Elizabeth DeBragga
 
 
Previous profile

Elizabeth DeBragga

Next profile
 

Manager of Scholarship Programs

AICPA

Durham, NC

 

Scoring the Scholarship

Q&A with AICPA Manager of Scholarship Programs

Find out what it really takes to get money for matriculation. Elizabeth DeBragga, Manager of Scholarship Programs for the AICPA, doles out priceless nuggets of know-how. Her answers run the gamut from where to find info and resources to what the selection committee is looking for on your application.


phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Hello everyone. Welcome to our live chat!. Elizabeth DeBragga, Manager of Scholarship Programs at the AICPA will join us shortly. Feel free to start submitting questions.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:27

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hi! Thanks for your question! The AICPA scholarships are offered to students who are declared accounting majors planning to become CPAs. Students may be enrolled at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:29

Question

Ronique Breaux Jordan :  What programs are covered by the scholarship?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:29

Question

Ronique Breaux Jordan :  The graduate level program I am considering...I began a program in International Taxation....can this be combined for an LLM program in Tax?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:30

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  As long as you are planning to become a licensed CPA, an LLM will definitely be covered.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:31

Question

JDP:  What are the award amounts and for which degree levels?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:32

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  The award amounts depend on which scholarship.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:32

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  John Carey recipients: $5K; AICPA/Accountemps: $2,500; Minority Scholarship: $3K

Friday March 16, 2012 01:33

How are you planning to pay for school next year?

Scholarships only
( 22% )
Work study program
( 44% )
Need-based financial aid
( 11% )
None of the above
( 22% )

Friday March 16, 2012 01:33

Question

Ronique Breaux Jordan :  that's very good news. The Virginia requirements are up to 150 hours of accounting...my undergraduate was in finance..are the programs in grad. accounting the best resource for accounting requirements?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:33

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  BTW, we have a scholarship recipient profile of a student pursuing her Masters in Taxation. Here is a link to her profile: http://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/scholarship-profiles/margharet-chavez/

Friday March 16, 2012 01:33

Question

Daniel:  Can scholarship funds be used for things other than tuition? For example, if I wanted to use the money to spend on books, food, etc., could I do that?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:34

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  It depends on your situation and state. I'd recommend checking with your state society to determine your best course of action.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:34

Question

Steve Matzke:  How many scholarships does the AICPA award each year?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:34

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hi Daniel, scholarship funds must be used toward expenses directly related to pursuing your accounting education. While they cover the cost of books and tuition, food and rent are not covered.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:36

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Excellent question, Steve! This year we plan to award almost 100 scholarships--over $333K!

Friday March 16, 2012 01:36

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Here's some additional information for you Steve. "Everything you need to know about AICPA scholarships:"
https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/articles/applying-yourself/secure-aicpa-scholarship-be-dubbed-aicpa-legacy-scholar/

Friday March 16, 2012 01:38

Question

James:  What is the one thing you look for in a scholarship application?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:38

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  The AICPA scholarship task force looks at many aspects of an application. The main areas focus on academic achievement, volunteerism/service, work/internship experience and overall commitment to becoming a licensed CPA.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:39

Question

Daniel:  Thanks, Elizabeth! That makes sense.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:39

Question

JDP:  Are the scholarships open to freshman through seniors?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:39

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Basically the AICPA seeks students who are excited and passionate about pursuing the CPA license and have a plan to get there.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:40

Are you planning to apply for a scholarship for the 2012/2013 school year?

Yes
( 83% )
No
( 0% )
Undecided
( 16% )

Friday March 16, 2012 01:41

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  All AICPA scholarships require that a student has completed at least 30 semester hours in college-level coursework. This can include community college-level courses. Mainly sophomores through grad students are awarded.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:41

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Great, Daniel!

Friday March 16, 2012 01:41

Question

JDP:  What are the application requirements? GPA, major, volunteer activities?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:41

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Each program has its own application and eligibility requirements. The minimum GPA for all programs is at least a 3.0 in major and overall courses.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:42

Question

Chautauqua:  I am short a few courses this year, before graduation. I live in Texas, but my school is online in AL. What are great places to find scholorships?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:43

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  I'd recommend checking on the link for specific eligibility requirements of the program your interested in applying to: here are the links--

Carey Scholarship: https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/aicpa-legacy-scholarships/john-l-carey-scholarship/

Accountemps: https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/aicpa-legacy-scholarships/aicpaaccountemps-student-scholarship/

Minority Scholarship: https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/articles/applying-yourself/aicpa-minority-scholarships/

Friday March 16, 2012 01:44

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Thank you Elizabeth

Friday March 16, 2012 01:45

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  First, you'll def want to check out ThisWayToCPA's Scholarship Search Feature: http://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/scholarship-search/

Friday March 16, 2012 01:45

Question

Melissa:  Do you have to do anything once you get awarded a scholarship?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:45

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  It lists TONS of scholarships offered from across the country, including those by state CPA societies and diversity organizations.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:45

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Good question Melissa

Friday March 16, 2012 01:46

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  And speaking of state societies, you'll definitely want to reach out to both the TX and AL societies to find out if they offer scholarships.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:46

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Lastly, don't forget to contact your college's financial aid office for their ideas/suggestions. :)

Friday March 16, 2012 01:46

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Yes, great question, Melissa!

