WPI students pursuing a career in cybersecurity may consider applying for the following government scholarships. You may apply to one, or both. If you apply to both, the DoD CySP scholarship must be your priority (if it is awarded to you, you are obligated to accept it).
CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS)
If you’re a U.S. citizen and would be willing to work for the government for a few years after graduation, you could have 1 to 3 years of your degree fully funded by the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program. Undergraduates can apply in the winter of their sophomore year, at the earliest, for a scholarship beginning in their junior year. Graduate students are also eligible to apply. You must be studying cybersecurity in Computer Science, ECE, or a related field. The application deadline is February 28. Visit the URL above (in blue letters) for detailed information on SFS.
DoD Cybersecurity Program (DoD CySP)
If you’re a U.S. citizen and would be willing to work for the Department of Defense for a few years after graduation, as a civilian employee, you could have 1 to 5 years of your education (including one or more degrees) fully funded by the DoD Cybersecurity Program. This scholarship is similar to SFS in eligibility, benefits, and service obligation. The primary differences are:
- CySP recipients do not conduct a job search (they receive a job at a DoD agency along with their scholarship);
- CySP recipients can potentially receive more years of funding (5 years, compared to 3 for SFS);
- CySP recipients must re-apply each year for scholarship renewal; and
- The stipends are slightly different: the CySP stipend is $29,000 for undergraduates and $34,000 for graduate students, while the SFS stipend is $27,000 for undergraduates and $37,000 for graduate students.
In recent years, the national acceptance rate for applicants to the CySP scholarship has ranged from 14% to 20%.
Note: CySP scholarship funding is contingent on both a successful application from the student and a successful grant proposal to DoD from the WPI faculty and staff who will administer the award.
Starting in November 2023, the DoD CySP program will accept applications from WPI sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students studying cybersecurity for full scholarships for the 2024-2025 academic year. Applications are submitted online through the DoD CySP application platform. The application deadline is February 1, 2024. Please email Beckley Schowalter (bwschowalter at wpi dot edu) if you have any questions or to discuss the application process. The application link is below in the CySP Application section.
- Full tuition and fees
- Monthly stipend during the academic year that totals $29,000 for undergraduates or $34,000 for MS/PhD students
- Employment at a DoD agency (plus a summer internship, prior to graduation) in cybersecurity or information assurance
- Coverage of WPI Student Health Insurance
- Reimbursement for textbooks (up to $1,000) and a laptop (up to $1,650)
- CySP recipients agree to work for DoD and are given a job at a DoD agency; recipients must be willing to move anywhere in the country
- After graduating, recipients work for DoD for the same number of years for which they were funded (e.g., a two-year scholarship = two years of required DoD employment)
- Applicants may express a preference for a particular DoD agency, but placement there is not guaranteed
To be eligible, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- At least 18 years old
- Enrolled for full-time academic study
- Studying a technical or managerial discipline related to cybersecurity
- A rising junior or senior with a GPA of 3.2 or higher, OR: a grad student with a GPA of 3.5 or higher
- Able to obtain a security clearance (clean disciplinary record)
- Free of any service obligation to another employer
- Registered for the U.S. Selective Service (for males age 18+)
2024 CySP Application:
There are two steps to the application process: (1) apply online to the national DoD CySP program using their application platform, and (2) email additional materials to the WPI committee that oversees DoD CySP applications from WPI students. Both steps must be completed no later than 11:59 p.m. on February 1, 2024. Instructions are below.
Instructions for Step 1:
- Download your transcript from Workday, including your most recent grades (B Term 2023). You can include either an official or unofficial copy of your transcript in your application.
- Email two people to request references. Give each person these recommendation instructions and a deadline of January 31, 2024 (or earlier). One recommender must be a current WPI faculty member who has had you in class. The second recommender can be a current/former WPI faculty member or a current/former employer who is familiar with your computing and cybersecurity skills. Each person must email their reference letter to you, and you will upload those files to your online application. Recommenders do not have the option of keeping their letters private from you.
- Update your resume. You will not upload it to your application, but you’ll use it to answer questions within the application about your employment experience, honors, relevant coursework, etc.
- Now you’re ready to begin your online application. Open this link and create an account to access the application platform. Then begin filling out the application form. Save your login information so you can come and go from your account: you can edit your application anytime before the deadline. (If you change your mind and no longer wish to apply, click the “Withdraw” button on your application home page to delete your application.)
- Upload your transcript to the application, and upload your references when you receive them.
- Submit your completed application before the deadline.
Instructions for Step 2:
- Write a Statement of Interest for the WPI faculty and staff who will review your application. This is a 1- to 2-page document describing your experience and interest in cybersecurity, your broader career goals, aspects of DoD work that do (and do not) interest you, and why are you are applying for this scholarship.
- Print and sign the top portion of the WPI Record Release Form.
- Print and sign this Obligation Acknowledgement Form.
- Email these three files to Beckley Schowalter (bwschowalter at wpi dot edu) before the deadline.
For More Information:
Contact Beckley Schowalter, bwschowalter at wpi dot edu, FL 243