Several innovative IMA? (Institute of Management Accountants) chapters are making it easier to earn the CMA? (Certified Management Accountant) certification: by offering scholarships to their professional members.

Two such chapters include Hartford, Conn., and Ann Arbor, Mich. (they join other chapters offering CMA scholarships such as Charlotte, N.C.; Lehigh Valley, Pa., and Detroit, Mich.). In Hartford, Chris West, a CMA and currently the chapter treasurer, proposed the idea. Her chapter has historically awarded CMA scholarships to students, but West wanted to find a way to support certification among their professional members as well.

The Hartford Chapter started their scholarship program this year, with simple criteria. They planned to award scholarships to two non-student members in good standing who filled out a short application. The scholarship included financial support for CMA program registration fees, fees to take both parts of the CMA exam for the first time, and the Gleim CMA review course package.

To fund the scholarship, the chapter used resources from a recent IMA Memorial Educational Fund (MEF) grant they received, as well as surplus funds in their treasury.

?What better way to use the money in our treasury and our IMA grant than to help our members earn their CMA?? asked West.

West reports that the response was so positive that four individuals applied for the scholarship ? and the chapter decided to award scholarships to them all.

The Ann Arbor Chapter has also been a long-time supporter of scholarships for students and, like Hartford, this year it wanted to find a way to assist their professional members.

Angela Combs, chapter president, and Susan Bos, director of scholarships and former IMA Global Board member, spearheaded this scholarship program in Ann Arbor. ?We recognized that there might be financial obstacles to becoming certified, so we decided to offer this scholarship to help encourage members to earn their CMA,? Combs said.

The Ann Arbor Chapter developed a scholarship application, which required an essay and a letter of recommendation. The scholarship being awarded will fund CMA program registration fees plus fees for one exam part.

The scholarship application deadline is early March, and Combs and Bos are hopeful that their members will apply. ?We have a solid membership of more than 150 professionals, and although many of our members are CMAs, there are still many individuals who would benefit from becoming certified. We?re pleased to help support IMA?s strategic goal of promoting certification and excellence among management accountants,? said Bos.

The Ann Arbor Chapter is happy to share their scholarship application form with other IMA chapters interested in starting a similar program. Contact Combs at for more details.

In addition, IMA members can visit the LinkUp IMA Chapter and Council Leader Committee Forum to find the latest IMA news, important information regarding chapters and councils, and to share best practices, such as the CMA scholarship initiative. Visit this link to learn more (note: member log in is required).