Friday March 16, 2012 01:47

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Here's a resource with information on befriending your financial aid advisors: https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/articles/applying-yourself/befriend-your-financial-aid-office-and-be-financed/

Friday March 16, 2012 01:48

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  All AICPA scholarship recipients are required to volunteer on behalf of the CPA profession through the AICPA Legacy Scholars Program. Each student performs 8 hours of community service/semester as their service project. You can learn more at https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/articles/applying-yourself/befriend-your-financial-aid-office-and-be-financed/

Friday March 16, 2012 01:48

Question

Donna W Salter:  After applying for one of the scholarships, how soon can I expect a check?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:49

Question

Melissa:  Thank you, Elizabeth. This chat has been really helpful!

Friday March 16, 2012 01:49

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  It may sound like a lot of work but the Legacy Scholars Program is a great way for students to build their professional networks/confidence/public speaking skills--the AICPA scholarships are a lot more than $$$

Friday March 16, 2012 01:49

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Ok..thanks.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:49

Question

Daniel:  I think it's great there's a community service element to the scholarships. It's important to give back.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:50

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hi Donna--great question! AICPA scholarship recipients are awarded each year by Aug 1. After that, we send the check directly to recipients' schools by Sept 1.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:50

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Thanks, Melissa--I'm so glad you are here :)

Friday March 16, 2012 01:51

Question

Julie :  Do you look for clubs or other societies on scholarship applications?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:51

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Absolutely, Daniel--and of course, so many students are already volunteering!

Friday March 16, 2012 01:51

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Definitely, Julie--the Scholarship Task Force is a big believer in involvement with extracurriculars and societies. Many of our current Legacy Scholars are members of Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Alpha Kappa Psi, as well as diverse societies including NABA, ALPFA, ASCEND. The list goes on & on!

Friday March 16, 2012 01:53

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Thanks for all of the great questions! We're at the halfway point, so feel free to keep submitting questions.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:54

Question

Daniel:  Is there flexibility in the type of service project that you do?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:54

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Of course! AICPA Legacy Scholars perform a diverse range of service projects. Projects range from giving a presentation to high school or college students to job shadowing a CPA professional and writing an article. We leave the service type/form up to the student—our goal is for students to expand their network and build professional skills to get a jumpstart on their careers after graduation!

Friday March 16, 2012 01:54

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  We want students to choose & perform a service project that has meaning for them. :)

Friday March 16, 2012 01:55

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Can you give an example of the service projects?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:56

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Here's some additional information on the Legacy Scholars Program.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:58

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Yes, definitely! We had two Legacy Scholars from Georgia State this year who partnered up to man a booth on their campus' main quad.

Friday March 16, 2012 01:58

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  They created a posterboard; handed out info about accounting & becoming a CPA; and talked to other students about why accounting is so awesome. :)

Friday March 16, 2012 01:59

Question

Holly:  So you have to be a Student Affiliate member to receive a scholarship, right? Where do I apply for membership? And how much does it cost?

Friday March 16, 2012 01:59

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Is there anyway to speak directly to you and have a direction based on our status in college now?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:00

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hi Holly, yes--students should apply for Student Affiliate membership when they apply for an AICPA scholarship. There is no charge to become a member. Here’s a link to apply: https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/join-aicpa/

Friday March 16, 2012 02:00

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  If you’d like to continue your conversation with Elizabeth, please email her at: scholarships@aicpa.org

Friday March 16, 2012 02:01

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Chautauqua--absolutely, I'll be glad to discuss your college plans with you directly.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:01

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  I love all these great questions! Thanks so much everyone!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:02

Question

Holly:  When are the applications due?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:02

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Holly--all AICPA scholarship applications are due by midnite on Sun, April 1!! Write it down! :)

Friday March 16, 2012 02:03

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Thanks Elizabeth. Got it all.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:03

Question

Kristen H. :  Is the application for AICPA scholarships online? Do I have to print anything?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:04

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  I'd recommend starting your application soon though--we ask for a couple of essay responses as well as applicants' resumes so you want to give yourself plenty of time to prepare and have your info proofread.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:04

Question

Holly:  I better get started!!!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:05

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hi Kristen--great question! Yes, the AICPA scholarship applications are online--we try to make applying as quick & easy as possible for students! Applicants can even upload their essays/resume online to the ThisWayToCPA scholarship application.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:05

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  LOL @ Holly :)

Friday March 16, 2012 02:05

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Yes Holly.. Me too ;)

Friday March 16, 2012 02:06

Question

Donna W Salter:  How soon will I know that I'm accepted after applying?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:06

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Thanks for the question, Donna! Applications are due on April 1--if you are selected as a finalist, we'll contact you in mid-late April and request that you provide us with your official transcripts.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:07

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Applying for a scholarship is a lot like applying for college. Check out the 7 Surefire Ways to Sail the S.S. Scholarship to keep your priorities in check and make the process seamless.
https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/join-aicpa/

