Access Scholarships

The CFA Institute Access Scholarship Program is designed to make CFA Institute programs more available to individuals who may not be able to afford the full program fees.

Award Amount

Program enrollment fee is waived and exam registration is reduced to USD 250.

Application Window

The scholarship application is open 1 March — 15 September, to be used for exams the following year.


Applicants must meet all CFA Program enrollment requirements.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the application

    Log in and complete the online application. After you submit your application, you cannot make changes.

  2. Need to withdraw your application?

    If your financial situation changes, you may withdraw your application from consideration before 15 October of the year in which you applied by going to your “Manage My Scholarships” page.

When Awarded

Scholarships are awarded by 1 December.

Evaluation Criteria

While financial need will be strongly considered, awards may be based on a combination of factors, including financial need; the academic, professional or other accomplishments of the candidate; obstacles overcome by the candidate; contributions to the local community; the candidate’s interest in pursuing the CFA charter; and other personal characteristics that indicate the individual is a strong candidate to receive an Access Scholarship and become a CFA charterholder.

Evaluation Process

Applications will be reviewed by CFA Institute and/or a local CFA Institute Member Society in the Scholarship Candidate’s geographic area. Societies will have access to all data submitted in the Application.  Further, Societies may elect to request additional information from Candidates, or conduct reference checks or personal interviews.

Scholarship Rules

Scholarship Candidates may be either new or existing candidates in the CFA Program. Candidates are ineligible if their current employer provides any financial assistance for participation in the CFA Program.

Candidates can only receive one Access Scholarship per calendar year. Further, a Candidate may only receive one scholarship per exam, so if a candidate applies for both an Access Scholarship and another type of scholarship, and receives an award, the remaining application will be void.

  • CFA Institute shall award Access Scholarships in its sole discretion. All decisions are final.
  • Scholarship recipients can register for a single examination in the CFA program in the relevant calendar year, and receive a copy of the corresponding curriculum in digital format, at a discounted cost as set by CFA Institute. A print version of the curriculum may be purchased for the additional fee applicable to all exam candidates. For future examinations (for the same or another level), recipients must apply and be selected for an additional scholarship to receive the discounted rate. Recipients are responsible for their own passport fees, travel arrangements, expenses, incidentals, and supplemental study courses and materials.
  • Awards may not be sold, transferred or assigned and are not convertible to cash.
  • Recipients must enroll by the last registration deadline. For the June exam, Levels I, II and III of the CFA Program are offered to candidates. For the December exam, only Level I of the CFA Program is offered to candidates. For recipients who choose to enroll for the December CFA examination, the deadline to register with a scholarship award may be earlier than the published final deadline for non-scholarship candidates. Refer to your scholarship award letter sent electronically.
  • Awards must be used for the exam year for which they are granted. No deferrals are available.
  • If a recipient fails to follow CFA Institute policies, including the Identification Policy, he will not be admitted to the exam and will forfeit his scholarship.
  • If a recipient registers for an exam for which he/she receives a Scholarship and fails to appear for that exam, he/she may be ineligible to receive future Scholarships.
  • Scholarship recipients must participate in standard candidate research, such as the pre- exam and post-exam candidate surveys.
  • Scholarship recipient consents to his/her pass/fail results being shared with the Society from which he/she received the Scholarship.


In submitting an Access Scholarship application, I:

  1. Agree that I meet the entrance requirements for CFA Program, and will abide by the Official Rules for the Access Scholarship Program
  2. Certify that I do not have any Conflicts of Interest as defined in the Official Rules. If any potential Conflicts of Interest are present, I must disclose them fully
  3. Certify that my current employer does not provide financial assistance for participation in the CFA Program
  4. Certify that my answers are correct and truthful
  5. Certify that I cannot obtain sufficient funds to pay the full price of participation in the CFA Program
  6. Agree that the data in my application may be shared with and evaluated by CFA Institute Member Societies

Conflicts of Interest

All Scholarship Candidates and Sponsors must disclose to CFA Institute in writing any and all actual or potential conflicts of interest, including but not limited to those listed below, which may compromise the integrity of the Program.

CFA Institute may, in its sole discretion, refuse to accept or cancel a Scholarship award if an actual or perceived conflict of interest exists. If CFA Institute rejects a nomination due to a conflict of interest, Sponsor will be notified and may not be permitted to select an alternate Scholarship Candidate.

Potential conflicts of interest include:

  • Scholarship Candidate is a close familial relative (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, or first cousin) of the Sponsor (or any member or employee of Sponsor) selecting the candidate
  • Scholarship Candidate or Sponsor solicits, provides or accepts any compensation or other consideration in exchange for the nomination
  • Scholarship Candidate is a current or former employee or director of the Sponsor, CFA Institute, or a CFA Institute Member Society
  • Scholarship Candidate has been sanctioned by the CFA Institute Professional Conduct Program
  • Scholarship Candidate engages in any conduct that may reflect negatively upon CFA Institute

  • All CFA Program registration fees are non-refundable. If any candidates who have applied for this Scholarship register for the CFA Exam while their application is pending for that same calendar year, they will have demonstrated their ability to pay for the CFA examination, and their application for an Access Scholarship will be voided.

    If you wish to begin studying for your exam before you are able to register (because you must wait until scholarship notifications occur in December), you may purchase the digital curriculum and study tools in advance. Please note that there are no refunds for curriculum. We include the cost of the CFA Program digital curriculum and study tools with the exam registration fee.

    For Level I and Level II scholarship applicants:

    Your curriculum is integrated into the Learning Ecosystem, so there is no option to purchase a digital version from CFA Institute. You can purchase the digital/print curriculum from a third-party seller, but you will not receive a credit for your purchase when registering for the exam.

    For Level III scholarship applicants:

    You can purchase the digital curriculum and study tools prior to registration by contacting us via telephone and providing credit card details. The cost of this purchase will be deducted from your registration fee.

    For all scholarship applicants:

    A print version of the curriculum may be purchased separately. The print curriculum is not included in the exam registration fee, therefore we do not issue credits to applicants who purchase the print curriculum in advance of exam registration. Scholarship candidates are also responsible for shipping costs and any applicable import duties and taxes related to purchasing the print curriculum.

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