CFA® Exam Women's Scholarship & Its Pitfalls

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CFA Exam & Women's Scholarship: When to Apply


In mid-April 2020, CFA Institute closed the application window for 2020 Women’s Scholarships. As of 1 September 2020, the application window for 2021 exams opens.

CFA Institute Scholarships for Women

CFA exam Women’s Scholarships are dedicated to all women and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The scholarship reduces the total exam registration cost to USD 350. It's no longer available for the Dec 2020 exam. The application period for 2021 exams is bound to begin in September 2020.

CFA Exam: Women’s Scholarships 2020

December 2020 scholarships for women have been already awarded!
Dec 2020 application window was open in early February and closed roughly 2 months later.

Women’s Scholarships are offered to women interested in the CFA exam and ineligible for other CFA Institute scholarships. It aims at promoting broader participation of women in the CFA Program. Apparently, the goal has been reached because all scholarships for women are always awarded way before the official deadline. That is why – for this particular CFA exam scholarship – it is not so much the deadline as the starting date that is so crucial.

Shorter Deadline!

You shouldn't put off the decision to apply for a scholarship if you’re a woman. You better hurry up if you’re interested because you never know when the application period closes.

The interest in the scholarship for women is intense and definitely greater than expected because ever since its introduction in 2017 the application period has always been closed prior to the set deadline. The application period is always closed as soon as the number of sent-in applications exceeds a specified but undisclosed limit.

women’s scholarships limited in number application period closes as soon as the limit is reached

Available for All Women?

To apply for the scholarship, you need to be a woman who does not qualify for any other CFA exam scholarship, e.g. Access Scholarship, and you must not be registered for your CFA exam yet.

First, you need to apply and wait for the scholarship award. Only then should you register and pay for your exam. The reduced CFA exam registration fee is USD 350 if you’re selected for the scholarship (plus the enrollment fee is waived). No refunds are available if you register and pay for your exam before you receive the decision about the scholarship award.

register with CFA Institute apply wait for scholarship register for your exam & make the payment

Sadly, you will find out that the Women's Scholarships for your exam are no longer available only when the scholarship award limit is reached. Some of you may end up disappointed when you find out it is too late to apply even though the official deadline has not yet expired. So, if there is one thing you need to know after reading this post, it's this: fill in the application and better submit it sooner than later if you hope for this scholarship!

To better handle Women’s Scholarships, CFA Institute is planning to introduce a new platform in 2021.

Women's Scholarship Essay: What to Write?

When filling in the online application for your CFA exam Women’s Scholarship, you will be asked to write why you’d like to get it. What you write may affect CFA Institute’s decision.

As a rule, the more personal it gets, the better. Share your personal story from the angle that shows your dedication to getting the CFA charter. A few basics you will definitely want to include in your application are: your interest in finance, work in the field (what do you do in your job? why do you like it? are you dedicated to going down this path? what kind of future do you see for yourself in the world of finance?) or your achievements, especially if they make you stand out from your peers.

Learn more about women’s and other scholarships

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UPDATED: July 30, 2020

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