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DOD Cybersecurity Scholarship Program

Cybersecurity Scholarship Program

Congratulations to our 2020 DoD CySP Awardees

Deadline for 2021 Applications: approximately Feb 15, 2021

The Georgia Southern University Center for Applied Cyber Education will be accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Department of Defense (DoD) Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (CySP) starting in late January, 2021.

The DoD estimates awarding scholarships (via grant awards) for a period of one year (beginning with the Fall 2021 semester) to designated CAEs (Georgia Southern University). This is one of the most important benefits of Georgia Southern’s designation as a National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (NSA-CAE/CDE).  Only students attending an NSA-CAE can receive this scholarship.

Students selected as Cyber Scholars will receive the full cost of tuition, books (from the institution/degree specific required book list, not books which are optional for the class), required fees (including health care), and a stipend to cover room and board. $25,000 for undergraduate students and $30,000 for graduate (Master’s/PhD) students. Awards will be made via a grant to the CAE (Georgia Southern University).  Selecting agencies will also provide sponsors who will maintain contact with the student during the scholarship period, and who will facilitate the student’s entry into internships, if applicable, and eventually into DoD employment. Contingent on adequate funding appropriations, returning students will be required to re-apply each year by submitting the entire student application, one copy of their official transcripts, reflecting maintenance of the required grade point average and an endorsement/ recommendation letter from the Principal Investigator.

Scholarship Benefits

Students selected as Cybersecurity Scholars will receive a one-year full-ride scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year that covers the following:

  • Full cost of tuition and books
  • Required fees
  • A laptop, which the student can keep after the scholarship period has ended
  • Undergraduate- $25,000 stipend to cover room/board and other living expenses
  • Graduate- $30,000 stipend to cover room/board and other living expenses
  • Internship opportunities and guaranteed employment with a DoD agency upon graduation

The DoD CySP program is best suited for students who want to enter the cybersecurity field where they can work on circumventing national-level threats. This opportunity to work on real-world problems and gain experience can greatly accelerate your career and help you to succeed in the field.

Student Requirements

You must be/have:

  • A current Georgia Southern University junior or senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a cyber-related field (Students who will be classified as a junior in the Fall of 2021 are also eligible to apply.)
  • A current Georgia Southern University first or second-year student in a Master’s degree in a cyber-related field
  • A current Georgia Southern University doctoral student in a cyber-related field
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 out of 4.0
  • 18 years of age or older at the time of application
  • A citizen or permanent resident of the United States at the time of application
  • Enrolled (or accepted for enrollment upon application) at Georgia Southern University for the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Pursuing a course of study and/or have a declared major in one of the scientific, technical, or managerial disciplines related to cyber or with a concentration in cybersecurity
    • Georgia Southern University Cyber-Related Programs include:
      • IT, CyberSecurity
      • Criminal Justice, Cyber Crime
      • Health Informatics
      • Enterprise Security
      • Forensic Accounting

Additional Requirements

Students selected to participate in the DoD CySP will be required to sign a written agreement obligating them to work for the DoD, as a civilian employee, for one calendar year for each year of scholarship assistance. If selected, you will also be required to serve in a paid internship position, if timing permits, with the DoD organizations during the time you are receiving scholarship support until you have completed the course of study provided for by the scholarship.

Deadlines and Dates

  • December, 2020: sometime in December, the NSA will notify CACE of Georgia Southern of the deadline for Georgia Southern to submit student applications to the NSA.  At this time the application will be made available to CACE.
  • January, 2021, as soon as Spring Semester starts: the application will be posted, along with other information, including deadlines, information required, application requirements, information meetings, and actual deadlines.
  • Mid-February, 2021 (about February 15): deadline for students to submit their application and all required material, both electronically, and via hard-copy, to CACE.
  • February 28, 2021: presumed deadline for CACE to submit all applications to the NSA
  • Late April, early May, 2021: announcement of awardees from the NSA to CACE, and then notification of awardees by CACE.
  • End of third week in May, 2021: awardees must email their acceptance or declination of the award to the NSA

Students must submit both a soft-copy (via email) and hard-copy application to CACE.  All students should email their soft-copy application to  Students on the Statesboro Campus should hand-deliver their hard-copy application to Dr. Elizabeth Rasnick, IT 2108.  Students on the Armstrong campus should hand-deliver their hard-copy application to Prof. Frank Katz, SC 210.

