Cybersecurity Student Resources, Scholarships, and Support Services

From student services at your school to big private scholarships, learn where to get key support for your cybersecurity degree and future career.

Last Updated: 11/25/2020

Students studying cybersecurity enjoy a positive job outlook in an industry that continues to see growth. Enrolling in an accredited program is a great way to launch your career, but you still need solid support and financial aid to graduate on time and get into the job market.

Designed for current or prospective cybersecurity students in need of assistance, this guide details where to find direct support and viable financial aid. It looks at professional networking and career advancement opportunities, recommends study tools and other resource guides, and lists more than 15 scholarships available to cybersecurity students. With information like this at your fingertips, you’ll be on your way to a fulfilling career where you can make a difference.

Campus and Online Support Resources for Cybersecurity Students

Finishing college and starting your cybersecurity career can be challenging, but there are a number of useful tools out there if you know where to look. Most schools offer support resources designed to help on-campus and online students before, during, and after their studies. This section looks at some of those resources and discusses how you can leverage them for academic and professional success. Learn where to find the support you need, when you need it.

University Student Support Centers and Services

School and program-based resources are the first place to look. They tend to provide the most effective forms of assistance because they tailor their services to meet the demands specific to the program. The schools listed below do this through campus student centers, cybersecurity student support services, academic advising and counseling, and assistive technology. These resources are available to students at any time during their studies and even after graduation. Taking full advantage of these services can ensure that your cybersecurity studies get you on the cutting edge.

1

Green River College

Students enrolled in one Green River College’s cybersecurity or information systems programs enjoy a range of support services. At the institutional level, the school provides counseling services and workforce education along with benefits offered through a partnership with United Way. Students can also tap into tutoring resources and access the school’s library at any time. Online students can use a dedicated virtual assistance tool to get the help they need.

That’s not all, though. Green River College’s Cybersecurity Center provides additional, specialized services to its cybersecurity students. The Cybersecurity Center advances knowledge in security practices and cyber defense by working closely with partners in the industry. Students benefit from innovative internships and collaboration with other schools, all in an effort to get much-needed cybersecurity professionals ready to enter this challenging field. to provide innovative student internships. It also engages in professional development efforts and conducts outreach with other area schools.

2

California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB)

California State University San Bernardino’s College of Business and Public Administration offers two certificates in cybersecurity and provides support services to assist students. These campus-based supports include counseling and psychological services, technology support, student employment assistance, tutoring help, and a writing center. Students doing virtual learning can access a virtual learning support portal designed to help keep their studies on track.

Cybersecurity students at CSUSB have access to additional support through the Cybersecurity Center, which promotes regional conferences and provides information on professional certification. The Cybersecurity Center also develops technical reports, facilitates research, and gathers information on professional organizations available to students. These resources come together to make CSUSB students well-rounded and ready to work in cybersecurity in the public and private sectors.

Articles, Videos, and Podcasts for Cybersecurity Students and Professionals

Day in the Life of a Cybersecurity Student This short YouTube video details a typical day for students studying cybersecurity. It offers a useful glimpse into study habits, class schedules, peer interaction, and other program specifics.

Risky Business Delivered weekly since 2007, this podcast delves into industry news, commentary, and other cybersecurity developments. Episodes include interviews with experts, discussions of new technology, and timely topics such as ransomware and recent hacks.

Security Now Hosted by tech experts Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson, this award-winning podcast looks at internet security, information safety, and other concerns related to cybersecurity. Access the vast archive and or the new episodes posted each week.

What Can I Do with a Cybersecurity Degree? Our guide looks at some of the professional possibilities for graduates with a degree in cybersecurity. It lists common career paths, discusses industries in need of cybersecurity professionals, and links to additional resources.

Why Study Cybersecurity? Published by Rasmussen College, this article examines some of the top reasons to enter the cybersecurity industry. It also details job outlook data, education options, and cybersecurity specialties for students to consider.

Cybersecurity Professional Associations and Student Organizations

Center for Internet Security This organization advances internet security and threat assessment, with a goal of making the connected world safer. It maintains local and regional affiliates, gathers cutting-edge research, and keeps an extensive database of videos and webinars.

Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) An international nonprofit founded in 1982, the ISSA advances individual growth in cybersecurity through networking, collaboration, and education. Members access local and international meetings, seminars, e-newsletters, and journals to stay up to date. Student membership is available.

National Cybersecurity Alliance This organization empowers professionals in their efforts to create a safer digital world. Major efforts include Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Data Privacy Day, and a campaign called Stop. Think. Connect.

National Cybersecurity Student Association (NCSA) With hundreds of local chapters across the country, this association supports cybersecurity students through webcasts, internships, conferences, competitions, and other events.

SANS Institute A major training and certification resource, the SANS Institute has a massive repository of education resources and provides professional development programs. Its resources can be used to supplement traditional courses of study.

Cybersecurity Social Media and Online Communities

Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, SaaS, Data Centre and Virtualization Group Over 580,000 LinkedIn users gather in this space to discuss cybersecurity issues and expand their professional network. Recent discussion topics include new data protection and information safety challenges, technology architecture, and edge computing.

CSIAC Cybersecurity Forum Sponsored by the Cybersecurity & Information Systems Information Analysis Center, this forum focuses on discussions of scientific and technical information. . It includes over 2,000 actively updated threads on current issues.

Cybersecurity Facebook Group With nearly 60,000 members, this group centers on industry discussion, job openings, informational videos, and other resources. Many of the threads deal with certifications available to cybersecurity professionals.

NCSA on Twitter The National Cybersecurity Student Association maintains this Twitter account to disseminate recent news and research. You’ll find links to useful resources, such as digital events, coding opportunities, and data privacy techniques.

r/Cybersecurity This subreddit has over 190,000 active users who discuss cybersecurity education, career prospects, and the future of the field. Recent threads cover resume advice, network modeling, expert interviews, and professional certification.

Support Resources for Students in Online Cybersecurity Programs

As online learning continues to grow, more and more student resources crop up for cybersecurity students. Program listings, training tools, new technologies, and research techniques can all support your online educational progress. They can also help you deepen your competencies as a cybersecurity professional, making you an even more valuable employee. Learn more as you explore the resources below.

Ten Netiquette Needs for the Online Classroom In this piece we discuss online learning with an emphasis on students new to the environment. The guide looks at some resources to support your learning and popular tools and technologies that can help you be successful.

CERIAS Tools and Resources Purdue University’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security maintains this resource repository. It includes a number of training tools for students, including open-source software models and an extensive software archive.

CompTIA Cybersecurity Portal CompTIA administers certifications to cybersecurity and information assurance professionals. This portal houses resources that detail core concepts, popular career options, and key credentials often required by employers.

Cybersecurity Research Guide The University of Maryland hosts this comprehensive research guide for cybersecurity students. With links to important databases, background literature, and eBooks, cybersecurity students will be equipped to dive into many pertinent topics.

Guide to Online Cybersecurity Degrees and ProgramsLoaded with data, our guide looks at what to expect from a typical online program in cybersecurity and lists popular course offerings. It ranks top schools, outlines different degree types and certificates, and details common learning objectives.

College-Sponsored Scholarships in Cybersecurity

Tuition and other college-related expenses can add up, leaving many students to wonder how they will finance their cybersecurity education. Financial aid can help offset the costs, with scholarships being particularly useful. Unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid.

Below we highlight two schools that offer scholarships to cybersecurity students. Many schools offer similar opportunities. Your best bet is to contact your school’s financial aid office or cybersecurity program director. These school-based scholarships are the best place to begin your hunt for financial aid because they are specific to the program in question and usually have smaller applicant pools.

1

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Every student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County receives a dedicated financial aid counselor. These advisors help students navigate the financial side of their education for the duration of their study. They help pair students with relevant, school-based scholarships as well as grants, student loans, and other opportunities. The school also has compiled several financial-aid–related resources, including a glossary of useful terms and a list of FAQs.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County also administers several scholarships set aside for cybersecurity students, one of which we spotlight below. These awards are often renewable and some are sponsored by the Department of Defense and industry powerhouses.