Friday March 16, 2012 02:07

Question

Kristen H. :  Well good! Do you have resume tips too?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:08

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Once we receive your transcripts and two reference letters (which can be uploaded online by your references), the task force will review. We notify recipients by August 1 of their selection.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:08

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hey Kristen, we have all kinds of great resume tips on ThisWayToCPA! You can use the search function to find articles with resume tips as well as interviewing and other career-related activities.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:09

Question

John:  Elizabeth, if you get a scholarship, do you receive funds for the fall and spring semester?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:10

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hi John--it depends on which scholarship you are awarded. Recipients of the AICPA John Carey and Minority Scholarships receive funding for both the fall and spring. AICPA/Accountemps recipients receive a one-time check in the fall for $2,500.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:11

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Kristen: Here's a link to those resume tips Kristen just referenced: https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/career-tools/articles/resumes-interviewing/rock-out-resume/

Friday March 16, 2012 02:11

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Good question John

Friday March 16, 2012 02:11

Question

Kristen H.:  Awesome!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:11

Question

John:  If I'm going to graduate in December of next year, am I still eligible?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:12

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  John--are you graduating from undergrad or grad in December '12?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:13

Question

John:  Undergrad

Friday March 16, 2012 02:13

Question

Jen:  For the Legacy Scholars project, is there ever an opportunity to work with people at the AICPA?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:14

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Yes, then--since you will be enrolled for both semesters, you are eligible. Please note that you must be enrolled full-time for both semesters.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:14

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  (12 hours for undergrad/9 hours for graduate)

Friday March 16, 2012 02:14

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Yes, Jen--I love that you asked that question!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:15

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  We assign each Legacy Scholar a coach who is an AICPA staff person. Coaches provide assistance & feedback to Legacy Scholars and planning and executing their service projects.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:15

Question

Jen:  Really cool. Thanks, Elizabeth!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:16

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  We try to get an idea of the professional development areas that a student wants to focus on through their service project and help them come up with ways to improve those areas & get them ready for being a successful CPA leader!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:16

Question

Chautauqua Hampton:  Thanks Elizabeth - Bye

Friday March 16, 2012 02:18

Question

Ronique Breaux Jordan:  not sure if this question has been answered...willl there be a blog or transcript from today's Q&A

Friday March 16, 2012 02:18

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Yes, it will be available on ThisWayToCPA's Facebook page and on the website.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:19

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  We also have archives of previous chat sessions like this available.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:19

Question

Julie:  what all is involved in a work study program? Do you recommend those?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:20

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hi Julie--I personally have limited knowledge about work/study programs. However, I know they vary a lot from school-to-school. Start by checking your school's website for info & then connect with your college/university's financial aid office for specifics.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:21

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Hi Julie: Scholarships are a great way to help pay for college. But, they don’t always cover the entire cost. Check out ThisWayToCPA.com for more information on Work-Study programs:
https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/articles/applying-yourself/work-study-hard-money/

Friday March 16, 2012 02:23

Question

Daniel:  Since we need to apply for membership for the scholarships, can you tell me what you get for being a student member?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:23

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Hi Daniel, scholarships are just the tip of the iceberg of student affiliate member benefits...

Friday March 16, 2012 02:24

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  We've got five minutes left, and time for one more question.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:25

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Here is a list of the student member benefits: http://www.thiswaytocpa.com/aicpa-student-membership/

Friday March 16, 2012 02:25

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Plus being an AICPA student affiliate is definitely something an aspiring CPA needs on his/her resume :)

Friday March 16, 2012 02:26

Question

Daniel:  Thanks, Elizabeth. That's a good point. Couldn't hurt to put it on my resume.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:27

Question

Melissa:  Do people put AICPA scholarships on their resume if they get one? Do employers recognize it?

Friday March 16, 2012 02:27

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  And while you're at it, you should check out your state societies to see if they offer a membership option for students & CPA candidates.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:27

Question

Julie:  Thanks, Elizabeth!!!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:27

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Absolutely, Melissa! I'm connected with many AICPA scholarship recipients on LinkedIn and they also list that they are a recipient on their profile!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:28

Question

Melissa:  I hope I can do that soon! Thank you!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:29

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  The AICPA is 125 years old (this year!) with over 380,000 members--you'll definitely get recognition from employers :)

Friday March 16, 2012 02:29

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Thanks so much everybody--this has been really fun & I hope you learned a lot about the scholarships! Don't forget to apply by April 1.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:29

phpXTKCIzAICPA_ThisWayToCPA_logo_WEB.jpg

This Way to CPA :  Thanks everyone. This has been a great hour. Remember, you can contact Elizabeth directly at scholarships@aicpa.org.

Friday March 16, 2012 02:30

Question

Jen:  This was a great chat. Thanks!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:30

Question

Kristen H. :  Thank you!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:30

php6eSNI5Elizabeth.jpg

Elizabeth D:  Thank YOU!!! Good luck!

Friday March 16, 2012 02:30

Could you use an extra $250?
 

 Join the AICPA for a chance to win 1 out of 10 Visa gift cards.

Click the Join AICPA tab to get started.

:
:
:
days
hours
minutes
seconds
» Official Rules