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Scholarships

Each year, SHRM Foundation distributes over $400,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduates studying the field of HR. Learn more about our undergraduate and graduate scholarship opportunities below. 

$400k

in undergraduate and graduate scholarships awarded each year

Thousands

of scholarship recipients throughout the world

$10+ million

distributed in scholarships to date

Undergraduate Scholarship FAQs

SHRM Foundation provides undergraduate scholarships in the following categories:

  1. General scholarships of $2,500 
  2. HR Exploration scholarships of $1,200 plus 1 year of SHRM membership

To apply for an undergraduate scholarship, you must satisfy the following criteria. 

  • You are a current SHRM member (professional or student). 
  • You are enrolled in a degree-seeking undergraduate program with at least one full semester remaining before graduation (see additional clarification below), OR have been accepted and are ready to begin your studies within six months. If you have already begun your last semester or will have completed your studies by the date of notification, you are not eligible. 
  • Your college or university is a regionally accredited institution of higher learning
  • Your degree program is HR-related (e.g. business, psychology, HR, organizational development, etc.). 
  • You have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Individual opportunities may have additional criteria. Please review each opportunity for the full list of eligibility requirements. 

Scholarships are distributed directly to the educational institution and cannot be used to cover past expenses. 

To apply, you must complete an online application. The application requires the following information: 

  • Basic contact information. 
  • Short answer questions about academic, volunteer, and work experience and career aspirations. 
  • A current resume. 
  • Transcripts, in English, from an accredited institution. Universities within the United States must be regionally accredited. Universities outside of the United States must be accredited by a widely recognized accrediting body within the country or by the agency or ministry that oversees higher education within the country. The SHRM Foundation may request an applicant with an international transcript to provide a transcript evaluation (at the applicant’s expense), from World Education Services or another reputable service, prior to reviewing an application.  
  • One letter of reference, which provides insight into the applicant’s character, career and/or volunteer accomplishments, work ethic, values, and need. Please address letter of reference to “SHRM Foundation Scholarship Review Committee.” Who can write a letter of reference? Letters may be written by work or volunteer colleagues, coaches, professors, etc. They should not come from family members.  Applicants must request all recommendation letters through our scholarship application system. SHRM Foundation cannot accept recommendation letters directly from applicants. 

If selected to receive an Undergraduate Academic Scholarship, recipients will be required to provide proof of enrollment and college/university payment instructions. The SHRM Foundation will issue a check for $2,500 directly to the educational institution for payment of tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the educational institution, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the educational institution. 

  • Each scholarship is a one-time award; however, previous applicants and past scholarship recipients are eligible to re-apply.   
  • Full-time, part-time, online, and distance learning programs are acceptable.  
  • Scholarships are for college-degree programs only and may not be used to attend professional development seminars. 
  • Recipients should intend on submitting proof of enrollment no later than July for the institution to receive timely payment.  

If you have a question about the scholarship process, please email scholarships@shrm.org.

Graduate Scholarship FAQs

To apply for an undergraduate scholarship, you must satisfy the following criteria. 

  • You are a current SHRM member (professional or student). 
  • You are enrolled in a degree-seeking masters or doctoral program with at least one full semester remaining before graduation (see additional clarification below), OR have been accepted and are ready to begin your studies within six months. If you have already begun your last semester or will have completed your studies by the date of notification, you are not eligible. 
  • Your college or university is a regionally accredited institution of higher learning
  • Your degree program is HR-related (e.g. business, psychology, HR, organizational development, etc.). 
  • You have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, or, if not yet enrolled, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  
  • Individual opportunities may have additional criteria. Please review each opportunity for the full list of eligibility requirements. 

To apply you must complete an online application. The application requires the following information: 

  • Basic contact information. 
  • Short answer questions about academic, volunteer, and work experience and career aspirations. 
  • A current resume. 
  • Transcripts, in English, from an accredited institution. Universities within the United States must be regionally accredited. Universities outside of the United States must be accredited by a widely recognized accrediting body within the country or by the agency or ministry that oversees higher education within the country. The SHRM Foundation may request an applicant with an international transcript to provide a transcript evaluation (at the applicant’s expense), from World Education Services or another reputable service, prior to reviewing an application.  
  • One letter of reference, which provides insight into the applicant’s character, career and/or volunteer accomplishments, work ethic, values, and need. Please address letter of reference to “SHRM Foundation Scholarship Review Committee.” Who can write a letter of reference? Letters may be written by work or volunteer colleagues, coaches, professors, etc. They should not come from family members.  
  • Applicants must request all recommendation letters through our scholarship application system. SHRM Foundation cannot accept recommendation letters directly from applicants. 

If selected to receive a Graduate Academic Scholarship, recipients will be required to provide proof of enrollment and college/university payment instructions. The SHRM Foundation will issue a check for $5,000 directly to the institution for payment of tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the educational institution, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the educational institution.

  • Each scholarship is a one-time award; however, previous applicants and past scholarship recipients are eligible to re-apply.   
  • Full-time, part-time, online, and distance learning programs are acceptable.  
  • Scholarships are for college-degree programs only and may not be used to attend professional development seminars.

man holding paper excited

Top Tips for Scoring a SHRM Foundation Scholarship

  1. Plan ahead: Keep a calendar of important scholarship deadlines and set aside time to create a strong application. 
  2. Make sure you’re eligible: You must be an active SHRM member to apply for some SHRM Foundation scholarships. 
  3. Don’t rely on one scholarship: Apply to all scholarships for which you are eligible. 
  4. Stick to the topic. Make sure the goals you express in your scholarship application match those of the scholarship program. 
  5. Know your audience: Remember that your application will be evaluated by select reviewers that include HR practitioners and/or academic faculty.