2020 Scholarship Winners

I am excited to announce this year’s Excel University scholarship winners! These scholarships are supported by the Excel University Alumni Association, so thanks to all of you who have helped make these awards possible. I’d also like to that Safe Harbor LLP for their generous contribution to the scholarship fund this year!

Each will receive a cash award plus an enrollment to the Excel University Graduate Certification program.

The recipients are terrific examples of the type of accounting student that the scholarship program was designed to assist. They are wonderful representations of the future of our profession. They are smart, hard-working, and highly recommended by their professors.

Congratulations to the 2020 Excel University Scholarship winners: Kate and Michael!

As part of the scholarship application, I asked for a short essay Interesting Ways I’ve Used Excel. I’d like to share portions of the essays as well.


While pursuing her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Queens University of Charlotte, she is working as a staff accountant with a local CPA.

She maintains an outstanding GPA, and is highly recommended by her professor. He said Kate has extraordinary time management skills, work ethic, academic knowledge, and plans to seek her MBA and CPA.

Kate clearly has a bright future in the accounting field!

Here are a few highlights from her essay.

Once I discovered the power of Excel in my computer classes in high school, I fell in love with it!

During my experience of being a staff accountant, I have utilized Excel every day in one way or another. Excel is the tool I used to create a tax workpaper for my colleagues and I to use. To create the workpaper, I used a variety of functions such as VLOOKUP, data validation, nested IF functions, and conditional formatting.

In addition, I created a workbook for my company to use in order to keep track of clients during tax season. It is a “master” file of our clients, where they are at in the tax return process, their assigned tax preparer, and shows whether or not they have signed the firm’s required forms.

The first worksheet in the workbook shows an “at a glance” overview of the subsequent worksheets’ data. That sheet utilizes tables and graphs to interpret the returns that are completed, awaiting signature pages, in review, in preparation, or have documents still getting processed. It also shows each tax preparer and the amount of returns completed by each. It shows the amount of returns left to be completed and the amount of returns needed to be completed per day in order to complete all returns before the Tax Day deadline.

Outside of the workplace, I utilize Excel to create my school schedule. I also use it to create my monthly budget. As a self-paying college student, I have to be very cognizant of where I spend my money. I keep track of my purchases and do not allow myself to spend in excess of my paycheck. I am able to save money after receiving my paycheck and Excel is such a helpful tool for me to keep track of my budget.

In my budget spreadsheet, I use Excel tables to sort and categorize my expenses to easily track my spending habits. It is so important for younger people to understand how to use money as a tool to reach goals in life. My current goal is to finish my bachelor’s degree without taking out a gargantuan amount of loans in the process. After I reach my goal, there will be other life goals I will save towards. Excel is an integral part of both my job and attainment of my personal financial goals through budgeting.


Michael is pursuing his accounting degree at Central Michigan University. He plans to sit for the CPA exam upon graduation.

He is also enrolled in the accelerated masters program to earn an MBA … wow!

His professor highly recommends Michael. She said that Michael is an excellent student who is a member of a school honor society where he is heavily involved in volunteering.

Michael will have a great future in accounting!

Here are a few highlights from his essay.

As an accounting major I seem to use excel a lot more than students who might be attending college for sales or marketing. Up until I came to school here at Central Michigan, I was actually pretty un-aware of all the amazing things that you can do on the program and truly how helpful it will be once I graduate and get a job in the real world.

I actually just took a class last fall that was purely based around excel and taught me tons of stuff that I would have never known that I could do like the different filters use can use, the graphs you can make and especially the pivot tables which are so handy.

During this class we did a large business project in which we used Excel to make different tables, graphs, and forecast percentages that we could use in the future. I really enjoyed this course because it was truly nice to get away from the calculator for a while and let the computer do the work. Sometimes it almost seems like cheating because Excel makes the work so easy, but I guess that’s why they make tools like that. I really look forward to using this program much more in the future as I work towards getting my CPA license.

Once again, congratulations to Kate and Michael!

Also …
If you know an accounting student that would like to apply for next year’s scholarship, send them to excel-university.com/scholarship to apply.

Again … a big THANK YOU to the Excel University Alumni Association members because your enrollments support this scholarship program and these accounting students! And, thanks to Safe Harbor LLP for your generous contribution to this year’s scholarship fund!

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Jeff Lenning

I love sharing the things I've learned about Excel, and I built Excel University to help me do that. My motto is: Learn Excel. Work Faster.

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  1. Joel on August 4, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Congratulations! Knowing how to solve tough problems with excel is a superpower wherever numbers and data are bought and sold.

  2. EMMANUEL BUSWIKE on August 5, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Congratulations for winning scholarship I wish all the best in learning Microsoft Excel at Excel University

  3. Mark on August 5, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Congratulations! The Excel skills will serve you well throughout your career.

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