Application Instructions

To submit an application, compile all the required documents, in the order indicated below into a single PDF file and e-mail it to with a subject line of  DOD CySP Scholarship Application. Applications not submitted in the format below will not be accepted.

Name your PDF file: LASTNAME_FirstName_CACE_DODCYSP.PDF and include:

  1. The completed DoD CySP New Student Application. The 2020-2021 application will be provided in a link when it is available.  This 10-page form must be filled out and signed electronically. Hand-written applications will not be accepted.
  2. Official Transcripts (scanned from an official hardcopy) from all colleges and universities attended
  3. Resume (2 pages), including:
    1. Education: degrees, institution, location, date of graduation (or expected date of graduation); major/minor fields; GPA
    2. Experience: jobs, internships, and/or volunteer work. Include the name of company, position, and dates employed. List at least three important tasks, accomplishments, or skills gained at each job. Also, identify any clearance level held. It is important that you identify the number of hours per week you worked.
    3. Skills: include computer systems; programs which you are proficient. Include foreign languages. List any other skills, certifications, and/or clearance levels you may hold.
  4. Separate sheet highlighting recognitions, honors, and awards (see instructions on page 5 of the DoD CySP New Student Application).
  5. Separate sheet highlighting your Cybersecurity, IT, and associated competencies, as per the instructions of page 6 of the DoD CySP New Student Application.
  6. Two Letters of Reference from persons knowledgeable of your potential for successful learning, as well as your knowledge and ability. At least one of these letters must be from a current faculty member (or a most current faculty member), and the second letter may be from either a current or former faculty member, or a current or former employer. See page 5 of the DoD CySP New Student Application for instructions about the content of Letters of Reference.
  7. Competency Statement (see instructions on page 6 of the DoD CySP New Student Application).

Delivering Your Application and Documents (Both Methods Are Required)

  • To submit an application, compile all the required documents, in the order indicated above, into a single PDF file and e-mail it to with a subject line of  DOD CySP Scholarship Application no later than the date specified.
  • In addition to the above electronic documents, deliver a hard copy of the application along with original transcripts in sealed envelopes as described above (by campus). This copy should include official (sealed) copy of your transcripts. Hardcopy packages must be postmarked no later than the date specified.

Announcement of Recipients

Scholarship notifications for students will be announced in May of 2021. Scholarships are awarded for a period of one academic year, with awards made by August 1, 2021, for the academic year beginning Aug. 2021, and ending May 2022.

Scholarship Restrictions

  • Submission of a DoD CySP application does not guarantee selection as a Cyber Scholar.  Note that Georgia Southern’s reviewers only review all applications for completeness and accuracy.  The decision to award a scholarship is made solely by NSA personnel.
  • Applicants must be able to obtain a security clearance necessary for employment at a DoD agency upon graduation (clearance is not required at the time of application to the DoD CySP).
  • Current military service personnel and DoD employees are welcome to apply to the DoD CySP. However, these applicants must not have other, existing service obligations that would interfere with their ability to accept DoD internship placements during the period of award, should they be selected as a Cyber Scholar or to accept full-time civilian employment with a DoD agency upon graduation from Georgia Southern University.
  • Except for small achievement awards, not to exceed $5,500 in an academic year, a student may not accept simultaneous remuneration from another scholarship or fellowship. The DoD CySP is a first pay scholarship program. However, students should not stop, interfere with, or otherwise delay the application or acceptance of other forms of financial aid until notified that he/she has been selected as a Cyber Scholar.
  • Undergraduate scholarship recipients will be required to maintain a 3.2 out of 4.0 grade point average or the equivalent. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will constitute grounds for termination of financial assistance and termination of internship and/or employment appointment. Additionally, students who fail to complete the degree program satisfactorily or to fulfill the service commitment upon graduation shall be required to reimburse the United States, in whole or in part, the cost of the financial (scholarship) assistance provided to them.



Last updated: 3/8/2021