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Professional Development Fund
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Professional Development Fund Scholarship

In the spirit of our mission, "Leading, Educating and Inspiring HR Excellence," HRACO is proud to offer an outstanding member benefit—the HRACO Professional Development Scholarship Fund. This fund will allow HRACO members to apply for a scholarship to cover partial or all of the registration or tuition costs of various professional development events that may not be reimbursed through their employer.
Eligible Expenses

Professional Development Scholarship allocation may be granted for the following:

  • National and Ohio SHRM/HR Events – Up to $400 toward registration fees; eligible only once per any 12-month period.
  • Local HR Events – Up to $300 for registration fees for one event; eligible only once per 12-month period.
  • HRACO PHR/SPHR Course - Up to $500 toward course tuition fees for PHR/SPHR certification; eligible only once per every three years; not awarded for testing fees.
  • Other – as approved by HRACO up to $150; eligible only once per 12-month period.

Only HRACO members are eligible to receive a scholarship.  Current year Board members are excluded from consideration.  Membership must be current during the full calendar year of the award.
This fund is intended to provide assistance to members in helping meet their professional development goals when their company does not offer professional development funds.  Professional Development Scholarship applicants may be asked to provide a copy of their company’s professional development reimbursement policy to the review committee.

The following criteria will be used for awarding scholarships:

  • Completed PDSF Application, including essay.
  • Satisfactory completion of all requirements of the PDSF process.  
  • Availability of funds.
  • The extent to which the awarding of funds aids in furthering HRACO’s mission.
  • Review and approval by the Professional Development Scholarship Fund Committee (Past President, President Elect and Treasurer).

Members may be awarded for only one scholarship per calendar year (January - December).
Members receiving a scholarship will be responsible for any additional expenses associated with the event outside of the stipend awarded. Such expenses may include transportation, lodging, meals, and miscellaneous travel expense.
Scholarships are non-transferable and substitutions for the original applicant are not allowed.
Scholarship funds must be utilized in the year they are approved. If the funds are not used in the year they are approved, the funds will be forfeited.
Scholarship recipients are expected to write within one month following the event, an article for the HRACO newsletter describing their experience and what they learned from the event attended.

In order to apply for a scholarship, a member must follow these steps:
Obtain approval from your company and/or manager to attend the event.
Complete the scholarship application and the written essay.
Submit the online application to HRACO’s PDSF Committee.
Upon approval or in conjunction with your application, provide proof of registration before scholarship funds will be disbursed.
Attend the event.
Provide proof of attendance to
Submit follow-up essay (in electronic format) to  Essays should be a maximum of one page and will be published at the discretion of the VP of Communications.
If, for any reason, the scholarship has been dispersed to the member and he or she is not able to attend the event, the member is responsible for notifying the HRACO (, completing the cancellation process with the event host, and providing full repayment to HRACO within 30 days.
Those selected to receive a scholarship will be notified via e-mail.
Payment will be sent to the recipient upon receipt of proof of payment and registration. It is the member’s responsibility to register for the event.
Funds may be allocated at the full discretion of the PDSF committee.
It is not required that all funds be dispersed annually.
All decisions of the PDSF Committee are binding.
It is the policy of this organization to provide equal opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability. 


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