What are Cyber security Scholarships?
Cyber security scholarships are “free money” for college. Free means you do not have to repay the funds like you do a loan. Most scholarships of this kind are for people who want to study cyber defense. Or college majors related to it. Like homeland security, forensics, emergency response and intelligence. Some only award money for tuition and fees. While others may also include a summer internship and contract to hire once you graduate.
How to apply for a Cyber security Scholarship
To apply for a cyber security scholarship, you need to qualify. Then if you are eligible, you fill out an application. Common criteria include being a US citizen or permanent resident. You may also need to show your status as an enrolled current student in an accredited college.
Providers also look for academic excellence and interest in national security. So, you often submit transcripts that show you meet a certain GPA. And or have SAT / ACT scores within an accepted range.
Many also base their decisions on financial need. This means you must show some family income tax information or file a FAFSA. Apart from this, many providers want to know about you and your goals. To do this you may need to write an essay on a prompted question, have references and a current CV.
Why Should I Apply for Cyber security Scholarships?
A cyber security scholarship can be useful if your goal is to earn a four year degree. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the cost of an information security degree is $6,826. If you study in state at a public college. Or $28, 890 if you choose a private school out of state.
After you graduate, there are many possible career paths to follow. Apart from strong technical skills, Info Sec Analysts need a bachelor’s degree, so this may be an option. Info Sec Analysts earn average mean salaries of $98,350. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this sector expects 32% – 55% more jobs by 2028.
Top Cyber security Scholarships for 2020
We curated a list of the cyber security scholarships for 2020. Check deadlines and apply early!
Top Cyber Security Scholarships
If you are looking for cyber security scholarships, there are some things you should know first.
Scholarship granting institutions like motivated candidates. They want to know that the awards they grant are going to good use. So, they look for things like:
- Academic strength
- Passion for the field
- Financial Need
There are many types of scholarships and specialties for different types of students, such as those looking for cyber security scholarships. Some awards are monetary while others offer internships and even jobs. Be bold in those applications. Save the modesty for after the award. It’s time to shine!
You must be a US Citizen, National, or permanent resident alien to apply. This award is only for students pursuing graduate level research in STEM fields. Winners are able to pursue research at a US government lab or school of their choice. 42 past fellows have gone on to become Nobel Laureates in STEM fields.
Deadline: October 22
SMART stands for the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation. The SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program provides two things. One, an opportunity to receive a full scholarship. And two, a guaranteed civilian job with the Department of Defense (DoD) once you graduate.
To be eligible, you may be either an undergrad, master’s or PhD student. But you must be pursuing your degree in STEM. So, any science, technology, engineering or math focused major.
Deadline: TBA – Application will be available August 1, 2020
The NSA offers the Stokes Educational Scholarship Program. It is an opportunity to gain real world experience while you attend college full time. Scholarship perks include up to $30,000 per year towards tuition and mandatory fees. Also, a year long salary (plus benefits package) while you attend college.
Once summer comes, you need to set aside at least 12 weeks for a paid internship at NSA’s HQ in Fort Meade. Paid housing and travel too if your school is over 75 miles from the NSA. Then, after you graduate, the NSA offers you a job in a field related to your major.
While open to high school seniors, may give preference if you are also a minority student. As long as you plan to major in computer science or computer/electrical engineering.
While open to high school seniors, may give preference if you are also a minority student. As long as you plan to major in computer science or computer/electrical engineering.
To be eligible, you need to be a US citizen, granted security clearance and have a 3.0 GPA. You also need to score 1200 on your SAT or have an ACT score of 25. When you apply, you need to furnish scores and transcripts. Plus send in two references and a one page essay about why you want a job at NSA.
Deadline: Rolling from September 1st to November 25th each year
Created in 2000, the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program (SFS) is a Federal Cyber Service Training and Education Initiative. The SFS program provides funds to partner colleges and universities. Funds support student scholarships in areas relevant to cyber security.
In return for a scholarship, and after graduation, recipients must agree to work for the Federal Gov’t. Or, with one of the approved employers (called occupational series 2210). Scholarship amounts vary and go up to $25,000 per year for undergrad students and $34,000 per year for grad students. There is also an extra $6,000 professional allowance.
