Men and women who continually risk their lives to serve and protect our nation's citizens deserve the utmost respect, so it's no surprise that there are a multitude of law enforcement scholarships available across America to give back to these heroes.
While formal post-secondary education isn't always necessary, earning a law enforcement degree is a smart move for officers looking to build the skills needed for eventual promotion. Law enforcement training programs offer the rewarding opportunity to serve the community, help people make better choices, and save lives literally every day.
If you've always appreciated the sacrifice and hard work of law enforcement professionals, the following are 20 great scholarships available for you to follow in their footsteps and earn your badge.
1. Alphonso Deal Scholarship Award
Deadline: May 16th
Sponsored by the National Black Police Association (NBPA), the Alphonso Deal Scholarship Award is granted annually for $1,000 to male and female students of color who are pursuing higher educational training in law enforcement for the betterment of the criminal justice system. Qualified candidates must be graduating high school seniors, have U.S. citizenship, display good character, be accepted for full-time enrollment at an accredited two-year American university, and seek to become a police officer. Along with the application, students should submit one letter of recommendation, a high school transcript, and proof of admissions.
Alphonso Deal Scholarship Award
3100 Main Street Suite 256
Dallas, TX 75226
2. Auxiliary Police Officer Eugene Marshalik Scholarship
Deadline: March 21st
In honor of a law enforcement officer who was gunned down in Greenwich Village in 2007 while chasing a deranged criminal, the Auxiliary Police Officer Eugene Marshalik Scholarship is granted through the New York City Police Foundation as a four-year award. Eligible applicants must be pursuing a bachelor's degree at any accredited school in the CUNY system, have a declared major in law enforcement or criminal justice, and maintain good academic standing. Applications must include an official high school transcript, one recommendation, financial aid reports, and a one-page essay describing candidates' aspirations within law enforcement.
3. Brian Klinefelter Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Established in memory of a St. Joseph Police Officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty during an armed robbery near Albany in 1996, the Brian Klinefelter Foundation offers an annual $1,000 scholarship for students in the law enforcement training program at Alexandria Technical and Community College. Applicants must be entering their first or second year of studies, maintain good academic standing, and display a potential for starting a valuable career in law enforcement service. For consideration, candidates must complete an online application, submit a recent transcript, and attach two letters of recommendation before the deadline.
Brian Klinefelter Memorial Scholarship
1517 Pebble Creek Drive
Sartell, MN 56377
4. Captain James J. Regan Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
In collaboration with the National Technical Investigators' Association, the Captain James J. Regan Memorial Scholarship is offered through Learning for Life to provide $500 merit-based awards to two graduating high school seniors participating in any law enforcement explorer program. Qualified candidates must be enrolling full-time in an accredited college program, be pursuing a major related to law enforcement or criminal justice, have clear interests in the area of technical surveillance, and show leadership abilities. Applications must be accompanied by three letters of recommendation, high school transcripts, and a 250-word essay describing how technology affects law enforcement today.
5. David M. Cline Scholarship
Deadline: January 31st
Through the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, the David M. Cline Scholarship has been established in honor of a former Board member who served over 20 years and made great strides as a staunch supporter of wildlife and natural resources in the Palmetto State. For this $2,000 award, applicants must be graduating high school seniors, reside in South Carolina, be accepted for enrollment in an in-state institution, plan to major in law enforcement or criminal justice, and demonstrate a clear interest in tying law enforcement into protecting the state's marine resources. Completed applications include autobiographies, high school transcripts, standardized testing scores, recent photographs, and personal essays.
6. Irlet Anderson Scholarship Award
Deadline: April 15th
As part of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Irlet Anderson Scholarship Award is presented annually for $3,500 to a deserving graduating high school senior in the United States who is committed to receiving a degree in law enforcement or criminal justice. Eligible candidates must be accepted at an accredited American institution, have U.S. citizenship, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.8, display financial need, and plan to become a sworn law enforcement officer. Students should submit an application with a current school transcript, two recommendation letters, and a one-page essay stating their career goals.
