SHRM Certification Scholarships

Scholarship: SHRM Certification exam and preparation (SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP)

Number: 220 scholarships distributed annually

Application Opens: June 1

Deadline: September 1  

Results Notification: November 1*

Terms of Use: Expires within 12 months of issue date

  • Scholarships received June 15 must be used between June 15, 2019 and June 15, 2020
  • Scholarships received November 1 must be used between November 1, 2019 to November 1, 2020
*If you applied for a SHRM certification scholarship by the April 15, 2019, you will receive a notification by email about your scholarship status by close of business June 15, 2019.

The following information applies to individual applicants. SHRM state councils and chapters that wish to apply, please go to Chapter and State Council Certification Scholarship application information.

For individual applicants:


  • Current SHRM member (Professional or student membership must be active when applying and throughout the year in which you receive the award)
  • Meet eligibility requirements for SHRM Certification
  • Plan to sit for the exam within 12 months after the scholarship notification date
  • Is not receiving any organizational support or reimbursement for SHRM certification exam and preparation fees

How to Apply

Complete online application including:
  • Contact information
  • Short answer questions about academic/training, volunteer and career experience and your need for the scholarship
  • Current resume (or academic transcript if applicable)
  • One letter of reference (letter may be addressed to the 'SHRM Foundation Scholarship Review Committee' and should provide insight into your character, academic or career and volunteer accomplishments, work ethic, and values. Maybe written by work or volunteer colleague, professor, coach, etc., but should not come from a family member*
*Applicants must request all recommendation letters through our scholarship application system. SHRM Foundation cannot accept recommendation letters directly from applicants.

Please print or save your application for your records before you submit it. Once you submit your application, the SHRM Foundation will not be able to return it to you, in whole or in part, for any reason. 

Selection Criteria

  • 40% work experience/progression (HR involvement and future career plans); current students without significant work experience will be reviewed based on academic background and breadth and quality of HR coursework
  • 40% volunteer activity (SHRM experience preferred, but not required)
  • 20% financial need
Applications are reviewed and scored by groups of SHRM volunteers in each region and are reviewed by staff. Volunteer reviewers will be from a region outside of the applicant's region. All decisions are final. Each scholarship is a one-time scholarship, however previous applicants and past recipients are eligible to re-apply. Receiving a scholarship previously is no guarantee of receiving a future scholarship.

Scholarships are considered taxable income by the IRS. Applicants selected for a scholarship will be required to provide a Social Security number or other tax ID; SHRM will issue a 1099 for the tax year in which the scholarship was awarded.

Named Scholarships to be Awarded

Several of our scholarships are made possible through the generous support of the following organizations and individuals. You do not need to apply for a specific, named scholarship - the SHRM Foundation will determine if your application qualifies for any of these awards:

  • 3M Certification Scholarship
  • CalSHRM Certification Scholarship
  • Career Spa, LLC Certification Scholarship
  • HR Florida State Council Certification Scholarship
  • Maine SHRM State Council Certification Scholarship
  • Miriam E. Gordon Memorial Certification Scholarship
  • Pennsylvania State Council Certification Scholarship
  • Sara Rynes Certification Scholarship
  • SHRM Partners Certification Scholarship
  • Talent Connections, LLC Certification Scholarship
  • Texas Bay Area SHRM Chapter Scholarship 
  • Virginia SHRM State Council Certification Scholarship
  • Wisconsin SHRM State Council Certification Scholarship

Scholarship Distribution

2018 Scholarships

If you were selected to receive a SHRM Foundation Certification Scholarship in 2018, you must register/apply for a certification preparation course and/or SHRM Certification exam (SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP), and then submit your receipts within 12 months of your award date to the SHRM Foundation for reimbursement. Your acceptance letter will include instructions for submitting your receipts; the SHRM Foundation will process your reimbursement within 4-6 weeks after receiving your receipts. There are two options for your reimbursement - either by check or ACH/Wire Transfer.  We strongly encourage you to use the ACH/Wire transfer, so that you may receive your funds faster.

2019 Scholarships

Beginning June 2019, if you are selected to receive a SHRM Foundation Certification Scholarship you will receive two codes: one will allow you to purchase the SHRM Learning System and the other will allow you to apply for the SHRM Certification for which you are eligible (SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP). The codes will expire 12 months from the date they are issued. If you do not use the codes by your deadline, you will have to reapply for a new scholarship, with no guarantee of receiving a new scholarship.

Additional Details 

By accepting a scholarship, you are consenting to allow the SHRM Foundation (and the scholarship's sponsor, if any) to use without limitation, and in any media, your name, city, state, photos, and captions (if uploaded), and verbiage for marketing and promotional purposes.  

The SHRM Foundation does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, national origin or citizenship in the administration of its scholarship programs. Scholarship recipients are selected primarily on merit. 

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