The Cost of Doing Business (as a Major)
Obtaining a business degree is one of the most desirable goals for students enrolled in two- or four-year colleges in America. Competition is high and opportunities abound for those individuals who are business-minded and career-driven. Programs can be costly, and because of this many business students work during their time in college or before enrolling in a school. Additionally, most business programs require some sort of in-the-field experience, whether that be through an apprenticeship, internship, or a part- or full-time job. Because the field is so competitive––yet ever-growing––gaining an extra boost through scholarships and other financial or professional support can make all the difference when it comes to paying for college. These opportunities can also afford students the extra time they need to focus on school and their careers without the added stress of financial matters.
Opportunities that Close the Gap
Many of the foundations listed below are working hard to close the gap in the representation of women and minorities in business today. Did you know that although women make up 50.8% of the American population, according to The Center for American Progress, and although they hold 52% of all professional-level jobs nationwide, they still lag behind men when it comes to their representation in professional leadership roles? For this reason there are a number of organizations, some listed below, that are specifically focused on promoting women in business. Similarly, there are a number of organizations that strive to increase the success and leadership numbers of minorities in business, especially because minorities are still very disproportionally represented in management.
Note: Below you will find the best of the best when it comes to scholarships for business-minded folks seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field. For some of the scholarships listed, the deadline has already passed, but they are all well-established programs and presumed to be recurring. If the deadline has passed for this year, you will find listed below the presumed recurring deadline for next. You will also find the current or proposed scholarship award amounts listed at the end of each profile.
The Actuarial Foundation is a philanthropic organization composed of actuaries and actuarial firms, bringing educational resources, financial literacy programs, free public services, and scholarships and awards to students and citizens since 2004. As one of the most desirable careers (with high pay and responsibility) and one of the most in-demand in the US corporate sector (since experienced, expert actuaries are in short supply), the Actuarial Foundation is dedicated to promoting the field for young people and students.
The Actuarial Diversity Scholarship is one way the Actuarial Foundation is fostering excellence in actuarial science. The Actuarial Diversity Scholarship is aimed at African-American, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander students, offering scholarships from $1000 to $4000 for students who display educational excellence and community leadership, and who are interested in actuarial science. The Actuarial Foundation is working to close the diversity gap in the actuarial field.
The Adelante U.S. Education Leadership Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Hispanic students stay in college and succeed in their careers, was originally founded as a co-sponsored scholarship from Miller Brewing Company and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). With a mission to prevent dropout and foster professional education for financially at-risk Hispanic students, Adelante focuses on professional development, corporate career guidance, and networking for talented Hispanic students.
The MillerCoors National Scholarship awards $3000 to three students of Hispanic descent studying anywhere in the US. The MillerCoor scholarship is intended specifically for students entering business, marketing, public relations, sales, or other majors related to corporate or technological career paths. The Adelante fund wants to see students demonstrate their innovation and promise, so best foot forward – Adelante wants leaders.
(Adelante and MillerCoors also sponsor regional scholarships for Hispanic business students in Colorado and the Chicago Metropolitan region).
Beginning in 1996, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Foundation has been working toward advocacy for the interactive arts field, including education in game design and programming, public awareness of the role of interactive arts in society, and offering awards and scholarships for promising game creators and entrepreneurs. The AIAS also holds the DICE Summit, a leading conference for professionals in the industry.
The AIAS Foundation offers two scholarship programs dedicated to the business end of gaming and interactive arts. The Women In Scholarship is intended to encourage young women interested in all aspects of the gaming industry, from business and marketing to programming and engineering. The Mark Beaumont Scholarship awards money to students in majors related to business, law, or human relations who are interested in pursuing careers in the interactive field. Both are $2500 scholarships and emphasize applicants who have a serious potential for greatness in the video game industry.
The Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP) is a leading professional organization dedicated to best practices and upholding industry standards in the insurance compliance field. Insurance compliance officers ensure that insurance companies and brokers maintain all federal, state, and local regulations and, according to Reuters, have become increasingly important as regulations and market forces have increased pressure on the insurance industry.
With this need for qualified professionals, the AICP offers up to three $1500 scholarships for undergraduate or graduate students in a number of business-related majors, including Finance, Actuarial Science, and, of course, Insurance. The AICP wants to encourage promising young students to enter the insurance field, where their expertise is needed, so applicants showing a dedication to insurance (as in work or internships) have an advantage.
The Verb Women In Business Scholarship is available to all female high school and college students (undergraduate and graduate), and will be awarding $750 each to two students who are driven and motivated about entrepreneurship and business.
All applicants will be expected to record a video talking about why they chose to study business, what business idea or entrepreneur inspired them to follow this career path, and how this scholarship might help them complete their education and eventually build the business of their dreams. Applicants will need to submit the following:
- a link to their video
- their resume
- business idea
The video recording should introduce yourself and answer the following:
- Tell us about you.
