Cyber security careers are becoming more and more popular; CyberSeek reports that there were close to 350,000 cyber security online job listings in America posted between July 2015 and June 2016. Salaries are quite high for most cyber security careers. In 2016 the median annual pay for jobs in the computer-related industries paid $86,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also projects faster than average job growth until 2024: 18%.
As trained cyber security specialists reach high demand, organizations around the world are encouraging college students to enter this field by providing scholarship funds to those who qualify. Remember you don’t always have to have exceptionally high scores to get a scholarship, so start applying now.
With so many scholarships being offered today by various organizations such as colleges, businesses, clubs, foundations, non-profit organizations, and more, many people should be able to receive some kind of funding to help pay their way through college.
Moreover, there are things you can do right now to increase your chances of receiving scholarship funds, including participating in community service or signing up for special programs. And, if you’re still in high school, your chances are even better; the sooner you begin, the more scholarship qualifiers you can rack up.
How to Qualify and Increase Your Chances
Volunteer Work/Community Service
As most scholarship programs are offered by non-profits who are committed to helping others, having volunteer work on your application will help you stand out among the rest of the applicants. In addition, volunteering your services to assist your community also looks appealing in your portfolio. This can include a number of things such as, picking up trash off the streets, washing graffiti off neighborhood walls, sponsoring a local food drive, and more.
Become the Person the Scholarship is looking to Sponsor
When searching for scholarships online, check the qualifications required to apply and then gain all the credentials listed. This will make you a top candidate for approval.
Make Your Online Presence Look More Professional
Scholarship providers will do a lot of research on applicants to find out their background. Jump ahead of them to see what they will see by checking your online profile. Start by Googling your name.
Following are some of the many scholarship programs available.
Government, Military and Veterans Scholarships
Amount: Undergraduate: Full tuition and fees, and a stipend of $22,500 per year for up to 3 years
Graduate: full tuition and fees, and a stipend of $34,000 per year for up to 3 years
Deadline: July 31
The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) is funded by the National Science Foundation.
The program was designed to strengthen and increase federal information assurance professionals as they protect the critical information infrastructure. On top of offering full tuition and a stipend, they also provide allowances for books, health insurance, and professional development. Students who earn this scholarship will have to maintain a 3.25 or higher GPA to keep it.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program
Amount: $30,000 (A trip to Washington, DC, and several other small prizes)
Deadline: October 31
This competition consists of an essay contest that is held annually. It is not only funded by the VFW, but is also judged by the organization as well, and the contest is not completely limited to military personnel. The VFW also has several other financial aid programs available for military members; you should consider taking a look at their financial aid page.
The Samsung American Legion Scholarship
Amount: $300,000 (Split among around 100 students)
This scholarship program is operated by the American Legion and funded by Samsung to reward those who assisted Korea in the Korean War. Eligible applicants must be descendants of members of the American Legion who served in the Korean war as well as high school juniors who attended the boys or girls state of the American Legion Auxiliary. Students will be entered for a chance to win this scholarship when they join the Auxiliary.
Troops to Teachers Scholarship Program
Amount: Up to $10,000 as stipends to award those who teach at low-income schools or to help cover teacher certifications.
This scholarship is provided by the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense to guide and fund new military members educators for the next generation of Americans. It is only available to North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Montana, and Idaho residents who attend specific schools.
Professional Association Scholarships
CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program
Amount: Awards tuition, stipend, and provides funds for books, health insurance, travel, and professional development for up to two years.
Graduate: full tuition and fees, and a stipend of $34,000 per year for up to 3 years
Deadline: Applications open in January/February
This Georgetown University scholarship is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through CyberCorps. It provides students with funds to earn degrees that are critical for cyber security and in return students must agree to accept a position in government cyber security.
SIA RISE Scholarship
Amount: $3,000 (5 Awards)
The Security Industry Association’s RISE scholarships are presented to security professionals of the next generation as it is imperative these students get the training needed to assist them with their careers in cybersecurity. The recipients are given funding to complete academic programs and/or professional development courses.
NSF-Funded Scholarship Program
Amount: Full scholarship
The University of New Haven received a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to educate, train, and prepare the next generation of cyber security professionals to prevent cyber-attacks while working for the state, local, or federal government. It provides scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students studying computer science and cyber security. Students must agree to enter a career that involves cyber security while working for a government entity.
