thorough and filters out the application to make sure that the candidates selected are a well-deserved one. After some general information on your background, you’re required to provide references.

The references could be any but you’d be required to provide the contact information of your reference, so make sure you've that. Further, you are required to mention your dependents and add a letter that clearly illustrates your will and NEED to enroll to be selected for the programme.

With every scholarship application, you would be required to write a statement of purpose answering the question “Why you want to do CFA?” and this is one of the most important factors of selection in the scholarship programme. So, please take time to write your own SOP and thought it through before sending the application.

This could be your chance to persuade and illuminate on your reasons to want this scholarship more than any other candidate would. You are further required to explicitly showcase your net income. This includes an extensive and a very thorough representation of your income from ‘all’ the sources. You would also be required to mention your net assets.

However, you need not worry about what if you don’t get selected?

You are intimated about the selection in the scholarship programme just in time so you can still register for the exam and can avail a discount of $150 on the late charges on the registration fee too. Any person who's supported by their employers in any matters of financial assistance is automatically ineligible for applying to the scholarship programs. 

I hope this article is helpful and clears your doubts, if you had, in any aspects relating to the scholarship programme for any further queries, you can leave a comment below.


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