- Provide an example of a supportive woman in your life and how she supported you in accomplishing your dreams.
- Tell us about your business ambitions.
The Microsoft Corporation is one of the world’s top leaders in developing state-of-the-art devices, software, services and solutions that help businesses and individuals realize their full potential. The organization operates worldwide and has a strong commitment to furthering the continued success of black employees at the Microsoft Corporation. Often called BAM, the Blacks at Microsoft program is a company-sponsored employee network that furthers this mission of supporting the growth and development of African-Americans in the tech field.
The Blacks at Microsoft scholarship opportunity is available to outstanding high-school seniors who want to pursue a career in technology. The scholarships require a one-time application but are renewable over the years, meaning winners can receive an annual $5,000 award up to four years while enrolled full time in college. Applicants must be of African descent and high-school seniors who plan to attend a four-year college or university. They must also be planning to earn a degree in computer science or information systems, engineering, or select a business program such as business administration, marketing, or finance. Additionally, the applicants should show a passion for technology as well as leadership potential and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The Business Forum was founded in 1988 as a way to promote and support women in business through career building opportunities and professional networking. The prestigious organization is primarily comprised of professional and successful business women from across the nation, and the foundation and forum fosters personal and professional growth for its members through networking, outreach, community involvement, scholarships, and more.
The Business Forum Scholarship has been awarding funds to women annually since its first year in 1989, and has since awarded a total of $355,000 to women of all ages who are pursuing higher education goals. The awards can be up to $3,500 annually and the forum awards up to six scholarships a year. Additionally, the Judy Rose Scholarship is specifically targeted towards returning adult women in order to promote adult and lifelong learning to American women.
Funded by over forty thousand American dairy farmers and dairy importers, Dairy Management Inc. strives to increase sales and demands for dairy products across the globe through innovative research and accessible education. Additionally, the organization manages the National Dairy Council and the American Dairy Association and works with state and regional promotion organizations to implement dairy programs across the county.
The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDPRB) is responsible for awarding up to eleven scholarships annually through Dairy Management Inc. Scholarships are awarded in the amount of $2,500 per scholarship and undergraduate students, sophomores through seniors, who are enrolled in university programs that emphasize dairy are eligible to apply. Some of these majors include, but are not limited to, journalism, marketing, business, nutrition, food science, or Agriculture education. One lucky applicant will also be awarded the $3,500 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship as an outstanding recipient. Students applying should exhibit outstanding academic achievement and an interest in a career in a dairy-related discipline.
One of the biggest auto-insurance companies in the US, GEICO may be best known for their innovative and often-imitated advertising, including characters like the GEICO Gecko, the Cavemen, and the “Happier Than” folk singers. But GEICO’s company-wide commitment to education and outreach to students is also a major part of GEICO’s corporate identity, including leadership programs, internships, and scholarship awards.
The GEICO Achievement Award is a well-established program seeking to provide financial aid for highly productive college students majoring in business, mathematics, or computer science. The GEICO award provided $2500 each to more than 30 students in 2017, helping community-service and leadership-focused students meet their financial needs. Full-time sophomores and juniors are eligible, and past winners have come from across the US.
With over 19,000 members in Canada and the United States, the Government Finance Officers’ Association is comprised of individuals who are deeply involved in planning, financing, and implementing thousands of governmental operations. The organization is built on leadership and the prestigious membership is a sought-after title for career finance professionals who are leaders in providing guidance, consulting, publications, research, training and more to those in the profession.
The Government Finance Officers’ Association offers four equally prestigious annual scholarships to full and part time college students in both the United States and Canada. Scholarships offered are the Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship, the Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship, the Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship, and the Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship. Students who apply should have a superior record of academic achievement and job performance, if applicable, as well as have plans to pursue a career in local or state government finance.
The Hispanic Business Association comes together from a variety of business backgrounds and lifestyles to meet in the middle with one common goal: To educate the citizens of this great state and provide them with only the best in educational opportunities. Their slogan, “Success Through Business and Education,” speaks well to the association’s mission and encourages socially and economically challenged youth to find success for themselves, their families, and their communities. Through a variety of services and programs, the non-profit organization focuses on the improvement of educational opportunities for Hispanic students.
The Richard G. Cortez Scholarship, open only to residents of Idaho and Eastern Oregon and founded in 1993, has awarded almost $329,000 in scholarships to 395 students from Idaho and Eastern Oregon for the purpose of pursuing post-secondary degrees. Students who apply must be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies full time and awards are given based on academic performance, extracurricular activities and work experience, and recommendations.
