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SHRM Foundation Scholarships- for HR Professionals



Academic Scholarships

New for 2016! The SHRM Foundation has substantially increased its award funding and increased the individual award amounts. We are proud to offer five awards of $2,500 each to those pursuing undergraduate degrees, plus 15 awards of $5,000 each to those pursuing graduate education. Funds may be used for any combination of tuition, books or other course-related fees. Each scholarship is a one-time award; however previous applicants and past scholarship recipients are eligible to re-apply. Twenty academic scholarships are awarded annually, four in each SHRM domestic region.

Who is Eligible
To be considered for these scholarships:

  • You must have a current SHRM membership as of July 15, 2016 and throughout the rest of the year. SHRM student members are not eligible for this program. (View scholarships for SHRM student members.)
  • You must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program pursuing an undergraduate, masters or doctorate degree in an HR-related field (includes business, psychology, organizational development, etc.) through an accredited institution of higher learning. 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.
  • You must be accepted and ready to begin your studies within six months following notification of the award. Scholarship recipients will be required to provide evidence of acceptance or enrollment in an HR-related program of study in order to claim their award. Applicants who have already completed their studies are not eligible for this award and may not apply for a scholarship to cover past expenses.

Each scholarship is a one-time award; however previous applicants and past scholarship recipients are eligible to re-apply.

Employees or board members of SHRM or the SHRM Foundation and members of their immediate family are not eligible to apply for SHRM Foundation grants, awards or scholarships.

How to Apply

To apply for this scholarship, just complete and submit the online application using the link at the end of this page. It includes contact information and a series of short answer questions about your volunteer experience and your career aspirations. You will also be asked to upload a current resume that includes your SHRM/SHRM Foundation volunteer experience, and two letters of references.

Reference letters should be addressed to the “SHRM Foundation Scholarship Review Committee” and should provide insight into your character, career and volunteer accomplishments, work ethic, values and need for the scholarship.

Selection Criteria

Scholarship recipients will be selected primarily on merit. Scholarship applications are reviewed and scored by groups of SHRM volunteers based on the following criteria. All decisions are final.

  • 50% Work experience/progression (HR involvement & future career plans)
  • 30% Volunteer activity (SHRM experience preferred, but not required)
  • 20% Financial need

Volunteer judging committees are formed in each of the five SHRM domestic regions to review the scholarship applications. Each region will award certification scholarships and academic scholarships to members in their states, so applicants are competing only with other applicants in their own region.

Applicants selected for an award will be required to provide a Social Security number or tax ID and evidence of acceptance or enrollment in a degree program prior to receiving their scholarship.


Applications must be completed and submitted online by July 15, 2016. All applicants will be notified of the scholarship results by October 7. Scholarship checks will be distributed by the end of the year, after receipt of tax ID and enrollment verification.

Back to SHRM Foundation Scholarships and Awards.