The DoD Cyber Scholarship (CySP)

The CySP is authorized by Chapter 112 of U.S.C., Section 2200, designed to encourage the recruitment of the nation’s top cyber talent and the retention of DoD personnel who have skills necessary to meet DoD’s cyber requirements and help secure our nation against threats of information systems and networks. Provide scholarships to students in pursuit of cyber-related degree at National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Education: Cyber Defense (CAE-CD), Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R) or Cyber Operations (CAE-CO).

This program is a nationally competitive 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.
  • The stipend levels are $27,000 for undergraduate students and $32,000 for graduate (Master’s/PhD) students. Awards will be made via a grant to the CAE-C.

Information for Applicants

  • Students falling into one of the following categories may apply:
    • Rising second-year CAE-C Community College (pilot program) students who will be transitioning into a bachelor’s degree program at a 4-year CAE-C
    • Juniors, Seniors pursuing a bachelor's degree (Sophomore's promoting to a Junior in Fall 2020 are eligible to apply)
    • Students in their first or second year of a master's degree; or
    • Students pursuing doctoral degrees.
  • If you are an undergraduate student, you must maintain an overall 3.2 out of a 4.0 grade point average (or an analogous rank based on a comparable scale) in order to receive financial assistance (a scholarship) under the CySP.
  • If you are a graduate student, you must maintain an overall 3.5 out of a 4.0 (or an analogous rank based on a comparable scale) in order to receive financial assistance (a scholarship).
  • Failure to maintain these minimum grade point averages constitutes grounds for immediate termination of financial assistance and your appointment under the CySP. Additionally, if you fail to complete the degree program satisfactorily or to fulfill the service commitment upon graduation, you shall be required to reimburse the United States, in whole or in part, the cost of the financial (scholarship) assistance provided.
  • Except for small achievement awards (not to exceed $5,500 in any academic year), you may not accept simultaneous remuneration from another scholarship or fellowship while receiving financial assistance under the CySP. If you are in a graduate program, you may receive a reasonable amount of remuneration for teaching or similar activities as are, in the institution’s opinion, contributory to your academic progress. Except where state or local law, court or proper administrative order declares otherwise, the DoD shall assume that the development of students, not service to the academic institution, will govern the assignment of these activities.
  • Should you terminate your appointment under the CySP, decline or refuse to honor your commitment to accept permanent employment, or, voluntarily terminate permanent employment before you have fulfilled your period of obligated service, you must reimburse the United States, in whole or in part, the cost of the financial (scholarship) assistance provided to you. An obligation to reimburse under this condition of employment is for all purposes considered to be a debt owed to the United States.

The deadline for submissions at Kennesaw State is February 1, 2022 at midnight.

Interested Applicants Must

Complete and submit all application documents at: https://www.avuedigitalservices.com/casting/aiportal/control/mainmenu?agency=DDW&portal=CYSP    

Additional information may be found at: https://www.dodemergingtech.com/cyber-scholarship-program-cysp/ 

For inquiries, please contact Dr. Shahriar at hshahria [at] kennesaw [dot] edu

Additional Information

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 scholarship assistance. This agreement is provided to the selecting agency for their records to ensure compliance with the service commitment. Students will also be required to serve in internship positions, if timing permits, with the DoD organizations during the time they are receiving scholarship support until they complete the course of study provided for by the scholarship. These internships will be arranged by the DoD to occur during the summer or other breaks between school terms, as appropriate to the individual’s circumstances and the institution’s calendar. The internship does not count toward satisfying the period of obligated service incurred by accepting the CySP scholarship. Students will be required to formally accept or decline the scholarship within 15 days of notification. Non-acceptance by this date will mean the scholarship will be offered to the next available student.

Students will be required to complete a security investigation questionnaire to initiate the process for a background investigation in preparation for their internships, if applicable, and as a condition of future employment with the DoD. Drug tests or other suitability processing will occur as appropriate. Students will also be required to sign an agreement stating that they will accept assignments requiring travel or change of duty stations as interns or employees. Individuals who voluntarily terminate employment during intern appointments or before the end of the period of obligated service required by the terms of Chapter 112, title 10, United States Code, will be required to refund the United States, in whole or in part, the cost of the educational assistance provided to them. Web pages have been provided in the Application Background and Application Package for review about security clearances to assist both the PIs and the students in understanding these requirements before they apply.

An opportunity also exists for scholarship payback through military service. Individuals choosing to enlist or accept a commission to serve on active duty in one of the Military Services shall incur a service obligation of a minimum of 4 years on active duty in that Service upon graduation. The Military Services may establish a service obligation longer than 4 years, depending on the occupational specialty and type of enlistment or commissioning program selected.

Undergraduate scholarship recipients will be required to maintain a 3.2 out of 4.0 grade point average or the equivalent; graduate students will be required to maintain an overall 3.5 out of a 4.0 grade point average, or 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. CAE-Cs will be responsible for monitoring student progress and will notify the DoD CySP Program Manager should any student scholar fail to attain minimum academic standards required for continuing scholarship support.

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.

Graduate programs may include a reasonable amount of teaching or similar activities that are, in the CAE-C’s opinion, contributory to the student’s academic progress; however, the development of students, not service to the CAE-C, will govern the assignment of these activities. 

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