With over 30,000 members, Zonta International is probably one of the best known, leading global organizations dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of professional women through service and advocacy. With over a thousand clubs across 66 countries, this year Zonta International will be celebrating 100 years of success. Zonta focuses on facts: that women make up nearly 50% of our global workforce while gender equality is not yet a reality. It is the purpose of Zonta International to educate the world of this injustice and to strive to empower and advance women professionally.
The Jane M. Klauseman Women in Business Scholarship is just one way Zonta International contributes annually to the advancement of women in business. Twelve international scholarships of $7,000 each are awarded annually as well as 32 regional scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each. Women of all ages who are pursuing an accredited business or business-related program, and who exhibit exceptional potential in the field, are encouraged to apply.
The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts. The organization promotes the ever-growing, ever-changing, worldwide interactive entertainment community and may be best known for hosting the annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards show that enhances awareness of interactive art forms and brings together gamers and video game designers from across the globe. They are additionally a strong supporter of the independent games movement and provides opportunities for aspiring game developers at both professional and nonprofessional levels, platforms and opportunities to showcase their skills.
Perfect for students pursuing degrees or programs in game development and interactive technologies and entertainment, the Mark Beaumont Scholarship Fund awards up to $2500 per awarded scholarship annually. Some possible career paths for Mark Beaumont applicants include law, marketing, business development, public relations, and executive leadership. The scholarship honors the memory of COO of Capcom North America and Europe, Mark Beaumont.
America was built on small businesses and their dedicated owners––without them, the United States would not be what it is today––and with the ever-increasing number of big-box stores and corporate business, small businesses need more and more protections. Thankfully the National Federation of Independent Businesses has been supporting these mom and pop operations that define our nation since 1943, in all fifty states plus Washington D.C. The organization represents thousands of businesses in all industries and sectors.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards program was established to raise awareness about the need to support and protect small or independent businesses among America’s youth. With it’s first award granted in 2003, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award has since shared more than $2.8 million across 2,800 scholarships awarded to high school seniors. Any graduating senior, who demonstrates leadership potential entering an accredited, nonprofit two- or four-year university may apply. However, applicants must be running their own small business to apply.
The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) is a society by, for, and all about high-achieving students. The society works with focused, exceptional students to help develop their strengths and pursue their passions through advisement, scholarship, networking, and financial support in the form of scholarships. Young leaders from across the nation comprise this prestigious society.
The National Society of High School Scholars Foundation is dedicated to supporting education in the form of scholarships for underrepresented minorities who plan to pursue careers that fuel the global economy, simulate innovation or creativity, or yield an ethical foundation for decision-making. Additionally, minority high school graduates enrolled in STEM programs, business, economics, public policy, environmental science, or sustainability fields receive priority to funds.
The Foundation for Financial Service Professionals is a charitable organization that greatly impacts the lives of individuals pursuing their academic dreams through scholarships and financial education. The Paul S. Mills Scholarship, which encourages ongoing professional development among financial service practitioners, is one of five financial programs offered to individuals through the Foundation. The foundation was recently recognized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for “Making A Difference” in the lives of hundreds of people nationwide living with the disease.
The Paul S. Mills Scholarship is a perfect fit for undergraduate students pursuing an education in a financial service related field. Some potential career paths and areas of study include financial, accounting, insurance or risk management, and other related fields of business. All U.S. citizens that are fully or part time student enrolled in an undergraduate program related to the financial service field may apply for funds annually.
Prospanica, the Association of Hispanic Professionals, is dedicated to the professional and personal growth of Hispanic individuals and the Hispanic community as a whole. The organization helps students and professionals grow by offering valuable employment opportunities, undergraduate assistance for students who wish to pursue graduate education, and expanded business networks to help individuals expand their professional careers. With over 46 professional and university chapters, and partnerships with Fortune 500 companies nationwide, membership in Prospanica is essential for driven, career-focused individuals of Hispanic descent.
Scholarships through Prospanica are available to members of the organization only and students may join a chapter through the Student Membership program, where they will receive networking opportunities, tuition benefit programs, and more. Awards come in sums of $1500 – $5000 per scholarship annually and applicants must be U.S. citizens, of Hispanic or Latino heritage, and be a Prospanica member with leadership potential and strong academics.
“I am Somebody.” These famous words spoken by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. are at the founding principles of PUSH for Excellence, INC (PUSH Excel). The organization was founded in 1975 by Rev. Jackson in an effort to inspire educational excellence in all students in spite of their personal, family, and community challenges. The program is a national model with the purpose of connecting principals, parents, popular personalities, and students in a bond that follows one basic principle: “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I can achieve it!”