Each school sets their own standards, but scholarships may renew for up to 3 years. To be eligible, you must be either a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Applicants need to be pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a formal (approved) cyber security program. Or be a research-based doctoral student.
Deadline: Varies by partner college
This program is for students who want to study in cyber security and learn an in demand language. The award is for study abroad for one semester or more in a critical location for US National Security. Winners will need to work at a government agency for as long as they held the award upon graduation.
Deadline: Early 2020
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offers an Undergraduate Scholarship Program. While a financial needs based program, preferred applicants are proficient in a foreign language.
There are two key benefits of securing a CIA scholarship. One, an award of $18,000 per calendar year for tuition, mandatory fees and books. And two, a job at the CIA during summer breaks.
The job itself pays a salary with benefits. FYI, starting salary is between $30,386 and $40,485. You also get a daily sum for meals and incidentals during your summer tours. And paid travel between your college and Washington, DC.
To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen or dual national. You also need to be a current college student enrolled full time with a GPA of at least 3.0, 1000 SAT score or 21 ACT.
As far as financial need, the gross annual household income ceiling goes up to $70,000 for a family of four or less, and $80,000 for a family of five or more. If you meet all the criteria, you need to fill out a detailed application. This also entails sending in transcripts, scores, family finances, references and other qualifications.
Snort is an affiliate of Cisco, a provider of security software products. Each year they offer scholarships of $10,000 each, and in 2019 there were 2 winners. The Snort scholarships help offset the tuition costs for students seeking a college degree in one of a few majors. Computer science, information technology, computer networking, cyber security or one related.
To be eligible you must be 18 years old and enrolled in a high school (or equivalent) located in the United States or a United States territory. And must be on track to earn your high school diploma in 2021. Applicants also fill out a form which asks for proof they meet the criteria. The form will be available in the spring of 2021.
This award is open to all students pursuing a degree in cyber security or related field.
Deadline: July 15
Undergrad Cyber Security Scholarships
Another scholarship program run by ISC2 is for undergrads. These also award 20 scholarships in amounts from $1,000 to $5,000 each. To be eligible, you can be a high school senior or current undergrad. US citizenship is not mandatory, but you will need a GPA of at least 3.3.
Like their graduate scholarships, you can be a full time, part time or online student. As long as you are pursuing your degree in cyber security or info assurance. Other than a completed application, you need to send in transcripts, CV and one reference. Plus, you will have to answer a few essay questions about your goals, background and interests.
Deadline: TBA for 2021
Must pursue an undergraduate degree in cyber security or related 3.5 GPA or higher.
Pursuing an undergraduate degree with intent to working in intelligence community. Preference given to applicants with in-demand language skills.
Applicants must be active duty or a student veteran. Reserve and National Guard do qualify. You must be enrolled in computer science or related fields.
Deadline: November 1st
History of interest (academic and otherwise) in national security and cyber security. Passion for working in the United States intelligence community. Preference for students with sought-after languages
The Lint Center for National Security Studies is a nonprofit. They have, since 2007 awarded 57 merit based scholarships for people in counter intelligence and national security. These scholarships range in amounts from $500 to $2,000. Amounts and number of awards vary as they depend on donations.
Apart from money, the scholarship program offers two possible perks. One, a mentorship from a National Security professional. And two, the opportunity to be a published author on National Security at Lint Center.
This program aims to further the education and career development of scholars. Above all in the areas of International Affairs, Counterintelligence and National Security.
If you are either a worker or child of someone working in these fields, you might apply. As long as your goal is to improve national security. To do so, you need to fill out one application form. Then you become a candidate for all the current scholarships.
Deadline: January and June
The Science International Corp (SAIC) partners with (ISC)2 to offer the SAIC Cyberwarrior Scholarship. This year there will be 10 awards. Awards are in the form of cyber security certification training scholarships. And aim to help returning military veterans reenter the civilian workforce.
To be eligible, you need to be a US citizen, (honorably) discharged from the military by April 14, 2020. You are also eligible if you are a Reservist or serve in the Military Guard. If you meet these criteria and a few others, you can apply. This involves sending in a resume, optional letter of reference and essays.
