In an increasingly dangerous world where global terrorism is a constant concern and natural disasters can strike at any time, homeland security scholarships are becoming popular to encourage qualified individuals towards a career keeping U.S. territories safe.
With more than 200,000 employees, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is one of the fastest-growing agencies in our nation's federal government. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there has been a growing need for professionals to specialize in homeland security and become the first-line of defense against various security threats.
If you're ready to leap into a career securing our borders, airports, seaports, and information infrastructure, then the following are 20 great scholarships that could help you afford your undergraduate or graduate homeland security degree.
1. AFCEA War Veterans Scholarships
Deadline: May 1st
Through the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA), the War Veterans Scholarships are granted annually for $2,000 apiece to active duty and honorably discharged U.S. military veterans who are studying in C41-related fields, including cyber security, homeland security, network security, and strategic intelligence. Qualified applicants must be attending classes full or part-time at an accredited four-year U.S. institution, be at least sophomores, and maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. With the online application, military personnel should submit two letters of recommendation, official college transcripts, and verification of service and/or discharge.
2. Al Ponte Graduate Scholarship Award
Deadline: July 1st
In honor of his active participation in the development and funding of programs, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) offers the Al Ponte Graduate Scholarship Award for $1,000 each year to outstanding students who are pursuing an advanced degree in homeland security with a focus in intelligence or international relations. Eligible candidates must be AFIO members or children of serving Intelligence personnel, be attending an accredited American graduate school, have U.S. citizenship, and wish to serve in the Intelligence community. Selection will be based on academic merit, moral character, relevance of studies to national security interests, and career ambitions.
3. Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship
Deadline: January 31st
Created by the Lint Center for National Security Studies Inc., the Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship is designed to provide $1,000 annually in honor of a United States Army Counterintelligence Special Agent and Bronze Star recipient who was killed in Ar Ramadi, Iraq in 2003. Qualified candidates must be attending an accredited U.S. institution to pursue scholastic study in counterintelligence, cultural understanding, homeland security, alliance building, or other closely related national security fields. Applicants must include a current resume, proof of enrollment, college transcripts, two recommendations, and an 800-word essay describing a critical national security issue.
4. ASIS Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: February 2nd
Annually, the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) Foundation offers six full-tuition scholarships for students seeking the opportunity to complete an online or on-campus degree program through the College of Criminal Justice and Security at the University of Phoenix. For consideration, candidates must meet all admission requirements for enrolling at least half-time in the university's undergraduate or master's programs in criminal justice administration, organizational security, cyber security, or global and homeland security. Preference will be given to current security practitioners who show evidence of dedication through participation in security-related professional associations and/or research.
5. CIA Graduate Scholarship Program
Deadline: October 15th
As the principal intelligence-gathering agency in the U.S. federal government, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hosts an annual Graduate Scholarship Program to grant up to $18,000 to graduate school students who agree to work at an Agency facility in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for at least 60 to 90 days before graduation. Eligible candidates must have U.S. citizenship, be over 18 years old, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, have full-time status, and exhibit financial need. Priority is given to minority and disabled students, but any individuals interested in working as intelligence professionals should apply.
CIA Graduate Scholarship Program
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20505
6. CTU Homeland Security Grant
Deadline: April 5th
At Colorado Technical University (CTU), the Homeland Security Grant is awarded annually for $5,000 to outstanding incoming students who are enrolling in the university's Master of Science in Homeland Security program full-time. Qualified candidates must be current or future experts in the field of homeland security, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, not be enrolled at the graduate military tuition rate, and be willing to write whitepapers on the topic of homeland security. In the application process, students must provide a letter of recommendation from a security-related employer and a 500-word essay explaining their future contributions to society.
7. CyberCorps Scholarship for Service
In collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Office of Personnel Management offers the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service to provide $20,000 for undergrad, $25,000 for master's-level, and $30,000 for doctoral-level students each year. Eligible applicants must be full-time college students within two years of graduation, be pursuing a homeland security degree focused on cyber security or information assurance, have U.S. citizenship, be able to obtain a security clearance, and meet all federal employment criteria. Recipients will complete an internship in the Washington DC metropolitan area to strengthen their skills in protecting the nation's critical information infrastructure.
8. David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships
Deadline: February 4th
Sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), the David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships are granted annually for up to $20,000 apiece to exemplary students pursuing a degree focused on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Eligible undergraduates must have U.S. citizenship, be attending an accredited American post-secondary institution, and agree to work in a federal government position for the Departments of Defense or Homeland Security. Applicants must be applying in a study abroad experience in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East.
9. DHS Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 5th
Each year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosts a scholarship program to provide up to $5,000 to outstanding undergraduate students pursuing bachelor's degrees in the homeland security field. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens, be able to hold a security clearance, have obtained sophomore or junior-level standing, and agree to a one-year service commitment at a DHS-approved facility upon graduation. Completed application forms must include two reference letters, official college transcripts, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a personal essay defining a research interest that's relevant to the DHS mission.
10. Janet Dilling and Robert McDaniel Scholarship
Deadline: March 20th
At Florida State University, the Janet Dilling and Robert McDaniel Scholarship has been created to cover the full costs of four undergraduate or five graduate courses for active duty service members or veterans from any branch of the U.S. military who are enrolling in the university's Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) program. Qualified applicants must be accepted for enrollment, have good academic standing with a GPA of 2.5 or above, and have clear career goals in emergency management and/or homeland security. With the application, students should provide a one-page personal statement, unofficial transcripts, and one professional letter of recommendation.
11. Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship
Deadline: July 31st
In the amount of $1,500, the Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship is presented annually through the Lint Center for National Security Studies Inc. to help further the education of college students in counterintelligence, homeland security, international affairs, national defense, alliance building, and other security-related areas. For consideration, candidates must prepare an 800-word essay fully explaining one of the concepts of the Lint Center, which will be judged on scholarly rigor, creativity, and innovation. Applicants who do not win the scholarship will be automatically considered for the Virginia and Frank Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship.
Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship
737 Flowing Meadow Drive
Henderson, NV 89014
12. Mr. Jack McCoy Scholarship
Deadline: July 31st
Also administered through the Lint Center for National Security Studies, the Mr. Jack McCoy Scholarship was established to provide $1,500 in honor of a beloved Korean War veteran who was been a great representative of America to foreign college students in Oklahoma City. To qualify, candidates must be accepted or currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution to pursue studies related to international affairs, counterintelligence, homeland security, and other areas of national security. Applications will not be complete without an 800-word essay discussing the topic of how diplomatic approaches can be used to solve world problems.
Mr. Jack McCoy Scholarship
737 Flowing Meadow Drive
Henderson, NV 89014
13. National HS-STEM Summer Internship
Deadline: January 5th
Offering a sizeable $5,000 stipend, the National HS-STEM Summer Internship program is administered through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for undergraduate juniors and seniors who are majoring in any science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field with a clear career interest in homeland security. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens, be able to obtain a security clearance, be at least 18 years old, maintain full-time enrollment at an accredited four-year university, and have a minimum overall GPA of 3.3. Recipients will spend 10 consecutive weeks working with DHS homeland security professionals and researchers.
14. National Security Scholars Program
Deadline: October 3rd
Through the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), the National Security Scholars Program (NSSP) is hosted annually to provide up to $20,000 to students attending I-Fund member colleges for receiving a degree in national or homeland security. All applicants must be U.S. citizens, have sophomore or junior-level standing, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, have earned at least 24 college credits, and be available for an in-person interview in November. Successful recipients will participate in a summer internship in the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area for hands-on experience collecting, processing, and disseminating intelligence information about national security issues.
15. Peter Jasin Endowed Scholarships
Deadline: July 1st
Within the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), the Peter Jasin Endowed Scholarships are awarded each year for $4,000 to six college students who are further developing their career in counterterrorism, homeland security, intelligence, counterintelligence, national security, and other intelligence-related disciplines. Qualified candidates must be enrolled full-time as undergraduate or graduate students, attend accredited U.S. institutions, have taken courses related to national security studies, and have the overall goal of serving in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Applications must include a cover letter, current resume, copy of academic transcripts, letter of recommendation, and recent photograph.
16. Secure Indiana Scholarship Program
Deadline: July 1st
Established by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), the Secure Indiana Scholarship Program will offer $1,000 to part-time and $2,000 to full-time undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree related to homeland security, emergency management, public safety, or law enforcement. Applicants must be attending an accredited Indiana college, have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and be actively involved in volunteer service at an in-state public safety organization. For consideration, applications will require an official transcript, letter of recommendation, current resume, and 500-word essay describing how candidates will support the state's critical security needs.
17. Terrorism Studies Graduate Scholarship Award
Deadline: September 15th
In honor of the many alumni members who decided in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Terrorism Studies Graduate Scholarship Award is offered for $2,000 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to budding homeland security professionals enrolled full or part-time in at least one Terrorism Studies course each semester. Eligible candidates must have at least nine graduate degree credits, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.3, and write a 500-word personal essay describing how graduate education can contribute to their prevention of terrorism. Recipients will be expected to complete an on-site 40-hour internship at the Center on Terrorism.
18. Victoria Ovis Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: July 1st
In memory of her 30-year law enforcement career with the United States Customs Service and the Department of Homeland Security, the Victoria Ovis Memorial Scholarship is granted annually by the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children's Foundation (NLEAFCF) for up to $2,500. Eligible recipients must reside in New York State, have been the child or adopted child of a law enforcement officer or firefighter, be pursuing an undergraduate degree at any accredited American institution, maintain full-time enrollment, have a minimum overall GPA of 2.7, and have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. Preference is given to those majoring in criminology, pre-law, homeland security, or law enforcement.
19. William J. Yankee Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: June 1st
In honor of the leader of the U.S. Defense Department's Army Polygraph School who trained polygraphers for the FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies, the William J. Yankee Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $5,000 through the American Polygraph Association (APA). Eligible applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. university, plan to attend an APA-accredited basic polygraph examiner training course, and be pursuing a career related to national security or law enforcement. Candidates should submit two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a 1,000-word essay describing how interrogation and interviewing tactics will improve their career.
20. Women in Defense Horizons Scholarships
Deadline: July 15th
Since 1990, the Women in Defense (WID) National Security Organization has been providing the Horizons Scholarships for $3,000 to $18,000 apiece to encourage outstanding women who are pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees related to cyber security, government relations, international relations, homeland security, political science, and national security. Qualified female applicants must be currently enrolled at an accredited U.S. institution, have obtained at least junior-level status, exhibit financial need, carry a minimum GPA of 3.25, have U.S. citizenship, be WID members, and demonstrate a clear interest in a career in national security or defense.
There's no limit to career opportunities for homeland security degree holders in mission support, law enforcement, border patrol, cyber security, customs protection, transportation security, and other areas of defense. Since tuition prices continue to steadily climb, it's important for you to reap a good value from your homeland security degree by uncovering financial aid resources that won't need to be repaid. Consider applying to some of these great homeland security scholarships to finance your education and start protecting your fellow American citizens.