Since its founding, PUSH Excel has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the most thoughtful and inspiring organizations of our time. The scholarship is setup to support individuals who hope to rise up beyond their circumstances of poverty, violence, and inadequate educational resources to achieve excellence through knowledge, education, and a positive community. Students who wish to inspire social change, and meet the minimum criteria, should apply.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, known as the ACFE, is the largest anti-fraud organization in the world. The ACFE strives to instill public confidence in consumers surrounding the businesses they frequent through their efforts in reducing business fraud worldwide. Although the organization is based out of Austin, Texas, it has a strong history of impacting the businesses around the globe through fraud protection practices. The ACFE was founded in 1988 by fraud expert and author, Dr. Joseph T. Wells, who was the accountant-turned-FBI agent who formed the body of knowledge that we know of today as fraud examination.
The Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship fund is an ACFE Foundation program that supports individuals seeking an education and eventual career in fraud examination. As a unique scholarship for a unique line of work, the Ritchie-Jennings funds are available to students who show outstanding academic performance and who go on to become Certified Fraud Examiners. All awards are paid annually directly to the student’s institution of study.
RMEL is a non-profit energy trade association that is dedicated to promoting and supporting the electric energy industry and community through educational and networking opportunities. With a diverse membership, the organization facilitates solutions and strategies that tackle issues facing our most relied upon energy source, electricity. With an increased mission on helping utilities and cooperatives offer reliable power, RMEL services are accessed across the nation.
The RMEL Foundation aims to award scholarships to qualified students pursuing degrees and eventual careers in business, engineering, information systems, plan, line or distribution technology, and line worker or other curriculum related to the field of electric energy. Recipients are chosen based on their determination to succeed, their academic excellence, and their dedication to the field of electric energy. Students must be high school seniors to apply and a U.S. permanent resident.
The Scarlett Family Foundation was founded in 2005 as a way to offer merit- and need-based scholarships to students pursuing business-related degrees. Since then the scholarship has extended its reach by offering funds to students in majors including science, technology, engineering and math, as well as business, literacy, and early-childhood development. Since its founding the foundation has awarded over $5,000,000 in college scholarships.
High school senior students and college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors can apply and each must have been a graduate of either a public, independent, or homeschool association high school in one of Middle Tennessee’s forty counties. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need via a 1040 tax return and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Founded in 1979, the Spencer Educational Foundation is dedicated to promoting the education of students in the risk management and insurance disciplines. The Foundation knows that managing risk is at the very essence of our survival and growth as a society, and therefore aims their efforts to encouraging and aiding financially those students that show potential as leaders and innovators in the world of risk management.
Scholarships are available to full-time undergraduate – doctoral students in these areas who meet the basic criteria, some of which include a GPA of 3.3 or higher and relevant work experience; additionally, doctoral applicants must have meaningful work experience under their belts before applying.
Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund (SBMEF) is probably best known for being the most prestigious grant and scholarship funds available to women in the United States today. Students from across the nation who aim to pursue a career in business or a business-related field strive to obtain the honor of an SBMEF scholarship or grant. The funds awarded are used by the recipients to further their business-related education and jump-start or improve their careers.
The National Board of Directors of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) serves as the scholarships trustees and oversees the funds administration annually. Truly a fund for women and by women, applicants must be females pursuing or planning to pursue a higher education degree in business or a business-related field. Women can expect to be awarded up to $10,000 annually, an invaluable resource which allows recipients to focus on internships and extracurricular activities that will enhance their education!
All organizations––non-profits, Fortune 500s, small businesses—must maintain the financial health of their organization in order to be successful. This is why management accountants play such an important role in the success of our economy. With these principles in mind, the Stuart Cameron & Margaret McLeod Memorial Scholarship (SCMS) aims to award funds to promising students that plan to bring leadership, innovation, and top-notch accountant serves to American industries, businesses, and organizations today.
The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) was founded in 1919 and serves the industry strongly today in over 140 countries with more than 300 professional and student chapters. As part of the Institute’s mission, the Stuart Cameron & Margaret McLeod Memorial Scholarship aids students pursuing Certified Management Accounting degrees or other related programs. Both undergraduate and graduate students meeting specific criteria may apply annually.
As cloud-based programming, networking, services, businesses and more continue to emerge and grow, Knowledge Matters plays a leading role in the success of this day-in-age industry. As the leading provider of cloud-based educational simulations for business and personal finance, Knowledge Matters offers the best of the best for those wishing to educate their patrons in industries such as food service, hospitality, sports management, manufacturing, or retail. The company’s simulations are used around the globe on a daily basis by hundreds of users.
With education as its key concept, it’s no surprise that Knowledge Matters offers an exciting Virtual Business Scholarship fund to applicants nationwide. Students wishing to apply should be in their junior or senior years in high school and be pursuing studies or programs in business, marketing, personal finance, or family and consumer sciences and the winner will receive $2000 annually to apply towards their studies.