These should explain your interest in cyber security and why you hope to win. As a winner, you get an (ISC)² certification exam voucher, textbook, study guide, practice test and online seminar.
Deadline: March 16, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
14 Regional chapters across the US offer this scholarship program. You must be a member of the associated ISACA chapter. And, study in an information assurance related degree program.
Deadline: Varies based on region
ISSA is a nonprofit dedicated to helping and promoting education and research in the field of info sec. They offer 3 scholarships.
- $3,500 – Howard A. Schmidt Memorial Scholarship for undergraduate studies
- $3,500 – E. Eugene Schultz, Jr., Memorial Scholarship for graduate studies
- $2,000 – Shon Harris Memorial Scholarship for either undergraduate or graduate studies
To be eligible, you need to be a full time student. And, enrolled in an info sec or related program at an accredited university.
Deadline: TBA in March 2020
Start as a civilian or service member. For undergraduate through doctoral students in information assurance academic disciplines. Separate programs are available for those in the military and civilians in school.
Must complete 1 year of service in the civil or military branch for every year of the scholarship. For service members, no more than 4 years of service in exchange for funding.
Deadline: Differs by school
AFCEA is a professional association that connects people, ideas and solutions globally. They offer a wide range of scholarships each year. One that cyber security majors might be eligible for is the STEM Major Scholarships. STEM majors that line up with AFCEA’s mission include Cyber Security, Computer Forensics, Strategic Intelligence and others.
The $2,500 scholarship is open to undergrads who must be at least second-year college students enrolled as sophomores or juniors. And must attend full-time in a four-year college or university at the time of application. Expected graduation date cannot be in the year the scholarship is awarded. You also need to be a US citizen or permanent resident and have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Deadline: April 10, 2020
Another AFCEA award is the Cyber Security Scholarship. It comes with similar criteria for eligibility as the STEM Major Scholarship. And is for $5,000. One thing that sets it apart are the acceptable majors. For example, this scholarship is open to students studying a major related to the support of US cyber enterprises.
Deadline: April 10, 2020
Stronger International believes everyone needs to boost their technical knowledge and ability. To help students reach this goal, especially women and minority students, they offer IT scholarships. IT scholarships are open to those at work in the IT world. Or those enrolled in a fulltime degree program in an accredited 4 year university or college. As long as you have a 3.0 GPA or above.
To apply, you need to download a form. Then also submit transcripts and a one to two page essay. It should address your interest in cyber security and technology. The recipient will either receive a partial or a full scholarship to a course offered by Stronger. Or, receive a cash scholarship to cover expense for their education.
Graduate Cyber Security Scholarships
Must focus on national security courses including cyber security. Seeks future career in the US Government. Students with in-demand languages preferred.
US Citizens, Nationals, or permanent resident aliens eligible. Must pursue graduate level research in STEM fields. Awardees may pursue research at any US govt lab or school. 42 past fellows went on to become Nobel Laureates in STEM fields.
For students who will pursue a doctorate in a designated national security-related discipline. Applicants may be in the last year of undergrad (and accepted into a doctoral program). Or they can be up to two years into graduate work. Participants work on research at a Dept of Defense lab for one summer during award timeframe.
Applicants enter through their participating school. Must study an info assurance field at bachelors – PhD levels. Stipend time frame requires work at a government agency. That could also be a Federally Funded Research and Development Center. Stipends are renewable. Need security clearance for employment/internship. An internship of 10 weeks is also required during stipend period.
Deadline: Differs based on schools
Winners work for 10 weeks in the summer. They work at one of 36 Department of the Navy Research Labs in technical and engineering roles. Stipend amounts vary based on degree level.
International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², is a nonprofit. They specialize in training and certifications for cyber security professionals. In 2020, they are offering up to 20 scholarships in amounts from $1,000 to $5,000 apiece.
To be eligible you must be a master’s or doctorate student and from any country including the US. You must also be pursuing a degree in cyber security or info assurance. And, you can be a part time, full time and even online student. As long as your GPA is 3.5 or above.
Apart from a completed application, you need to submit transcripts, CV and one reference. There are also a few essay questions to answer that discuss your goals and interests in cyber security.