7. Kentucky Association of Chiefs Scholarship
Deadline: September 15th
Annually, the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police hosts a scholarship program to provide $500 awards to currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing a major in criminal justice, law enforcement, or police administration at an accredited in-state institution. Qualified applicants must be Kentucky residents, maintain full-time enrollment status, demonstrate solid academic ability, exhibit high moral character, and write a personal statement explaining why they've chosen a career path in law enforcement. Preference will be given to the family members of current or retired Kentucky law enforcement officers.
8. Kevin Riordan Presidential Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
Administered by the Maine Police Emerald Society (MPES) in honor of its long-time President, the Kevin Riordan Presidential Scholarship is awarded annually for $500 to one deserving student currently pursuing post-secondary education in a law enforcement-related program of study. Eligible recipients must have graduated from a Maine high school, be attending an accredited in-state college, maintain full-time enrollment in a law enforcement major, and show leadership responsibilities in community service activities. Along with the application form, students should include an official high school transcript signed by their guidance counselor and a 500-word essay outlining their career goals in law enforcement.
Kevin Riordan Presidential Scholarship
P.O. Box 1445
Scarborough, ME 04070
9. NASSLEO Past President Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Each year, the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officials (NASSLEO) awards the Past President Scholarship for $1,000 to an exemplary high school senior who is planning to pursue a degree in law enforcement to potentially specialize their career in the school security field. Qualified applicants must be graduating from a public high school in the United States, be accepted for full-time enrollment at an accredited American college, be actively involved in community service, and carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Preference will be given to candidates who have shown their commitment by working with a local law enforcement agency.
NASSLEO Past President Scholarship
4474 West Road Suite 257
Davie, FL 33331
(905) 890-0708 ext. 23278
10. Nate Bruckenthal Memorial Scholarship
Within the Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Foundation (CGTLE), the Nate Bruckenthal Memorial Scholarship was created to provide $10,000 annually in honor of a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004. Eligible applicants must be active duty or honorably discharged veterans authorized with the Tactical Law Enforcement insignia designation, be pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree at an accredited U.S. institution, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.25, and demonstrate the core values of honor and respect. Recipients will also receive periodic professional support from CGTLE and an opportunity for a law enforcement internship.
11. Officer Chad Spicer Heroes Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
In memory of a police officer from Georgetown, Delaware who was killed in the line of duty in 2009, the Ronnie Williams Foundation has created the Officer Chad Spicer Heroes Scholarship to award $1,000 to high school seniors from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania who are pursuing a career in law enforcement. Qualified candidates must be attending an accredited U.S. institution, major in criminal justice or law enforcement, maintain full-time enrollment status, and possess a minimum overall GPA of 2.5. Students must supply a high school transcript, three reference letters, and a 500-word essay discussing a hometown hero who has inspired them.
Officer Chad Spicer Heroes Scholarship
P.O. Box 5811
Wilmington, DE 19808
12. O'Grady-Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 15th
Named in honor of two tragically slain police officers who gave their full measure of duty during the Brink's Robbery of 1981, the O'Grady-Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund will provide annual awards to graduating high school seniors and/or matriculated undergraduate students earning degrees directly related to law enforcement. Eligible applicants must be accepted into an accredited U.S. institution, possess a strong academic record, be actively involved in extra-curricular clubs or service, display good moral character, have significant financial need, and be dedicated to pursuing a life of public service in law enforcement.
13. Out to Protect Scholarships
Deadline: May 22nd
Ranging in value from $500 to $1,000, the Out to Protect Scholarships are presented annually to deserving individuals who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LBGTQ) and are pursuing a career in law enforcement. Eligible candidates must be entering an approved basic law enforcement training program, be willing to be a visible role model against homophobia in law enforcement, and show strong potential as a law enforcement officer. Within the application form, applicants will be required to provide an official transcript, supply at least two references from academy staff, and write a short essay describing their "coming out" experience.
