Computer Forensic Scholarships 2020

What are Computer Forensic Scholarships?

Computer forensic scholarships are a kind of financial aid that you do not repay. Like a grant, it is money that might offset the cost of a college or grad degree.

A digital forensics focus studies the ways to track down legal evidence. Then, applies these practices to examine hard drives, CDs, JPEGs and software. This work also involves methods that protect systems from breaches. And ones that recover files to then serve as evidence in court cases.

As such, it may fall under a few different tech focused majors. Like computer science, IT, cyber security, criminal justice or electronic engineering. If you are studying any of these fields, you might qualify for a computer forensic scholarship. That said, there are computer forensic scholarships for high school, college and grad students alike.

How do I apply for a Computer Forensic Scholarship?

To apply for a computer forensic scholarship, you must qualify with a provider’s criteria. Common are criteria such as US citizenship or legal permanent resident status. You may also need proof that you are a current full time student, in an accredited school.

To arrive at a decision, some committees look at financial need. Others, at your academics or a blend of both.When based on need, you may need to fill out a FAFSA. Or, Free Application for Federal Student Aid. And some providers may instead ask for tax forms.

Apart from a digital forensics major, you may need to meet an acceptable GPA range. And some forms also want copies of your SAT or ACT scores too. A complete application is also likely to ask for letters of reference, a statement of your goals, essay and resume. Once you have this material ready, you’ll have to send it by the deadline.

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Why Should I Apply for Computer Forensic Scholarships?

A computer forensics scholarship may be useful if your goal is a four year degree.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the cost a degree in computer and information systems security is on the rise. It now costs an average of $6,826 per year if you study in state at a private school. But even more expensive if you study out of state at a private school ($28,890).

Expertise in digital forensics may provide flexible skills, opportunity and above average earning potential. The fast growing field of digital forensics spans jobs related to info security, firewalls, networks, databases, and mobile devices. Many workers in these fields report average annual salaries of $86,320 which is more than the norm.

Once you graduate, there may be many possible paths. While there is an uptick in cyber crime, there is also a shortage of skilled labor. The gap is so large that industry expert (ISC)2 says the cyber workforce needs to grow by 145% to close it.

Apart from investigative skills, computer forensics specialists tend to need a bachelors degree, if not a masters. So, this may be one option.

Top Computer Forensic Scholarships for 2020

We’ve compiled a list of computer forensic scholarships you can apply for in 2020. Make sure to check the deadlines and apply early.

#1 AFCEA Cyber Security Scholarship

The AFCEA Educational Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. A member agency, the AFCEA provides a forum for military, government and industry groups to network. One of the programs they offer is a Cyber security Scholarship a $5,000 award.

It is available to undergrads in at least the second year of college as sophomores or juniors. As long as the the expected graduation date is not in the year the scholarship is awarded.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a full time student enrolled in a four year accredited U.S. college or university at the time you apply
  • Studying one of these majors: Cyber security, computer science, digital forensics, Info assurance, IT, electronic engineering or a field that supports US cyber business
  • Your expected graduation date  cannot be in the year the scholarship is awarded
  • Have a current overall GPA of 3.0 or higher 
  • Must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Resident

Applicants may apply online or by mail. A complete application includes transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a statement of goals and synopsis of what your degree program is about.

Deadline: April 10, 2020

#2 Heinlein Society Scholarships

The Heinlein Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. It runs programs that honor and pay forward the legacy of renowned writer Robert Anson Heinlein.

For the 8th year, the society runs an essay contest that awards three full time undergrads $2,500 each.

Each of the three scholarships has a different name. The “Virginia Heinlein Memorial Scholarship” is for a female candidate majoring in engineering, math, or biological or physical sciences. The Yoji Kondo and Jerry Pournelle scholarships may be awarded to a candidate of any gender, and add “Science Fiction as literature” as an eligible field of study. To be eligible, you must be attenting an accredited college that confers a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) degree. 

Applicants apply online and must write a 500 to 1000 word essay that answers prompted questions.

Deadline: April 1, 2020

#3 Stokes Educational Scholarship Program

The Stokes Educational Scholarship Program is available through the National Security Agency (NCA). It is open to high school seniors, particularly minority students. As long as you plan to major in computer science or computer / electrical engineering.

