Cyber Security Scholarships 2021

What are Cyber security Scholarships?

Cyber security scholarships are “free money” for college. Free means you do not have to repay the funds like you do a loan. Most scholarships of this kind are for people who want to study cyber defense. Or college majors related to it. Like homeland security, forensics, emergency response and intelligence. Some only award money for tuition and fees. While others may also include a summer internship and contract to hire once you graduate. 

How to apply for a Cyber security Scholarship

To apply for a cyber security scholarship, you need to qualify. This is qualification may usually be met by being enrolled in a cybersecurity degree program. Then if you are eligible, you fill out an application. Common criteria include being a US citizen or permanent resident. You may also need to show your status as an enrolled current student in an accredited college.

Providers also look for academic excellence and interest in national security. So, you often submit transcripts that show you meet a certain GPA. And or have SAT / ACT scores within an accepted range.

Many also base their decisions on financial need. This means you must show some family income tax information or file a FAFSA. Apart from this, many providers want to know about you and your goals. To do this you may need to write an essay on a prompted question, have references and a current CV.

Why Should I Apply for Cyber security Scholarships?

A cyber security scholarship can be useful if your goal is to earn a four year degree. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the cost of an information security degree is $6,826. If you study in state at a public college. Or $28, 890 if you choose a private school out of state.

After you graduate, there are many possible career paths to follow. Apart from strong technical skills, Info Sec Analysts need a bachelor’s degree, so this may be an option. Info Sec Analysts earn average mean salaries of $98,350. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this sector expects 32% – 55% more jobs by 2028.

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Take advantage of some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, while earning a degree from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access.
  • Cyber Programs Include:
    BS in Cybersecurity – General Track, Data Analytics or Project Management Track
    MS Cybersecurity – General Track or IT Management

Purdue Global

  • Experience world class education online!
  • Purdue Global offers 180 programs at associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels
  • Competency-based ExcelTrack™ Programs may allow you to earn your degree faster and for less money
  • Cyber Security Programs Include:
    BS in Cyber Security
    MS in Cyber Security Management
    Graduate Certificate in Information Security

Top Cyber security Scholarships for 2021

We curated a list of the cyber security scholarships for 2021. Check deadlines and apply early!

Top Cyber Security Scholarships

If you are looking for cyber security scholarships, there are some things you should know first.

Scholarship granting institutions like motivated candidates. They want to know that the awards they grant are going to good use. So, they look for things like:

  • Academic strength
  • Passion for the field
  • Financial Need
  • Recommendations

There are many types of scholarships and specialties for different types of students, such as those looking for cyber security scholarships. Some awards are monetary while others offer internships and even jobs. Be bold in those applications. Save the modesty for after the award. It’s time to shine!

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

You must be a US Citizen, National, or permanent resident alien to apply. This award is only for students pursuing graduate level research in STEM fields. Winners are able to pursue research at a US government lab or school of their choice. 42 past fellows have gone on to become Nobel Laureates in STEM fields.

Deadline: October 22, 2021

SMART Scholarship for Service Program

SMART stands for the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation. The SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program provides two things. One, an opportunity to receive a full scholarship. And two, a guaranteed civilian job with the Department of Defense (DoD) once you graduate.

To be eligible, you may be either an undergrad, master’s or PhD student. But you must be pursuing your degree in STEM. So, any science, technology, engineering or math focused major.

Deadline: December 1, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST

Stokes Educational Scholarship Program

The NSA offers the Stokes Educational Scholarship Program. It is an opportunity to gain real world experience while you attend college full time. Scholarship perks include up to $30,000 per year towards tuition and mandatory fees. Also, a year long salary (plus benefits package) while you attend college.

Once summer comes, you need to set aside at least 12 weeks for a paid internship at NSA’s HQ in Fort Meade. Paid housing and travel too if your school is over 75 miles from the NSA. Then, after you graduate, the NSA offers you a job in a field related to your major.

While open to high school seniors, may give preference if you are also a minority student. As long as you plan to major in computer science or computer/electrical engineering.

While open to high school seniors, may give preference if you are also a minority student. As long as you plan to major in computer science or computer/electrical engineering.

To be eligible, you need to be a US citizen, granted security clearance and have a 3.0 GPA. You also need to score 1200 on your SAT or have an ACT score of 25. When you apply, you need to furnish scores and transcripts. Plus send in two references and a one page essay about why you want a job at NSA.

Deadline: Rolling from September 1st to November 25th each year

CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service

Created in 2000, the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program (SFS) is a Federal Cyber Service Training and Education Initiative. The SFS program provides funds to partner colleges and universities. Funds support student scholarships in areas relevant to cyber security.

