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Homeland Security Student Resources, Scholarships, and Support Services
Get the help you deserve paying for college and succeeding in your homeland security degree program with these top scholarships, resources and student support services.
Last Updated: 11/30/2020
If you want to keep American citizens and interests safe, chances are you’ve considered a homeland security program (or are already enrolled in one). But with rising college costs, you may need some help paying for school. There are plenty of ways to get that help if you know where to look. This page lists more than 15 top scholarships that can help make your homeland security degree affordable. You’ll also find dozens of resources and learn about college support services that can help make your time in college a positive experience that positions you well for future career endeavours.
Campus and Online Support Resources for Homeland Security Students
When working towards a homeland security degree, many colleges offer academic, career, and financial resources to benefit you both during school and after graduation. Finishing college and starting your homeland career can be challenging, but the journey having the support you need along the way makes it easier. The following sections examine where to find homeland security-specific services.
University Student Support Centers and Services
Besides general services available to all students, some universities provide tailored resources for homeland security learners. Offerings vary based on individual colleges, making it essential you do your research. The two schools highlighted below provide examples of what you may encounter, but other services could include specific financial aid services, technology services for cybersecurity coursework, and/or tutoring.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Articles, Videos, Books and Podcasts for Homeland Security Students and Professionals
Center for Homeland Defense and Security The CHDS provides a list of books for students and professionals in the homeland security field. Use this list to develop a broad understanding of the discipline and stay abreast of changes.
Department of Homeland Security Podcasts The DHS provides a podcast focused on giving departmental updates, sharing interviews with staff members, and addressing DHS priorities.
Homeland Security Digital Library Use this resource to find publications, videos, and other digitized resources related to the study and implementation of homeland security practices and protocols.
Turning Education and Experience into a Career This DHS article highlights how your skills – even if you didn’t study homeland security in college – can translate to a meaningful role at the agency.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Homeland Security? This guide highlights some of the many domestic and international jobs available after completing a homeland security degree. It also tells what you can expect to learn along the way.
Homeland Security Professional Associations and Student Organizations
Information Systems Security Association International Joining ISSA can benefit you greatly if you work (or plan to work) in cybersecurity. Membership offers resources, career support, and local chapters.
Global Society of Homeland Security Professionals Joining GSHSP provides access to several certification programs, in-person training, digital webinars, and industry updates. You can also receive discounts on these services.
International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals Members of IACSP can take advantage of continuing education opportunities, an annual symposium, a range of online and in-person events, and several different products.
National Homeland Security Association The NHSA organizes an annual national conference attended by thousands of homeland security professionals throughout the country. Though online for 2020 because of COVID-19, members can access videos of roundtables, keynotes, etc.
Order of the Sword & Shield This order acts as the academic and professional honor society for all homeland security disciplines. Read about eligibility and application requirements online.
Homeland Security Social Media and Online Communities
Juliette Kayyem Twitter Kayyem previously worked at the DHS and is now a Harvard University professor and CNN analyst. Follow her account to gain insight into the state of the field.
r/DHS This Reddit community offers interaction with individuals interested in the Department of Homeland Security. It’s a place to ask questions and network.
Seasoned Cyber Security Professionals The SCSP Facebook group maintains a membership of more than 22,000 and offers networking, support, career counseling, and resources.
Support Resources for Students in Online Homeland Security Programs
COVID-19 escalated the number of homeland security students completing degrees online, making it even more important to have support resources for distance learning. Whether taking advantage of services offered specifically by your college or finding resources designed by other organizations, all of these can help ensure success as a distance learner.
DHS Homeland Security Careers The DHS provides student programs in cybersecurity, including the Secretary’s Honors Program Cyber Student Intern Program for current undergraduate students wanting to gain necessary experience before graduating.
Opportunities and Resources Campbell University offers several travel opportunities for students. Students, travelling with instructors, visit places such as the FBI, DHS, and DEA in America or key security sites in Europe.
Pursuing Your Homeland Security Degree Online This resource provides information for prospective and current students looking to learn more about homeland security, identify top schools, and find out about careers in the field.
Student Guide to Online Learning Success The Student Training & Education in Public Service website provides support tools and services to help online homeland security learners thrive.
The Online Student’s Guide to Time Management Transitioning to online learning, especially if you were previously campus-based, can be challenging as a homeland security student. Use this guide to learn what it takes to succeed in distance learning.
College-Sponsored Homeland Security Scholarships
Finding a college or university offering a homeland security scholarship is an excellent option because you face less competition for the award. If you’re unsure whether a prospective school provides homeland security-specific scholarships, contact the financial aid office, get in touch with the program director, or check the general scholarship and/or departmental website for details.
The universities and scholarships highlighted below provide a glimpse of school-based funding available for homeland security students.
State University of New York at Albany
Private Scholarships for Homeland Security Students
Many different nonprofits, professional associations, foundations, and colleges offer scholarships for homeland security students. Amounts can vary substantially, and most tend to be competitive but less so than general awards. Some of the top homeland security scholarships are detailed below.
Tips for Winning a Homeland Security Scholarship
Receiving free money for college involves impressing the awarding committee. This requires careful planning, showing how you differ from other candidates, avoiding costly mistakes, and highlighting your skills and abilities. The tips below can help make you stand out.
- Tip #1: Be Specific
Demonstrate, don’t just express, your interest in homeland security by discussing what led you to pursue a career in the field. Detail specific areas of interest, such as counterintelligence or cybersecurity.
- Tip #2: Make Yourself a Resource
Discuss how you plan to use the funds, what you want to accomplish after graduating, and how you plan impact the homeland security field. This shows awarding committees you will represent them well in the future.
- Tip #3: Proofread
Avoid careless mistakes. Review your application materials carefully and, if possible, ask a trusted advisor to proofread them as well.
- Tip #4: Start Early
Expect increased competition as more learners pursue homeland security and related degrees. Identify awards for which you qualify and apply as soon as possible.
- Tip #5: Talk About Any Applicable Military Experience
Highlight any military experience in all your applications. This experience likely provided you with insight and knowledge about national security other applicants won’t possess.
Other Ways to Get Help Paying for College as a Homeland Security Student
Scholarships provide an excellent option for covering school since they don’t require repayment, but many other options exist for additional help. Some additional programs available to homeland security students include:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you find employment with a government agency or nonprofit organization, you may be able to have some of your loans paid off after making 120 qualifying payments.
- Federal Opportunities: Agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense offer opportunities to earn funding or have loans repaid if you commit to working for an agency for a set amount of time.
Other general options to consider include student loans, tuition reimbursement from employers, fellowships, and work-study funding.