With the Stokes Program, you will attend college full-time, then work during the summer at NSA’s HQ in Fort Meade, Maryland for at least 12 weeks in areas related to your course of study. Along with this real world experience, you get a salary year round. Plus, once you graduate college, the NSA promises you a job.

Among the benefits, the Stokes Program pays up to  $30,000 towards tuition and mandatory fees. If eligible, you also get a housing and travel stipend for your working summer. Beyond these things, you get paid time off, health and life insurance and federal retirement plan.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • A US citizen or
  • Able to be granted a security clearance
  • Have an unweighted GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A High School Senior at the time of application
  • Have  SAT/College Board Score of 1200 (600 Reading and Writing AND 600 Math) or ACT score of 25
  • Majoring in either Computer Science or Computer/Electrical Engineering

Applicants must submit an online application and hardcopy documents during or before the application period. And it begins in late summer / early fall. Your package must include a resume and one page essay on why you want a career at NSA. You must also send in official high school transcrips, two letters of reference and proof of SAT or ACT scores.

Deadline: Applications each year run from September 1st through November 15th

#4 CIA Undergraduate Scholarship

The CIA is the Central Intelligence Agency. One of the opportunities they offer is the Undergraduate Scholarship Program. It is a financial needs based initiative that offers a monetary award in exchange for a job after graduation.

With the CIA’s scholarship, recipients attend an accredited US college full time. Then work for the Agency on summer breaks in a job related to the major. If selected, the program pays up to $18,000 per year for tuition, mandatory fees, and books. For STEM field positions, it goes to $25,000 per calendar year. Other benefits include a daily stipend for meals and incidentals, as well as transport between DC and your school while in your summer job. Apart from this, you get an annual salary, health and life insurance, federal retirement plan, paid time off, sick and holiday leave.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • A US citizen or dual national US citizen
  • 18 years old by date of application
  • Have a 1000 SAT score or 21 ACT score or higher
  • Accepted at a 4 year college / university; or pursuing undergraduate degree as a full time student and enrolled in, or planning to take, at least 12 credits per semester
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale for high school and/or college
  • Available to work at least one 90-day summer tour prior to graduation and willingness to work at CIA full time after graduation
  • Preferred applicants show genuine interest in helping promote the CIA mission. If you know a second language, have leadership qualities and relevant job experience, these may be useful too.

Once you graduate, you must work at the Agency for a period equal to 1.5 times the length of the college sponsorship you got from CIA. If you leave earlier, you will have to reimburse the US government for tuition. All positions entail that you also relocate to the Washington, DC Metropolitan area during summer work tours.

To apply, you fill out an application on the provider website. A complete package includes a cover sheer, tax returns, unofficial transcripts, resume, and acceptance letter from a 4 year college. All applicants must also successfully pass a thorough medical and psychological exam, polygraph interview and full background check

Deadline: June 15, 2020

#5 CIA Graduate Studies Scholarship

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) runs a Graduate Studies Scholarship. It s a financial need based program for grad students who want to work summers in Washington, DC. While they pursue their degree at an accredited college or university during the school year. And, is open to students about to enter grad school, current grad students and doctoral students.

In this program, you will perform work related to your college major. Apart from a year round salary, you may get up to $18,000 per year for tuition, fees, books and supplies. Or, if you major in STEM fields and will work in select CIA STEM positions, you may get up to $25,000 per year. All scholarship recipients are eligible for health insurance, paid time off and more.

Graduate scholarship participants must work for at least one 90 day session before graduation. And, be employed by the CIA after graduation for a period of 1.5 years for each year of paid scholarship.

To apply, you fill out an application on the provider website. A complete package includes a cover sheer, tax returns, unofficial transcripts, resume, and acceptance letter from a 4 year college. All applicants must also successfully pass a thorough medical and psychological exam, polygraph interview and full background check

Deadline: June 15, 2020

#6 National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service (SFS)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS). It aligns with the US National Cyber Strategy policy to develop a cyber workforce. NSF grants go to colleges and universities, so you must be attending a partner school to apply.

This program provides scholarships for up to 3 years of support for cybersecurity undergrad and grad (MS or PhD) degrees. In return for a scholarship, you must agree to work after graduation for the U.S. Government. The job will be in a position related to cyber security, for a period equal to the length of the scholarship.

