Scholarships Boost Accounting Students’ Balance Sheets


Scholarship awards totaling $42,000 have brightened the beginning of fall semester for eight accounting students in the Naveen Jindal School of Management on the receiving end of those funds.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), a nonprofit corporation Congress established to oversee audits of public companies, granted the two largest scholarships, $10,000 each for the 2021-2022 academic year to senior and Professional Program in Accounting student Helena Tran and master’s-degree, PPA student and teaching assistant Odera Udolisa.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), a national professional organization for CPAs, conferred two of its AICPA Scholarships for Minority Accounting Students — each valued at $5,000 — to Diego Figueroa, a master’s-degree PPA student and teaching assistant, and Lucy Ko, a double graduate-degree candidate in accounting and information technology and management.

Tiffany Bortz

TXCPA Dallas, the local chapter of a statewide professional association that serves about 6,200 CPA members in Dallas and 13 surrounding counties, awarded four graduate PPA students $3,000 each.

“The Dallas CPA and the AICPA awards are meant to encourage students to become certified public accountants,” said Tiffany Bortz, associate coordinator of JSOM’s Accounting Area, a professor of practice, director of the PPA and a CPA herself, “while the PCAOB is focused on investing in the education of future auditors — accountants who perform a critical role in the financial reporting and oversight process.”

All three of the awarding organizations expect scholarship recipients to demonstrate academic achievement through high GPAs, Bortz said.

Beyond that, TXCPA Dallas requires a robust résumé of volunteer and extracurricular activities, and the AICPA looks for demonstrations of leadership as well as volunteer activity. The PCAOB expects nominees to be eligible for federal financial aid and demonstrate “high ethical standards.”

John Gamino 

In the past two years, scholarship recipients Helena Tran and Bailey Stone also benefited from a PCAOB pilot program intended to make awards to students who transfer into accounting programs from two-year colleges. Both Tran and Stone came to UT Dallas from Collin College.

Bortz encourages all accounting students to proactively search for scholarship opportunities through UT Dallas (Scholarships at the Jindal School of Management and Scholarship Listings) and various professional accounting organizations.

But keep in mind that most scholarship opportunities are competitive, says John Gamino, a clinical professor and director of the BS in Accounting program. “Recipients tend to be among the top students, either because of their grades, their dedication, their determination or an amazing resolve to succeed.”

In Their Own Words

Here are photos and comments from the 2021-2022 AICPA, PCAOB and TXCPA scholarship recipients:

Irene Chen

“I am really grateful to the Dallas CPA Society for awarding me this scholarship. The upcoming year is especially important to me because I'll be sitting for the CPA Exam, and this scholarship will help with tuition costs so I can focus on preparing for the exam.” — Irene Chen

Diego Figueroa

“I was initially worried about the costs that were to come after receiving my bachelor’s degree, but both my family and I were elated when we received the news. The value of the scholarship has not only alleviated the financial troubles that comes with graduate school, but has also provided a sense of pride as a first-generation college student and minority within the industry.” — Diego Figueroa

Lucy Ko

“The AICPA Legacy Scholarship is one of the many great opportunities I found during my graduate studies at JSOM. I am surrounded by dedicated professors and staff who advocate for the best interests and success of their students. I am truly grateful for their support and encouragement which resulted in my scholarship award.” — Lucy Ko

Zahra Kothia

"I am truly grateful to be a recipient of the TXCPA Dallas Scholarship. My goal throughout my academic career has been to become a licensed CPA; and receiving this scholarship will help me achieve this goal and start my professional career from a position of strength.”
— Zahra Kothia

Bailey Stone
TXCPA Dallas 2021-2022,
PCAOB 2020-2021

“Receiving both the PCAOB and TXCPA Dallas scholarships relieved a huge financial burden for me. I feel so blessed to have received scholarships from organizations that are so influential in the life of a CPA.”
— Bailey Stone

Juliet Tosto

"I am honored to be a recipient of the Dallas CPA Society Scholarship! It means so much to me, and I am truly grateful!” — Juliet Tosto

Helena Tran

“I am delighted to become a PCAOB scholar and receive the 2021-2022 scholarship. As a transfer and first-generation college student, I could not express enough gratitude. I am honored to be both nominated and presented with this prestigious award. The scholarship delivered great support that has lifted a part of my financial burden. Thanks to the PCAOB’s generosity, the fund has helped fulfilling my journey to become a future auditor.” — Helena Tran

Odera Udolisa

“My mom was just as blown away as I was to hear about this (PCAOB scholarship). I’m so honored to see how much my faculty believe in me, and I hope to make you all, and my community, proud.” — Odera Udolisa

Penalties Pay for Scholarships

The PCAOB Scholars Program was mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which Congress enacted in 2002 in response to several corporate and accounting scandals. The act requires that any monetary penalties the PCAOB collects in enforcement actions be used to fund merit scholarships in accredited accounting degree programs. The scholars program began awarding scholarships in 2011 and since then has awarded $16.23 million to 1,623 undergraduate and graduate students. PCAOB Scholarship recipients from JSOM — of whom all but current senior Helena Tran have earned at least one accounting degree — are:

Kaylee Gross in May 2017


2015 — Hilda Garcia, BS 2015, MS 2016

2016 — Lesley Capehart, BS 2016, MS 2016

2017 — Kaylee Gross, BS 2017, MS 2018

2018 — Patrick Sarman, BS 2018, MS 2019

2019 — Hayden Becker, BS 2019, MS 2010

2020 — Patricia Gomez Pimentel, BS 2020, MS 2021

          — Bailey Stone, BS 2021

2021 — Diego Figueroa, BS 2021
                                                   — Helena Tran

Patrick Sarman
Hayden Becker
Patricia Gomez Pimentel

Kristine A. Imherr

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