— Helps Lessen Debt Load in Becoming a CPA —
The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) announced 10 winners of its Student Loan Debt Lottery, which was created in 2020 to offset members’ costs on their way to becoming a certified public accountant (CPA). The winners, who were selected randomly in December out of 182 applicants, will each receive $1,200 towards their student loan debt.
The lottery was conceived by the NJCPA Student Loan Debt Task Force and funded by the NJCPA Scholarship Fund to assist members who have amassed a significant amount of debt. In addition to supporting the lottery, the Fund has distributed scholarships totaling more than $7 million since 1960 to more than 2,000 New Jersey students.
To be eligible for the lottery, winners had to be members who have debt totaling more than $1,200. This year’s winners have a combined student loan debt of more than $480,000 or an average of $48,011.20 each.
“The Student Loan Debt Lottery is a wonderful way to assist those of us in the accounting profession who may have accumulated debt on our journeys to become a CPA. It’s also a reminder of how much student loan debt affects all of us,” said Melissa Dardani, CPA, CFE, MAcc, managing member of MD Advisory Services and a member of the NJCPA Student Loan Debt Task Force.
Zachary Cohen, CPA, senior manager at CFGI, a member of the NJCPA Student Loan Debt Task Force and the chair of its Emerging Leaders Council, added, “Student loan debt continues to weigh on young professionals today. It’s important we recognize that and offer programs and awards that can help lessen the cost of becoming a CPA.”
This year’s winners included the following:
- Regina M. Ficarra, CPA, staff accountant at WilkinGuttenplan
- Christopher Martin, CPA, CGMA, partner at SobelCo
- Amy L. Mooney, CPA, tax accountant at Dimensional Accounting Services
- Joseph E. Polanco, staff accountant II at Withum
- Andrea Rega, senior audit associate at WilkinGuttenplan
- Brian J. Rizzi, CPA, semi-senior tax accountant at Marcum LLP
- Melisa Sirak, CPA, staff accountant at WilkinGuttenplan
- Nicholas W. Smith, CPA, senior accountant at Withum
- Ryan Stacy, CPA, staff accountant at Ernst & Young LLP
- Kristopher X. Tapia, CPA