Deadline: July 31, 2020

#7 NCFTA Cyber Scholars Scholarship Program

The National Cyber Forensics Training Alliance (NCFTA) is a non profit. To further their mission to develop a skilled cyber workforce, they offer a Cyber Scholars Scholarship program.  While the number of recipients vary each year, scholarships are in the amount of $1,000.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • Pursuing a degree with a focus on cyber / IT security, info assurance, intelligence analysis of a related area
  • Enrolled in an accredited US school as an undergrad or grad student
  • US citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Enrolled full time or taking at least 2 courses at a time

Applicants must complete an online form. And must send in unofficial transcript of proof of enrollment, resume, proof of citizenship, reference letter and personal statement.

Deadline: June 15, 2020

#8 Barry Goldwater Scholarship

In 1986, Congress set up the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. It honors its namesake, the late Senator Barry Goldwater. Senator Goldwater served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman. The program aims to support the next generation of STEM leaders and is prestigious.

Scholarships are in amounts of up to $7,500 a year. One can use these funds to help cover costs like tuition, mandatory fees, books, room and board. A sophomore who receives a Goldwater Scholarship will receive up to $7,500 in each of his / her junior and senior years. A junior who receives a Goldwater Scholarship will receive up to $7,500 in his/her senior year. A few candidates who show promise will not get funds, but will get an Honorable Mention.

To take part in the program, an accredited 2 and 4 year school must first have a Goldwater Campus Representative with the Foundation. If so, they may nominate up to four students each year. A four  year school may nominate a 5th student if one or more of the nominated students is a transfer student. No direct student applications or nominations by campuses without a Goldwater Campus Representative will be considered.

You must also:

  • Be a full time matriculated junior or senior at an accredited 2 or 4 year school
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Intend to pursue a research career in natural science, math, computer info sciences or engineering
  • Be a US citizen, US national or legal permanent resident

Once nominated, candidates submit their research project details. Preferred applicants show an enthusiasm for research and can tell their research story.

Deadline: Last Friday in January 2020 at 5PM EST

#9 ASCLD Scholarship Program

The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) offers annual scholarships. These awards go to undergrad and grad students in forensic science.

Scholarships tend to be in the amount of $1,000. But, the number and dollar amount of scholarships depends on funds raised.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • A  junior or senior in a bachelor program or a grad student (masters or doctorate) at an accredited university
  • Pursuing a degree in forensic science, forensic chemistry, a physical or natural science (Applicants from FEPAC accredited programs will be given additional consideration)
  • Neither school students or college / university students in their freshman or sophomore years will not be eligible for application. 

Applicants must download a form and send their complete package by mail. Apart from personal info, you need to provide transcripts from forensic science coursework, goals and references. 

Deadline: February 15, 2020

#10 Mike Byrd Crime Scene Scholarship

The Police Officer Assistant Trust offers the Mike Byrd Crime Scene Scholarship. It awards one scholarship in the amount of $2,000. Preferred applicants are high achievers in the sciences related with Crime Scene Investigation.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be any Miami Dade, Broward, or Monroe County high school senior or full time college student and
  • The son or daughter of a sworn officer working for any law enforcement agency within the geographical boundaries of Miami Dade County and
  • Plan to or is now majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Forensics, Pathology, or any major affiliated to Crime Scene Investigation
  • Keep up a 2.5 minimum GPA

Applicants must submit two references – one from a faculty member, one from a school guidance counselor. Before the winner gets the funds, it is necessary to show a letter of enrollment.

Deadline: May 1, 2020

#11 Unigo 10K Scholarship

Unigo’s database includes over 3.6 million in scholarship funds. The site also has a tool that matches you with scholarships based on your interests and goals. One of the programs they offer is a 10K scholarship.

To be eligible you must be:

  • Thirteen (13) years of age or older at the time of application
  • A legal resident of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia
  • Currently enrolled (or enroll no later than the fall of 2026) in an accredited post secondary institution of higher education

Applicants must submit an online essay of no more than 250 words. The essay should answer the question “Imagine a historical figure is brought back to life. Who is it? What’s their favorite mobile app?”

Deadline: December 31, 2020