AFCEA Science, Cyber Security Scholarship for Undergraduate Students
Deadline: April 10
Only one application is required to be considered for all AFCEA Stem Major scholarships. Undergraduate applicants must be at least in their second year of college while enrolled as full-time sophomores or juniors in a four-year college or university when they apply. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.
Scholarships for Women in Cyber Security
Morphisec Scholarships for Women in Cyber Security
Amount: $1,000-$5,000 (3 Awards)
Deadline: June 15, 2020
Morphisec feels that women are underrepresented in the cyber security field and founded this annual scholarship program to encourage women to explore this career field. To be eligible, you must be a female studying Data Processing or Computer Science full-time at a two-year or four-year college or university.
ISC2 Foundation women’s cybersecurity scholarship
Amount: $1,000 - $6,000 (Up to 10 Awards)
Deadline: February 17
To be eligible for this scholarship program you must be a full or part-time student focusing or plan on pursuing a degree in information assurance or cyber security with a 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale. You do not have to be a US citizen and you can be attending college in any country.
Raytheon’s Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship Program
Amount: $10,000 (2 Awards)
This scholarship program is being offered by Raytheon’s in conjunction with the (ISC)² Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship Program. Up to three high school students or first-year college mid-career undergraduate professionals interested in changing career paths to information security or cyber security with a GPA of at least 3.2 will be awarded.
Women in Defense Scholarship
In affiliation with the National Defense Industrial Association, this scholarship is awarded annually to a student who demonstrates real-world participation and the highest academic achievement during a school year. Applicants must be a US Citizen with financial needs who wishes to achieve success in national security.
KnowBe4 Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship
Deadline: November 25
Recipient of the award must commit to a paid internship at the KnowBe4 corporate office in Clearwater, FL. Must be a female pursuing a degree focusing on information assurance or cyber security with a GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
Scholarships for Disabled Students
Anne Ford Scholarship
Amount: $10,000 ($2,500/year over four years)
The Anne Ford Scholarship is provided by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. It awards a high school student who has a documented learning disability and a 3.0 or above GPA who is enrolling as a full-time student in a college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Ruby’s Rainbow Scholarship
The founder Liz Plachta named this scholarship after her daughter, who has Down syndrome. This scholarship was created because Plachta believes that those with Down syndrome should not be deprived of an education. Applicants must provide a high school diploma transcript as well as two letters of recommendation, a photo of themselves, and an essay.
John Lepping Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is open to those with a disability who reside in Pennsylvania, New York, or New Jersey. Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement; submit three letters of recommendation, documents showing their disability status, and a written essay that details how their disability affects their school attendance.
Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Awards
Amount: $6,000 (3 Awards) - $2,000 (3 Awards)
Deadline: November 30
Only members with learning disabilities who are active subscribers of Learning Ally and have added at least one book to their bookshelf within the past year are eligible for this award. To apply, submit a video recording of yourself with a personal narrative on how Learning Ally changed your life, any awards or honors you achieved, a description of extracurricular activities or community services you committed to, a letter of recommendation, and official transcripts.
Ralph D. Norman Scholarship
Amount: $2,500 (3 Awards)
Deadline: March 31
Three senior students with learning disabilities graduating in Arkansas are awarded $2,500 scholarships annually. You must provide proof of learning disability and enrollment in a two-year community college, university, or a technical/vocational training program. Applicants must also demonstrate community service and be committed to higher education and success despite having a learning disability.
Graduate Students CS Scholarships
GW CyberCorps: Scholarships For Service
Amount: Full Scholarships plus $22,500 to $34,000 stipend each year
In order to be eligible for this scholarship program, GW students must be US citizens and graduate students with at least a 3.2 GPA. The program is also open to some full-time sophomores at Prince George's, Anne Arundel, and Northern Virginia Community Colleges.
(ISC)² Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship
Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
The (ISC)² Graduate Scholarship funding program offers between $1,000 and $5,000 per graduate student pursuing a degree focusing on information assurance or cybersecurity. You must be eligible to start doctoral studies or enter the first or second year of a master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5.
Graduate Information Security Scholarship
Deadline: August 1
Harmony Tech provides a $1,000 scholarship to students enrolled in information assurance, cyber security, or information security-focused graduate degree program.
Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship (Minority and women Students)
Deadline: April 10
The graduation date of the applicant must be in a year other than the year scholarship was awarded. Students must also have a GPA of at least 3.5 and also enrolled in an accredited college or university in their second trimester.
USGIF's Doctoral & Stu Shea Endowed Scholarship
The achievements of doctoral students studying geospatial sciences, GEOINT, or related fields are recognized by the USGIF Doctoral Scholarship Program. Preference is given to those working in or planning to pursue a career in the Intelligence or defense workforce.
Deadline: March 1
The African American Network – Carolinas Chapter provides scholarships to college-bound students from North and South Carolina who are pursuing a major in computer science fields. Eligible applicants must be North or South Carolina high school seniors planning to attend an accredited college or university in the Carolinas.
UNCF STEM Scholars Program
Amount: Up to $25,000
Deadline: March 19
This Unite Negro College Fund program support high achieving Black and African American high school students seeking education in STEM fields. Information science and computer science are eligible fields of study and this includes cyber security. Applicants must be permanent residents or US citizens with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Wells Fargo Undergraduate Scholarship
Amount: Up to $5,000 per Year
Deadline: May 1
Eligible applicants must be registered members of federally recognized tribes or Alaska Natives. Applicants must also have a 2.7 GPA or higher and can prove eligibility with a Tribal Eligibility Certificate (TEC).
Accenture American Indian Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 01
Accenture operates this scholarship program for First Nation students seeking degrees and education in computer sciences. Applicants must have a 3.25 GPA and be an incoming college first year student. Applicants can prove status with a Tribal Eligibility Certificate (TEC).
Great Minds in Stem Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 1
Applicants must be of Hispanic descent or be persons that significantly participates in and promote organizations or other activities in a Hispanic community. Applicants must pursue a qualifying major in STEM fields and IT and cyber security are qualifying fields.
Chicano Organizing & Research in Education (CORE) Que Llueva Cafe Scholarship
Deadline: March 14
The CORE organization sponsors this award aimed at undocumented, high school students. The award selects students that show academic promise and community engagement.
Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship
Deadline: September 30
Eligible applicants include members of minority groups underrepresented in technical fields such as cyber security. The program invites applications from Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan, or Hispanic communities. The awards are need-based
Esperanza Education Fund
Amount: $5,000-$20,000 (Over a 4-year time period)
Deadline: April 1
The Esperanza Fund Scholarship supports students born outside the US or children of parents born outside the US. The theme is to support the educational ambitions of a global community of immigrants. Many past awardees have been from Asian nations and the Pacific Islands. Eligible students will be graduating seniors at high schools in the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia or a recent GED graduates residing in DC, Maryland, or Virginia.
IT Women scholarship Program
Amount: $8,000 (Over 4 Years)
Deadline: February 15
Eligible applicants will be female, high school seniors graduating from schools in South Florida. The awards are four-year academic scholarships and information technology fields such as cyber security are eligible. Sponsored by the Women Across Technology, the scholarship supports efforts to increase women participation in earning information technology and engineering degrees.
Boule' Foundation Scholarship 2020
Deadline: March 16
Eligible applicants must be African American high school seniors graduating in the spring and attending college in the fall. Applicants can be citizens of the US or another country. The minimum GPA is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
NY State STEM Incentive Program
Amount: As much as SUNY undergrad tuition for residents of New York
Deadline: August 15
High school students or recent graduates that have not entered college may apply for this scholarship. Information security analysis is a field of study and occupation under this program. Students must agree to reside and work in New York State for five years after completion of their degrees.
Center for Cyber Safety and Education, Undergraduate Scholarships
Amount: $1,000-$5,000 per Recipient
Deadline: February 24
High school seniors are eligible applicants for the award. Awards go to applicants with a 3.3 GPA or higher. Applicants may be citizens of any country and attend college in the US or at an international institution.
Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest
Amount: $5,000 (15 Awards for High School Seniors) - $3,500 (15 Awards for Freshmen, Sophomores, or Juniors in College)
Deadline: February 29
High school seniors residing in an eligible state may apply. They must have a 2.0 GPA or higher, be enrolled in the 12th grade and plan to attend an accredited US college or university in the upcoming school year to receive the $5,000 award. Or they can be a freshman, sophomore, or junior in college in order to receive the $3,500 award.