In return for a scholarship, and after graduation, recipients must agree to work for the Federal Gov’t. Or, with one of the approved employers (called occupational series 2210). Scholarship amounts vary and go up to $25,000 per year for undergrad students and $34,000 per year for grad students. There is also an extra $6,000 professional allowance.

Each school sets their own standards, but scholarships may renew for up to 3 years. To be eligible, you must be either a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Applicants need to be pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a formal (approved) cyber security program. Or be a research-based doctoral student.

Deadline: Varies by partner college

CIA Undergraduate Scholarship

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offers an Undergraduate Scholarship Program. While a financial needs based program, preferred applicants are proficient in a foreign language.

There are two key benefits of securing a CIA scholarship. One, an award of $18,000 per calendar year for tuition, mandatory fees and books. And two, a job at the CIA during summer breaks.

The job itself pays a salary with benefits. FYI, starting salary is between $30,386 and $40,485. You also get a daily sum for meals and incidentals during your summer tours. And paid travel between your college and Washington, DC.

To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen or dual national. You also need to be a current college student enrolled full time with a GPA of at least 3.0, 1000 SAT score or 21 ACT.

As far as financial need, the gross annual household income ceiling goes up to $70,000 for a family of four or less, and $80,000 for a family of five or more. If you meet all the criteria, you need to fill out a detailed application. This also entails sending in transcripts, scores, family finances, references and other qualifications.

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

2021 Snort Scholarship

Snort is an affiliate of Cisco, a provider of security software products. Each year they offer scholarships of $10,000 each, and in 2019 there were 2 winners. The Snort scholarships help offset the tuition costs for students seeking a college degree in one of a few majors. Computer science, information technology, computer networking, cyber security or one related.

To be eligible you must be 18 years old and enrolled in a high school (or equivalent) located in the United States or a United States territory. And must be on track to earn your high school diploma in 2021. Applicants also fill out a form which asks for proof they meet the criteria. The form will be available in the spring of 2021.

Deadline: TBA Spring 2022

Cyber Security Scholarship

Cyber-Security.Degree is owned by EducationDynamics. This essay scholarship contest is open to all students pursuing a degree in cyber security or related field. There will be one winner of $1,000.

Applicants must be 18 years old and above, U.S. citizens and legal residents of the 50 United States and DC. Apart from the declared cyber major, one must be enrolled or plan to attend an accredited college, university or trade school in the U.S. 

Deadline: July 15, 2021

NCFTA Cyber Scholars Scholarship Program

The National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance offers $1,000 scholarships. They are for cyber security students. Both undergrad and graduate  students may qualify but need a 3.0 GPA. While you need a cyber major, other fields related may be eligible. Like IT security, information assurance or intelligence analysis.

Deadline: June 15, 2021.


ISC2 Undergraduate Scholarships

Another scholarship program run by ISC2 is for undergrads. These also award 20 scholarships in amounts from $1,000 to $5,000 each. To be eligible, you can be a high school senior or current undergrad. US citizenship is not mandatory, but you will need a GPA of at least 3.3.

Like their graduate scholarships, you can be a full time, part time or online student. As long as you are pursuing your degree in cyber security or info assurance. Other than a completed application, you need to send in transcripts, CV and one reference. Plus, you will have to answer a few essay questions about your goals, background and interests.

Deadline: March 8, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST

The Colonel Sully H. De Fontaine Scholarship Award

Pursuing an undergraduate degree with intent to working in intelligence community. Preference given to applicants with in-demand language skills.

Deadline: TBA for 2021

The Peter Jasin Afio Endowment – Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships

History of interest (academic and otherwise) in national security and cyber security. Passion for working in the United States intelligence community. Preference for students with sought-after languages

Deadline: June 1, 2021

Lint Center for National Security Studies Inc. Scholarships

The Lint Center for National Security Studies is a nonprofit. They have, since 2007 awarded 57 merit based scholarships for people in counter intelligence and national security. These scholarships range in amounts from $500 to $2,000. Amounts and number of awards vary as they depend on donations.

Apart from money, the scholarship program offers two possible perks. One, a mentorship from a National Security professional. And two, the opportunity to be a published author on National Security at Lint Center.

This program aims to further the education and career development of scholars. Above all in the areas of International Affairs, Counterintelligence and National Security.  

If you are either a worker or child of someone working in these fields, you might apply. As long as your goal is to improve national security. To do so, you need to fill out one application form. Then you become a candidate for all the current scholarships.

