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Accounting students rank nationally on CPA exam pass rate

ISSUED: 6 January 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University accounting students ranked nationally for certified public accountant exam pass rates for first-time takers in 2018. Shepherd students ranked 28th out of 242 institutions nationwide with 10 to 20 first-time test takers. Additionally, Shepherd had the second highest pass rate in the state of West Virginia for first-time testing events. Shepherd had the highest statewide pass rate in the state in 2017, 2015, and 2014.

Ten students from Shepherd took the exam for the first-time in 2018, and 66.7 percent passed with an average score of 72.3 percent. This is the second highest pass percentage and second highest average score in the state’s first-time testing events category; the highest pass percentage was 76.2 percent and the highest average score was 80.1. The national average pass rate for first-time candidates was 57.5 percent, and West Virginia’s pass rate for first-time candidates was 48.4 percent.

The exam is administered by the American Institute of CPAs and given in four sections, auditing, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. Shepherd students taking the exam for the first time had a 100.0 percent pass rate in the auditing and business environment and concepts sections, and a 60 percent pass rate in the financial accounting and reporting section. The exam section pass rates for West Virginia first-time candidates were 46.4 percent in auditing, 65.9 percent in business environment and concepts, 35.2 percent in financial accounting and reporting, and 49.3 percent in regulation.

“It brings me great joy to see our students succeed,” said Dr. Cindy Vance, chair, Department of Accounting. “I attribute their success to the quality of the accounting curriculum and faculty at Shepherd, which has a comprehensive accounting major that includes 48 credit hours of accounting courses beyond the introductory classes. Not only am I proud to be a faculty member at Shepherd, but I am also proud to be an alumna.”

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