UMBC Cyber Scholars Program

Amount

$5,000-$15,000

Deadline

3/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

All new, returning, and transfer UMBC students studying cybersecurity may apply. Applicants must have a minimum 3.25 GPA. The school welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds.

How to Apply

Applicants must fill out the online form and provide official transcripts. They must also submit official SAT/ACT test scores and two letters of recommendation.

2

Western Governors University

Western Governors University offers a number of scholarship and financial aid opportunities to its students, including those interested in cybersecurity. Most students pay half the tuition as compared to other students across the country and, as a result, graduate with about half the debt. The school’s financial aid office directs students toward the opportunities that make the most sense given their needs and circumstances.

Cybersecurity students in Western Governors College of Information Technology have access to additional awards. The one below is an example of what you can find; contact the financial aid office to determine what else may be available to you.


WGU Cybersecurity Scholarship

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

6/30/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be enrolled in the school’s cybersecurity program at the graduate or undergraduate level. There are no GPA minimums but the award is competitive.

How to Apply

Interested applicants must complete the school’s general financial aid application (and the admission application if they are new students). Additional materials may also be required.

Private Scholarships for Cybersecurity Students

A number of cybersecurity scholarships are available beyond school or program-based awards. Nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, and other organizations are in need of well-qualified cybersecurity professionals, and scholarships are a good way to attract those future employees. Because these awards often see a larger pool of applicants, they tend to be more competitive than school-based scholarships.

Amount

$1,000-$6,000

Deadline

2/22/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

All women studying cybersecurity or information assurance with a minimum 3.3. GPA may apply. Applicants can be graduate or undergraduate students.

How to Apply

Applications include unofficial transcripts, a current resume or CV, and one letter of recommendation. Applicants must also submit a personal essay responding to questions specified by the selection committee.

Amount

$10,000

Deadline

2/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be women studying information assurance or a related field in their junior or senior year or in a master’s program. They must also be U.S. citizens pursuing studies at a U.S. college or university.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete an online form and provide official transcripts. Additional materials include a professional resume or CV, letters of reference from previous teachers or mentors, and a personal essay outlining interest and academic background.

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

5/31/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Interested applicants must be college sophomores or juniors studying cybersecurity or a closely related field at a four-year institution in the U.S. They must be U.S. citizens with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

How to Apply

All applications must include a brief synopsis of the applicant’s academic progress and a personal statement about their career goals and financial need. They must also supply official transcripts and two letters of recommendation.

Amount

$1,000 – $5,000

Deadline

3/8/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students must be studying cybersecurity or information assurance at the undergraduate level; high school seniors may also apply. Applicants must have a minimum 3.3 GPA.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must submit unofficial transcripts, a current resume or CV, and one letter of recommendation. They must also provide an essay responding to questions outlined by the selection committee.

Amount

$18,000-$25,000

Deadline

Spring 2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Prospective recipients must be studying an IT-related field like cybersecurity with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must demonstrate financial need and have competitive standardized test scores.

How to Apply

Applications must include a psychological exam, a comprehensive background check, and a polygraph interview. Applicants must also provide transcripts, a resume, and a completed application form.

Amount

$10,000

Deadline

Spring 2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be high school graduates and at least 18 years of age. They must be planning to study information technology or a related field like cybersecurity.

How to Apply

Applicants complete the online form and answer the required essay prompts.

Amount

$1,200

Deadline

6/1/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

College juniors or seniors must be studying cybersecurity or a related field with plans to work in the U.S. intelligence community following graduation.

How to Apply

Complete applications must include a cover letter, transcripts, one recommendation letter, and a recent photograph of the applicant.

Amount

$25,000-$34,000

Deadline

Varies by Institution (Annual)

Eligibility

Qualified students must be studying cybersecurity or a closely related field at the graduate or undergraduate level at a participating institution. They must also be lawful U.S. citizens.

How to Apply

Application procedures vary by school. Interested students should contact their school for more information.

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Rolling (Annual)

Eligibility

Prospective recipients must be studying cybersecurity at a university designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity . They must also demonstrate interest in public service within the U.S. intelligence or defense communities.