Deadline: January and June 2021

SAIC Cyberwarrior Scholarship

The Science International Corp (SAIC) partners with (ISC)2 to offer the SAIC Cyberwarrior Scholarship. This year there will be 10 awards. Awards are in the form of cyber security certification training scholarships. And aim to help returning military veterans reenter the civilian workforce.

To be eligible, you need to be a US citizen, (honorably) discharged from the military by April 14, 2020. You are also eligible if you are a Reservist or serve in the Military Guard. If you meet these criteria and a few others, you can apply. This involves sending in a resume, optional letter of reference and essays.

These should explain your interest in cyber security and why you hope to win. As a winner, you get an (ISC)² certification exam voucher, textbook, study guide, practice test and online seminar.

Deadline: March 16, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT

ISACA Regional Chapter Scholarships

14 Regional chapters across the US offer this scholarship program. You must be a member of the associated ISACA chapter. And, study in an information assurance related degree program.

Deadline: Varies based on region 

ISSA Education Foundation Scholarship

ISSA is a nonprofit dedicated to helping and promoting education and research in the field of info sec. They offer 3 scholarships.

  • $3,500 – Howard A. Schmidt Memorial Scholarship for undergraduate studies
  • $3,500 – E. Eugene Schultz, Jr., Memorial Scholarship for graduate studies
  • $2,000 – Shon Harris Memorial Scholarship for either undergraduate or graduate studies

To be eligible, you need to be a full time student. And, enrolled in an info sec or related program at an accredited university.

Deadline: Application Period Opens February 1, 2021

Navy Information Assurance Scholarship

Start as a civilian or service member. For undergraduate through doctoral students in information assurance academic disciplines. Separate programs are available for those in the military and civilians in school. 

Must complete 1 year of service in the civil or military branch for every year of the scholarship. For service members, no more than 4 years of service in exchange for funding. 

Deadline: Differs by school

Heinlein Society Scholarships

The Heinlein Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. They run an essay contest that awards three full time undergrads $3,000 each. 

To be eligible, you must be attending 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.

AFCEA STEM Major Scholarships

AFCEA is a professional association that connects people, ideas and solutions globally. They offer a wide range of scholarships each year. One that cyber security majors might be eligible for is the STEM Major Scholarships. STEM majors that line up with AFCEA’s mission include Cyber Security, Computer Forensics, Strategic Intelligence and others.

The $2,500 scholarship is open to undergrads who must be at least second-year college students enrolled as sophomores or juniors. And must attend full-time in a four-year college or university at the time of application. Expected graduation date cannot be in the year the scholarship is awarded. You also need to be a US citizen or permanent resident and have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Deadline: May 31, 2021

AFCEA Cyber Security Scholarship

Another AFCEA award is the Cyber Security Scholarship. It comes with similar criteria for eligibility as the STEM Major Scholarship. And is for $5,000. One thing that sets it apart are the acceptable majors. For example, this scholarship is open to students studying a major related to the support of US cyber enterprises.

Deadline: May 31, 2021

Barry Goldwater Scholarship

This program aims to support the next generation of STEM leaders. It honors the late senator with scholarships in his name in amounts of up to $7,500 a year. Selectees use these funds to help cover costs like tuition, mandatory fees, books, room and board. 

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. Applicants must be full time students, U.S. citizens / legal permanent residents and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. It is also necessary to intend on going into a research career in a STEM field.

Deadline: Last Friday in January 2021 at 5PM CT


KnowBe4 Scholarship for Black Americans in Cybersecurity

(ISC)2 runs this program for KnowBe4, Inc., an information security company. 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 but you have to claim it when you graduate. 

To qualify you must be a Black U.S. citizen (male or female) with a 3.2 GPA or higher. The program is open to the undergraduate student as well as to those going for a graduate degree. As long as your major is cyber security or information assurance.

Deadline: April 19, 2021

The Life’s Choice Foundation Graduate Scholarship Award

For graduate students focused on national security issues who are either serving in the US Government or have intention to do so. Students with in-demand languages preferred and there are two winners, each of $3,500.

Deadline: June 1,, 2021

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

US Citizens, Nationals, or permanent resident aliens eligible.  Must pursue graduate level research in STEM fields. Awardees may pursue research at any US govt lab or school. 42 past fellows went on to become Nobel Laureates in STEM fields.

Deadline: TBA for 2021 / 22

National Defense Science And Engineering Graduate Fellowship

For students who will pursue a doctorate in a designated national security-related discipline. Applicants may be in the last year of undergrad (and accepted into a doctoral program). Or they can be up to two years into graduate work. Participants work on research at a Dept of Defense lab for one summer during award timeframe.

