2023 Scholarship Winners

I am excited to announce this year’s Excel University scholarship winners! This scholarship is supported by the Excel University Alumni Association, so thanks to all of you who have helped make these awards possible over the past 8 years.

This was the most competitive scholarship year with more applicants than ever! Thanks to all of the students who applied, I know you have bright futures ahead.

The selected recipients stand out among their peers, and 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, highly recommended by their professors, and all have 4.0 GPAs in accounting.

Congratulations to the 2023 Excel University Scholarship winners!

  • Winner of the Excel University Academic Merit Scholarship: Aubrey
  • Winners of the Excel University Skill Builder Scholarship: Michelle, Reid, and Gina

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 these essays below.


While attending Concordia University, Aubrey is involved in the competitive leadership team and is an officer in the business club. She is also a student athlete, involved in choir, and has an internship at First Premier bank.

Her professor said that she comes to class prepared and picks up concepts quickly. He also said she is very thorough, detailed, and accurate. In their discussion of ethics, he is impressed by her confidence and integrity. Her strong moral values shine when pressed on how she would deal with difficult decisions. She will make the right decision with respect to her moral character and the code of ethics. These are foundational to being a trusted CPA.

Here are a few highlights from her essay:

When I took financial accounting in my first semester of college … I quickly realized that I had both an affinity and a passion for the topic, and my love for Excel followed close behind. Through my courses thus far, I have been able to learn many of the more simple –yet incredibly useful– functions of Excel, such as
data validation, conditional formatting, present and future value formulas, and amortization table development

Though I am still in the process of streamlining our spreadsheets, I have developed various spreadsheets that have allowed us to better track our daily revenues and expenses, and have also been working to perfect our pricing analyses.

I have significantly expanded my knowledge of Excel through my internship. Through this experience, I have gained great insight into how Excel can be used for the purposes of budgeting, forecasting, and posting transactions within the context of a larger business.

I have especially enjoyed developing pivot tables and lookup formulas that allow me to analyze patterns in loan and account growth over time. I have also begun to explore more complex functions in Excel like power queries and power pivots, and am hoping to gain even more exposure to them as my internship progresses.


While attending Kennesaw State University, Michelle is pursuing degrees in accounting and information systems. She has also held internships with Citi, Norfolk Southern, and Georgia Writers Association.

Her professor said that she consistently asked thoughtful questions during class and exceeded expectations on all exams. She has outstanding written and oral communication skills. She has a solid foundation and great passion for pursuing a career in accounting.

Here are a few highlights from her essay:

In creating the annual and monthly budgets for Georgia Writers, a non-profit organization that provides resources to underserved writers in Georgia, I knew I wanted to make the template simple for management to understand. Using Excel, I wrote formulas to calculate profits and losses for each month and year without performing all the calculations myself. As much as I love math, I much rather have Excel compute calculations for me – this makes the process simpler and more efficient.

I use Excel to monitor my personal expenses and see how much I spend on rent, groceries, and leisure each month. I also track my income to know how much I can allocate to my savings and investments and how much I should have left in disposable income at the end of the month. Excel has drastically improved my budgeting skills and allowed me to gain a better understanding of my finances. It has made it easier to stick with my plan to save more and spend less. At the end of each month, I can see how much progress I have made toward my financial goals — this motivates me to stay consistent.

Finally, I use Excel to track my workouts and plan my meals. I have created a workout tracker that reminds me what exercises to do on different days of the week. Excel has made it easy for me to organize my exercise regime. Along with my workout routines, I jot down my weekly meal plans, including recipes, weights, and nutrition information (when available). Knowing how much I eat, what I am eating, and what exercises to do on different days allows me to meet my dietary needs and improve my performance in the gym.


While attending Dickinson College, Reid was involved in VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and swim, and was a TA and Quantitative Reasoning Associate. He is continuing his education at Northeastern University to pursue a Masters in Accounting.

His professor said Reid is hardworking and always comes to class well organized and well prepared. He is disciplined and manages his time well. He has done an outstanding job as my QRA for the past six semesters, and other students appreciate how well Reid can explain difficult concepts from fundamentals of accounting and intermediate accounting. He shows strong leadership skills, maturity, and a genuine respect for others.

Here are a few highlights from his essay:

My first exposure to Excel was when I was a senior in high school in AP Statistics. We used Excel to organize data and create some elementary graphs. It was evident to me the power that Excel could have if used correctly.

In the summer of 2022, I joined an accounting firm called Tenance. I have been working remotely for them for the past year. My main projects have involved the creation of ICS (Incurred Cost Submissions), which is effectively the tax return for clients with government contracts. This is a task where I am immersed in Excel, and I absolutely love it.

My other main task is managing a family-owned and operated restaurant based in Delaware. This is where I have been able to utilize Excel in the best way. Each month, I download all their line-item transactions into Excel and create a pivot table. From there, I categorize all the items and present them in a format that shows which items are selling the most and which are barely selling.

This is one of the first times that my work in Excel has had a tangible real-life impact on people. Based on the information I compile for them, they make decisions about the restaurant and, as a result, their livelihood. It is always a great feeling to know that I have the ability to help them, and Excel is a key tool that enables me to do this.

In January, I will intern at one of the Big Four accounting firms in the Boston area for the busy season. I am excited for the opportunity to learn in a large environment like a Big Four firm, and I am confident that I will be using Excel every day.


Since graduating high school with a 4.0 and top 3 in her class, she received her associates degree from Big Bend and is continuing her studies at the University of Idaho in accounting. She was selected for the All-Washington Academic Team, an honor that recognizes both academic achievement and community involvement.

Her professor said that he was impressed by Gina’s ability to comprehend difficult concepts and that she was proactive and hard-working. She consistently came to class having already completed the assigned tasks.

Here are a few highlights from her essay:

During my freshman year of high school, I took a class where we got the opportunity to certify in Microsoft Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. I was able to certify in all three. This was the first time I had used Excel, so I learned quite a few new things through the certification.

Fast forward to the fall of my freshman year of college. That fall I took a statistics course, and in this course we had a project every few weeks. These projects involved us students to conduct surveys and to use our results to find a variety of mathematical values using their formulas. Our instructor encouraged us to use Excel so we could keep track of our survey results. Excel has programmed formulas that would help us find the values we needed such as the standard deviation. These pre-programmed formulas in Excel made it much easier to complete our projects, and helped me earn my top grade.

Once again, congratulations to all scholarship winners!

Again … a big THANK YOU to the Excel University Alumni Association members because your enrollments support this scholarship program!

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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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