How to Apply

Interested students should contact their institution for more information on the application. They must also agree to work for the DoD for at least one year in exchange for the funds.

Amount

$3,500

Deadline

Spring (Annual)

Eligibility

Qualified applicants must be graduate students pursuing an information- or cybersecurity- related course of study with a 2.5 minimum GPA.

How to Apply

Applications should include a one-page cover letter, at least one letter of recommendation from a former teacher or supervisor, and copies of transcripts.

Amount

$3,500

Deadline

Spring (Annual)

Eligibility

Eligible students should be pursuing an information- or cybersecurity-related course of study at the undergraduate level. They must maintain a 2.5 minimum GPA.

How to Apply

Competitive applications should include evidence of community service or extracurricular activities. Additional materials include a one-page cover letter, one letter of recommendation, and a completed online application.

Amount

$1,500

Deadline

7/31/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Eligible applicants should be studying international affairs, counterintelligence, national security, or a related field. They should maintain a competitive GPA with demonstrated potential for success.

How to Apply

Prospective recipients submit a recent photograph, a current resume, transcripts, two recommendation letters, and written responses to two essay questions.

Amount

$1,000-$10,000

Deadline

3/5/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Interested students must be studying a STEM-related field such as cybersecurity within California. They must demonstrate clear academic achievement, leadership potential, and financial need.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants complete the online form and provide additional material as requested by the selection committee.

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

4/15/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Prospective recipients should live in a rural area within the U.S. and plan to attend an accredited program in computer or information technology with an emphasis on security.

How to Apply

Interested students must complete the required form and provide written responses to the essay questions. Additional material may also be required.

Amount

$30,000

Deadline

10/31/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Qualified applicants must be high school seniors planning to study computer science or a closely related field. They must also agree to work for the National Security Agency for at least 1.5 times the length of their study.

How to Apply

Applications should include a resume, a one-page essay discussing professional goals, and recent standardized test scores (SAT/ACT). Applicants must also provide transcripts and two letters of recommendation.

How to Win a Cybersecurity Scholarship

Finding solid cybersecurity scholarship opportunities is only the first step of the process. You still need to submit a persuasive and competitive application package. Each award will ask for different requirements but most selection committees look for similar strengths and characteristics. Follow these tips to improve your chances of landing a scholarship.

  • Tip #1: Proofread
    Nothing is less desirable than a scholarship application riddled with typos and errors. Double- and triple-check everything before you submit. Ask a friend or family member to help you review the application and look for errors you miss.
  • Tip #2: Locate solid recommenders
    Effective letters of recommendation speak volumes. Try to locate recommenders who can assess your readiness for cybersecurity study and reach out to them early. Former teachers, mentors, and industry professionals will make the best candidates.
  • Tip #3: Submit early
    Try not to work right up to the deadline. Submitting your cybersecurity scholarship application early not only puts your mind at rest, but it also shows clear initiative and punctuality. This is especially true for scholarships with rolling deadlines.
  • Tip #4: Assess your social media presence
    This practice enhances your standing while also giving you a chance to practice key cybersecurity skills. Assume that scholarship committees will search for your social media profiles, so make sure your presence is appropriate and professional.
  • Tip #5: Play to your strengths
    If the scholarship asks for a personal essay, take that requirement very seriously. Be authentic and use it as an opportunity to describe what you bring to the table and how the award will help you achieve your goals.

More Ways to Get Help Paying for College as a Cybersecurity Student

Scholarships are the most effective and lucrative forms of financial aid. However, if you have a few scholarships but still need to cover other expenses there are additional opportunities available for cybersecurity students. Pursue these options with the same enthusiasm that you’re putting into your studies. Those diligent and careful efforts will pay off.

We discuss some of these other financial options in our comprehensive financial aid guide. They include student loans, tuition reimbursement (depending on your employer), and research fellowships or work-study placements (depending on the school and your education level). If you plan to put your cybersecurity degree to work in public service, you may qualify for student loan forgiveness in some cases. Delve into these guides to see what your options are.