National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service (SFS)

Applicants enter through their participating school. Must study an info assurance field at bachelors – PhD levels. Stipend time frame requires work at a government agency. That could also be a Federally Funded Research and Development Center. Stipends are renewable. Need security clearance for employment/internship. An internship of 10 weeks is also required during stipend period.

Deadline: Differs based on schools

Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program

Winners work for 10 weeks in the summer. They work at one of 36 Department of the Navy Research Labs in technical and engineering roles. Stipend amounts vary based on degree level. 

ISC2 Graduate Scholarships

International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², is a nonprofit. They specialize in training and certifications for cyber security professionals. In 2020, they are offering up to 20 scholarships in amounts from $1,000 to $5,000 apiece.

To be eligible you must be a master’s or doctorate student and from any country including the US. You must also be pursuing a degree in cyber security or info assurance. And, you can be a part time, full time and even online student. As long as your GPA is 3.5 or above.

Apart from a completed application, you need to submit transcripts, CV and one reference. There are also a few essay questions to answer that discuss your goals and interests in cyber security.

Deadline: March 8, 2021 


PrinSWSIS Scholarship

SWSIS stands for Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security. It is a partnership of Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and CRA-WP.  The SWSIS long-term goal is to contribute to increasing the number of women in the info sec workforce.

Set up by Parisa Tabriz, the PrinSWSIS scholarship is one of their programs. This renewable award goes to a woman aspiring to work in computer security. She challenges the stereotype of a cyber security professional and helps redefine what it means to be a princess. 

To be eligible you must be a female studying info sec, either at the bachelor’s or master’s level. You also need to be a US citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in a US college or university.

Preferred applicants stand out through references, transcripts, their resume and essays. Amounts vary as they depend on donations but in the past went up to $10,000.

Deadline: February 1, 2021

Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship

Palantir builds data logic programs. Since 2010, they have offered scholarships to help women who are beginning their tech careers. The scholarship is open to all students who identify as female. You can be studying at any accredited college in Canada, Mexico or the US. As long as you major in a STEM field.

This year, 10 scholarship winners will each receive $7,000. Winners also get an all expense trip to Palantir’s HQ for professional development. To apply, you need to fill out a form and send in your resume and transcripts.

Deadline: April 1, 2021 at 4:00 PM PST

HORIZONS Scholarship

Women in Defense (WID) is an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). Their goal is to engage and nurture women in the national security industry.

Through the HORIZONS Scholarship, WID encourages women to pursue careers that support US national security. Cyber security is an approved major as are others related to defense.

The scholarships are open to US citizens, both undergrads and graduate students. As long as you are a female, have a 3.25 GPA and are a current student in an accredited US school.

To apply, you need to fill out a form. You also submit transcripts, an essay, proof of citizenship and references. Last year there were 12 recipients and award amounts vary as they depend on donations.

Deadline:  March 12, 2021

Raytheon’s Women in Cyber Security Scholarship

Students get the funds toward tuition, fees and books. They are also eligible for internships with the company. At graduation, they also get aid from the center. This is toward the (ISC)² Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification. That’s critical for a career in Cyber Security.

Deadline: June 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT

Women in Computing Scholarship

Dotcom-Monitor offers the Women in Computing Scholarship. This annual award pays $1,000 and supports women who want to pursue a career in a computer centered field. The scholarship is open to female students who are also full time undergrads at an accredited college or university in the US or Canada.

Applicants should have a declared major in computer science, computer engineering, or closely related technical field. Or, have at least one academic year in one of these areas under their belt. To apply, there is a form to fill out. You also need to send in answers to essay questions and transcripts.

Deadline: April 1, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST

Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship 

For the 2021-2022 academic year scholarships of $3,000 will be awarded to full-time students (women and minority students). Scholarship funding is for tuition, books, and required equipment. Applicants must be in 2nd semester or beyond in graduate level work. Any eligible major that supports the mission of AFCEA is a must. 

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Chevron / SWE Scholarship 

This award is from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) in partnership with Chevron. Applicants must identify as female / woman and have to be going for a degree in the tech space Applicants also need to be going for a major in engineering. Or in a related field in the tech space. Including computer science and cyber security.

For this program, there will be awards 18 scholarships of $5,000 each. Preferred selectees attend Hispanic serving schools or HBCUs. To be eligible, you also need to be a U.S. citizen and have a 3.0 GPA. 

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

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