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 of 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 scholarship awards you can apply for in 2021. Make sure to check the deadlines and apply early.

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: May 31, 2021

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 $3,000 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, 2021 at 11:59 P.M.

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 transcripts, two letters of reference and proof of SAT or ACT scores.

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

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: Applications accepted from March 1 to June 18 for the summer of the following year (2022)

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: Applications accepted from March 1 to June 18 for the summer of the following year (2022)

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: Varies. Interested students need to apply directly with participating colleges

KnowBe4 Scholarship for Black Americans in Cybersecurity 

KnowBe4, Inc. is an information security company. The Center for Cyber Safety and Education (ISC)2 runs this program for them. It awards one recipient a $10,000 scholarship usable for tuition, fees, books and electronics. Plus up to $3,000 towards on campus housing. 

Also included in the award is an (ISC)2 Certification Education Package. It is good for one year from the date of issue and must be claimed upon graduation. The package features:

  • One (ISC)2 certification exam voucher (for the (ISC)⊃2; certification exam of your choice)
  • Hard copy or digital study materials
  • Practice exams
  • (ISC)2 Direct training seminar:  in person, Instructor-led live online or self-paced (travel & lodging expenses not included).
  • First year membership fees paid upon passing the exam and becoming endorsed.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • Black in regard to race.
  • Male or female pursuing, or planning to pursue, a degree with a focus on cybersecurity or information assurance.
  • In 2021 you must plan to be an undergraduate freshman, sophomore, junior or senior student or graduate student.
  • GPA must be at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A US citizen.
  • Attending on campus or online and either full time or part time as long as in the United States.
  • If you are being considered for award you agree to a face to face Zoom meeting for a five-minute interview with KnowBe4. You must have camera capability for this Zoom meeting via computer, tablet or phone camera.

Applicants must complete an online form. Along with it, an unofficial transcript, reference letter, resume / CV, and answers to prompted essay questions.

Deadline: April 19, 2021

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 2021 at 5PM CT

Chevron / SWE Scholarship 

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) offers many scholarships. All of them are for those who identify as female. Applicants also need to be going for a major in engineering. Or in a related field in the tech space.

This program awards 18 scholarship recipients each $5,000. That said, preferred selectees attend Hispanic serving schools or HBCUs. To include: 

  • Florida International University
  • Prairie View A&M Tuskegee
  • North Carolina A&T
  • University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

To be eligible, you must be:

  • A  freshman, sophomore or junior.
  • Majors include computer science and cyber security.
  • U.S. citizen who identifies as female / woman
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Attending an ABET accredited bachelor or graduate program.

SWE provides one application for sophomores through graduate students, and one for freshmen. To begin the process, you register an account and should have transcripts and two references handy.

Deadline: May 1, 2021 for freshmen by 5PM CT (GMT-5).

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, 2021

Cybersecurity Scholarship 

Cyber-Security.Degree is owned by EducationDynamics. A privately held corporation, ED runs an education and media online business. They offer this scholarship contest to students who want to get into the cyber field. There will be one winner of $1,000.

To be eligible you must be:

  • Eighteen (18) years of age or older
  • A legal resident of the 50 United States and DC 
  • Currently enrolled, or will be enrolled no later than the fall of 2021
  • Attending (or plan to attend) an accredited college, university or trade school 
  • Have a declared major in cyber

Applicants must write an essay.

Deadline: July 15, 2021

Women in Defense Scholarship 

Women in Defense (WID) is an affiliate of NDIA. Their goal is to empower and support women in the defense industry. As a result, this scholarship is for (females) in security studies and related fields including cyber security. Since the awards are need based, the amounts vary.

To be eligible you must be:

  • A female currently enrolled at an accredited university or college (full or part time)
  • Either an undergraduate student or graduate student
  • Proven interest in pursuing a career related to national security or defense
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have a minimum 3.25 GPA
  • A U.S. citizen 

Applicants must download an online form. Apart from personal information, you fill out all the sections and submit recommendations, transcripts and a personal statement / essay.

Deadline:  March 12, 2021

NCFTA Cyber Scholars Scholarship Program

The National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance was set up in 2002. It is a nonprofit partnership between private industry, government and academia. Their efforts focus on disrupting cyber crime. The scholarships are for $1,000 each and are for deserving students pursuing a degree in cyber security and fields related to it.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • Going for a degree with a focus in cyber, IT security, information assurance, intelligence analysis or a similar area
  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in the U.S. and at an accredited college
  • A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with no felony convictions
  • Attending classes online or on campus during the award period with a 3.0 GPA
  • If attending on a part time basis take at least 2 courses at the same time

Applicants must submit unofficial transcripts. Also a resume, proof of citizenship, one reference letter and personal statement. If a first year student, you must show proof of enrollment.

Deadline: June 15, 2021