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 (highlighted in blue) 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: (1) CySP recipients do not conduct a job search (they receive a job at a DoD agency along with their scholarship); (2) CySP recipients can potentially receive more years of funding (5 years, compared to 3 for SFS); (3) CySP recipients must re-apply each year for scholarship renewal; and (4) the initial CySP application is longer and more detailed. In 2020, the national acceptance rate for applicants to the CySP scholarship was 20%; in 2021, it was 14%.
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.
In January 2022, the DoD CySP program will accept applications from WPI sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students studying cybersecurity for full scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year. Applications must be submitted to Beckley Schowalter, WPI’s SFS Program Manager, by early February. The exact date will be posted here in December 2021. Please email Beckley (bwschowalter at wpi dot edu) if you have any questions or to discuss the application process. Application forms are below in the CySP Application section.
- Full tuition and fees
- Monthly stipend totaling $25,000 for undergraduates or $30,000 for MS/PhD students
- Employment at a DoD agency (plus a summer internship, prior to graduation) in cybersecurity or information assurance
- Reimbursement for textbooks and a laptop (up to $1,500)
- CySP recipients agree to work for DoD and are given a job at a DoD agency
- After graduating, recipients work for DoD for the same number of years for which they were funded (e.g., a one-year scholarship = one year of required DoD employment)
- Applicants may express a preference for a particular DoD agency, but placement there is not guaranteed; recipients must be willing to move anywhere in the country
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+)
2021 CySP Application:
[These were the instructions for 2021 applicants.]
Submit a complete application on paper to Beckley Schowalter in Fuller 243 no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 4, 2021. Please leave your materials in the drop box on the wall outside Fuller 243 if there is no one in the office.
Before you apply, please read this Application Background document from DoD.
To apply, follow these steps:
- Read through the CySP application and the extra page of instructions.
- Request an official copy of your transcript from the registrar (a paper copy, delivered to you, and submitted in a sealed envelope with your application).
- Email your two references with a recommendation request. Provide these recommendation instructions to each person. 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. Recommendations can be emailed to Beckley Schowalter at the address below. They are due by 5:00 p.m. on February 4, along with the rest of your application.
- Create a custom resume for your CySP application, no longer than two pages, using the DoD CySP Resume Template. You must use the format in this template. Feel free to seek feedback on your resume from the CDC or from the WPI CySP coordinator.
- Complete the following additional documents: (1) a list of your Awards, Honors & Distinctions and (2) your Supplemental Competency Statement. Instructions are included in the application.
- 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.
- Fill out the CySP application electronically, then print it. Sign and initial the appropriate sections in blue ink.
- Assemble your complete application when you have received your official transcript and recommendation letters. Order the documents according to the application instructions, then place the WPI forms at the end (Statement of Interest, Record Release, and Obligation Acknowledgement). Do not staple any pages. Please SIGN each page.
- Hand-deliver your complete application to Beckley Schowalter in Fuller 243.
For More Information:
Contact Beckley Schowalter, bwschowalter at wpi dot edu, FL 243