PCAOB Scholars Program

Since 2011, the PCAOB has administered a scholarship program for undergraduate and graduate accounting students enrolled in accredited U.S. colleges and universities. The PCAOB Scholars Program is mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and is funded through monetary penalties collected as part of PCAOB enforcement actions.

The PCAOB Scholars Program seeks to benefit students who are likely to become auditors and to make a difference to students who might otherwise choose a different career path.

The scholarship is awarded through a nomination process, on which more information is provided below.

2021 Program Resources

2020 Program Resources

Former Board Member Visits with PCAOB Scholar

Former Board Member Kaiser visits with PCAOB Scholar Lorraine Johnson (North Carolina State University) in Raleigh, NC.

Spotlight on PCAOB Scholars

“The PCAOB scholarship I was awarded was a major blessing and allowed me to earn my Masters of Accountancy degree in a single year. The scholarship helped alleviate my financial burden, giving me the ability to focus on doing well in my classes. I am grateful to the PCAOB for providing me with this scholarship, bringing me closer to achieving my personal and professional goals.”

- Megan Boone 

“It is a great honor to have been selected as a 2020 PCAOB Scholar. I am in my third year working on my bachelor's degree in accounting with a minor in data science. This year has presented many challenges for all of us, and I feel very fortunate to have received the PCAOB scholarship. This scholarship has blessed me with the ability to focus on my studies. Thank you to all those who made this opportunity possible!”

- Mallory Gifford


“Going into my senior year, my financial aid was dwindling to nothing. This scholarship allowed me to spend more time to focus on my studying and not have to deal with the financial burden. Your scholarship was the biggest blessing, and I am totally appreciative of the opportunities you provide to young aspiring accountants. The award I received from the PCAOB is a perfect stepping stone to catapult my career.”

- Brandon Richardson


“The PCAOB scholarship has proven to be a greater blessing than I could have imagined when I received the opportunity to apply last summer. Thanks to this opportunity, my dream of pursuing a master’s degree in accounting debt free is looking like a reality, despite having to unexpectedly replace my vehicle and laptop. After pursuing this goal for the past five years, adequate appreciation is hard to express. The PCAOB Scholarship has truly been a dream-preserver."

- Aaron Rosedale


"About a year and a half ago I was trying to decide if I should go back to school. I was working a dead-end job, unsure of how I would be able to take care of myself. I decided to finish my degree in accounting. The struggle to stay in school has been difficult for me, especially as a returning student, but I knew that education would be the best investment. When I found out about getting this scholarship, it felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders. These times are difficult for all of us, and I am so grateful for how this scholarship has helped me turn my circumstances around. I now feel a greater sense of hope for the future and plan on using my education to benefit others, just as the PCAOB scholarship has benefited me and many others."

- Joy Saline


Scholarship Program Administration

The Board utilizes an outside administrator to assist with program management and execution. This includes contacting eligible educational institutions, collecting nominations, and disbursing funds, as well as certain customer service functions.

PCAOB scholarships are one-time awards and cover the following qualified educational expenses:

  • Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the institution
  • Fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the institution (note: these items must be required of all students in a given course).

The funds may NOT cover room and board, travel, research, or optional equipment and other expenses that are not required for enrollment or attendance.

Checks will be made payable to the Nominated Student’s Nominating Institution and mailed to the nominated student with a financial aid cover letter describing permitted uses.

Selection of Nominating Institutions

With the exception of certain Group 3 institutions discussed below, all U.S. colleges and universities that are regionally accredited and AACSB accredited with respect to accounting or business programs, and which report conferral of bachelor’s or master’s degrees in accounting, will be considered Eligible Institutions and stratified in three groups. Certain regionally accredited institutions without AACSB accreditation may be considered Eligible Institutions in Group 3 as defined below.

Subject to availability of funds, Eligible Institutions who meet the criteria for Groups 1, 2, or 3 will be considered Nominating Institutions and will be invited to submit a nomination.

  • Group 1 will include all regionally accredited institutions with AACSB accredited accounting programs which reported conferral of accounting degrees to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
  • Group 2 will include the top 50 regionally accredited institutions with AACSB accredited business (but not accounting) programs, as determined by the total number of undergraduate and graduate accounting degrees conferred in the most recent five years for which data is available (as reported in IPEDS).
  • Group 3 will include the largest regionally accredited and AACSB accredited accounting degree-granting institution for each state not represented in Groups 1 and 2, or the largest regionally accredited accounting degree-granting institution if a state has no AACSB accredited institution, as determined by the total number of undergraduate and graduate accounting degrees conferred in the most recent five years for which data is available (as reported in IPEDS). 

Student Eligibility Criteria

Students must be selected and nominated by their institution. Students eligible to become a PCAOB Scholar must:

  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate accounting program at U.S. colleges or universities identified as a Nominating Institution above
  • Start classes on or after August 1 with respect to the applicable academic year
  • Demonstrate interest and aptitude in accounting and auditing as evidenced by an overall GPA of 3.3 or higher or being in the top 1/3 of their overall class
  • Demonstrate high ethical standards
  • At the time of nomination, not be a PCAOB employee or a child or spouse of a PCAOB employee. (Note: This includes all full-time and part-time employees of the PCAOB, including interns, and independent consultants who are natural persons.)
  • Demonstrate financial need (Defined as being eligible to receive a Pell Grant or requiring other Federal financial aid for a significant portion of the expected or actual billed cost of attendance, as determined by the institution)

The PCAOB Scholars Program is merit-based, but the PCAOB encourages educational institutions to give special consideration to students from populations that have been historically underrepresented in the accounting profession.