Deadline: March 20, 2020 at 12:PM EST
Cyber Security Scholarships for Women
SWSIS stands for Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security. It is a partnership of Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and CRA-WP. The SWSIS long-term goal is to contribute to increasing the number of women in the info sec workforce.
Set up by Parisa Tabriz, the PrinSWSIS scholarship is one of their programs. This renewable award goes to a woman aspiring to work in computer security. She challenges the stereotype of a cyber security professional and helps redefine what it means to be a princess.
To be eligible you must be a female studying info sec, either at the bachelor’s or master’s level. You also need to be a US citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in a US college or university.
Preferred applicants stand out through references, transcripts, their resume and essays. Amounts vary as they depend on donations but in the past went up to $10,000.
Deadline: February 1, 2021
Deputy is a company that sells software for scheduling employees. To promote diversity in the tech industry, they offer a Scholarship for Women in Technology.
This $2,000 scholarship goes to the winner of an essay contest. The 500 word essay needs to tell your story. What inspired you to get into tech and your goals when you graduate.
Eligible applicants are full time students at an accredited college with a 3.0 GPA. You also need to be pursuing your degree in an approved major. Cyber security is one.
Deadline: July 13, 2020
Palantir builds data logic programs. Since 2010, they have offered scholarships to help women who are beginning their tech careers. The scholarship is open to all students who identify as female. You can be studying at any accredited college in Canada, Mexico or the US. As long as you major in a STEM field.
This year, 10 scholarship winners will each receive $7,000. Winners also get an all expense trip to Palantir’s HQ for professional development. To apply, you need to fill out a form and send in your resume and transcripts.
Deadline: March 22, 2020 11:59 PST
Women in Defense (WID) is an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). Their goal is to engage and nurture women in the national security industry.
Through the HORIZONS Scholarship, WID encourages women to pursue careers that support US national security. Cyber security is an approved major as are others related to defense.
The scholarships are open to US citizens, both undergrads and graduate students. As long as you are a female, have a 3.25 GPA and are a current student in an accredited US school.
To apply, you need to fill out a form. You also submit transcripts, an essay, proof of citizenship and references. Last year there were 12 recipients and award amounts vary as they depend on donations.
Deadline: March 15, 2020 by 12:00 PM PDT
This is more than a scholarship. It also includes a retreat and grants membership to a community. Must identify as a woman and be studying at a US ($10,000 award) or Canadian ($5,000 award) university. Applicants need a strong academic record. They must study in a computer science or related technical discipline. Resume, essays, references, and transcripts required.
Students get the funds toward tuition, fees and books. They are also eligible for internships with the company. At graduation, they also get aid from the center. This is toward the (ISC)² Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification. That’s critical for a career in Cyber Security.
Dotcom-Monitor offers the Women in Computing Scholarship. This annual award pays $1,000 and supports women who want to pursue a career in a computer centered field. The scholarship is open to female students who are also full time undergrads at an accredited college or university in the US or Canada.
Applicants should have a declared major in computer science, computer engineering, or closely related technical field. Or, have at least one academic year in one of these areas under their belt. To apply, there is a form to fill out. You also need to send in answers to essay questions and transcripts.
Deadline: April 1, 2020 by 11:59 PM CST
Scholarship funding limited to tuition, books, and required equipment. Must be in 2nd semester or beyond in graduate-level work. STEM major required. Cyber Security-related fields are a bonus.
Deadline: April 20, 2020
ESET is a business that sells cyber security products and services. They also know there is a shortage of skilled cyber pros. And that women hold fewer jobs in the field than men.
To support changes to this ESET offers a Women in Cyber security Scholarship. The hope is that it will help empower three women to pursue a cyber degree. And awards $5,000 each to help them in their goal. Eligible applicants must also be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited undergrad or grad program in the United States.
Your major does not have to be “cyber security” but in your application. But you should make clear that you aspire to have a career in the cyber security industry. Applicants also need a GPA of at least 3.0 and must be either a US citizen or permanent resident with a permanent resident ID card.
To apply, you need to fill out a form and submit a few things. Your transcripts, proof of enrollment, letter of reference and completed essay questions.
Deadline: TBA for 2020