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PenChecks Scholarship

ASPPA and PenChecks have partnered to offer 6 scholarships annually to individuals interested in pursuing ASPPA’s Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential. 

Scholarships will be awarded to six (up from four in previous years) individuals each year to cover the QKA exam registration fees, related exam publications, and the awardee’s first year of membership dues (up to one year of membership – based on when the credential is awarded). 

Applications for this year’s scholarship will become available on July 1, 2019 and are due September 20, 2019.

Previous Scholarship Winners and Testimonials



  • The scholarship is open to any U.S. employee in a firm that is interested in pursuing the QKA credential.
  • All applicants must be new ASPPA exam candidates and may not have previously started or taken any QKA exams. 
  • The QKA credential exams must be completed within two years of scholarship acceptance. Applying for the credential must be completed within 6 months of completion of the last successfully completed exam.
  • Awardees will be required to meet the QKA credentialed membership requirements upon applying for the credential. This includes demonstrating 2 years of retirement plan related experience.
  • The application must be completed in its entirety online to be considered. Paper applications will not be accepted. 
  • You must submit a letter of reference from your supervisor to by the deadline to be considered. Mailed letters of reference will not be accepted.
  • If any information on the application is determined to be false, the application will be denied. 
  • Applicant agrees to be contacted by the Selection Committee if they require additional information. 
  • The applicant agrees, if the scholarship is awarded, that promotions relating to the scholarship, including publicity and use of the awardee’s name, company and photo will be required. The applicant will be required to re-affirm this agreement if the scholarship is awarded.  

Application & Selection Dates

  • July, 1 2019 to September 20, 2019: Scholarship applications due. Application window will close on these dates; there will be no exceptions. Applications can be submitted here. Don’t forget to submit a letter of recommendation from your manager to after you finish the application.
  • 2019 ASPPA Annual Conference: Scholarship awardees announced. Applicants do not need to be present to accept the scholarship. All individuals who submitted an application will be notified by the end of October 2019.  


Scholarship Details 

  • The scholarship covers the costs for the QKA exams and related required reading materials, exam re-takes (see below) and the cost of the awardees first year of membership dues. If the awardee would like to purchase additional study materials such as practice exams, he/she will be responsible for the costs.
  • Retake exam policy – if an awardee fails an exam, he/she will be able to continue in the program; however, if the awardee fails:
  • The RPF modules: Candidate will have to pay for retake(s) out of his/her own pocket.
  • One or both proctored multiple-choice exams (DC-1 & DC-2): The scholarship will cover one retake for one or both of these exams. Any additional retakes are to be paid by the awardee.
  • All other fees such as exam rescheduling are to be covered by the awardee.
  • Awardee will be responsible for registering for exams and ordering publications. 
  • Awardee cannot transfer scholarship award to another individual.
  • If awardee does not complete the examinations within two years, he/she can complete the credential pursuit but the awardee will be responsible for the costs.