14. Patrick L. Hiram- John S. Freitas Scholarship
Deadline: March 20th
Administered through the Pauahi Foundation, the Patrick L. Hiram- John S. Freitas Scholarship is granted annually for $2,000 to one deserving undergraduate student who is currently pursuing a degree full-time in law enforcement to start a career in probation, police service, or another closely related field. Qualified students must reside in Hawaii or California, have Hawaiian ancestry, exhibit financial need, be attending an accredited two or four-year institution, and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8. With the application, candidates should submit two letters of recommendation and their FAFSA forms.
15. Peter J. Lavery Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 1st
In remembrance of a 17-year veteran of the Newington Police Department who was fatally shot in 2004 while responding to a domestic disturbance call, the Peter J. Lavery Scholarship Fund is offered annually to children of Newington Police Officers as well as seniors attending Newington High School, Berlin High School, or other local high schools. To receive up to $2,000, eligible candidates must be entering the field of law enforcement or criminal justice, plan to enroll full-time in an accredited Connecticut institution, have good academic standing verified by a transcript, and submit a short personal essay addressing future goals in law enforcement.
16. Police Corps Scholarships
Across 27 participating states nationwide, the U.S. Department of Justice offers the Police Corps Scholarships to award up to $30,000 to physically, mentally, and emotionally fit individuals who are interested in starting a law enforcement career by joining their rigorous residential Police Corps training. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens, be enrolling in an accredited four-year college, not have prior sworn law enforcement experience, and plan to earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant study area. In exchange for the funding, recipients must agree to serve at least four years as a patrol officer with a designated agency in great need.
17. Roger Castillo Perseverance Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
In memory of a Miami-Dade Police Department Detective who was killed in the line of duty while serving a warrant in 2011, the Roger Castillo Perseverance Scholarship is granted for $1,000 annually through the Police Officer Assistance Trust (POAT) to graduating male high school seniors from Miami-Dade, Broward, or Monroe counties. To qualify, candidates must be sons of sworn law enforcement officers in Miami-Dade County, be pursuing a degree related to law enforcement or criminal justice at an accredited Florida college, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and exhibit Castillo's characteristics of integrity and perseverance.
18. Thomas J. Deniston Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 14th
Sponsored by the Indiana Conservation Officer Organization (ICOO), the Thomas J. Deniston Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year for $1,000 to outstanding graduating high school seniors or currently enrolled undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree in law enforcement or conservation law. Qualified individuals must reside within Indiana, be attending an accredited in-state college, and be planning a career as a conservation officer. Applications must be accompanied by a personal 500-word statement, high school transcript, list of extra-curricular activities, two signed letters of recommendation, and proof of U.S. citizenship.
19. Vance International Inc. Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Funded by Chuck Vance, a former U.S. Secret Service agent and founder of a private security firm in Oakton, the Vance International Inc. Scholarship is administered through the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia (CFNOVA) to give between $500 to $2,000 annually. Eligible recipients must reside within Northern Virginia, be actively pursuing a career in law enforcement or security, be majoring in any area related to the administration or justice, attend an accredited U.S. university full or part-time, and maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5. For consideration, students should submit an online application with a transcript and two recommendations.
20. WPPA Scholarship Program
Deadline: February 1st
The Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA) hosts an annual scholarship program to award up to $1,500 to deserving graduating high school seniors who will be enrolling in an accredited college or technical school to receive a two or four-year degree in police science, criminal justice, law enforcement, or another closely related field. Qualified candidates must reside within Wisconsin, be in good academic standing, enclose three professional letters of recommendation, attach an official transcript, and create a 200-word typewritten essay outlining their specific career interests in the law enforcement arena.
Whether you're interested in leading a local law enforcement agency or dreaming big for a high-level position within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), earning a degree related to law enforcement can give you the professional credibility needed to get there. Luckily, you'll qualify for a broad variety of financial aid resources set aside specifically for future defenders of our nation's security. Consider applying to one or more of these excellent law enforcement scholarships to finance your education for a rewarding career of public service.