Scholarship for Service Program
Focused on information assurance education, the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) program gives students scholarship funds in exchange for service in the federal government for a period equivalent to the length of their scholarship, typically two years. As a result of the SFS program, federal agencies are able to select from a highly qualified pool of student applicants for internships and permanent positions.
The SFS program is offered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Carnegie Mellon offers two programs that meet SFS criteria: The INI's M.S. in Information Security Technology Management (MSISTM) and the Heinz College's M.S. in Information Security Policy and Management (MSISPM).
Award & Stipend
The scholarship could cover all or part of tuition, room and board, and books for up to two years of study. In addition, students receive a stipend. The annual stipend for graduate students is $25,000 (prorated amount).
Students are funded for up to two years during the final years of their program. The student must then serve at a Federal agency in a covered position. A student must serve for a period equivalent to the length of the scholarship. If the student is funded for two academic years, he or she must serve at a Federal agency for two calendar years.
Students participating in the SFS program must be:
- Enrolled in the final two years of a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree program at an NSF-selected Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE);
- Attending school on a full-time basis while receiving a scholarship under the SFS program;
- A United States citizen;
- Eligible for federal employment; and
- Able to obtain a security clearance.
Colleges and universities participating in the SFS program must be selected by the National Science Foundation. They must complete a competitive process to be designated a CAE/IAE or have a program deemed "equivalent" by the NSF and the DHS.
Obligations to the Federal Government
Recipients of the SFS must:
- Complete the degree program successfully and on time
- Complete a summer internship with a participating federal agency
- Fulfill a one-for-one year commitment post-graduation (Students in a two-year program must complete 24 months of working for a federal agency)
If a student fails to complete the period of scholarship or post-academic period of employment, that student must repay a prorated amount equivalent to the length of the period not served. For example, if a student receives funds for two years and serves for one-and-a-half years, he must repay 25% of the funds received. Federal agencies must notify the SFS Program Office immediately when this occurs. That office is responsible for initiating the repayment process.
Benefits to SFS Participants
- Full tuition scholarship
- Academic stipend of $25,000 per year in residence (on internships, students are paid by the agency they work for)
*These monies are taxable at the federal level only. Amount per year is $25,000. All expenses are to come out of that amount, and there is no additional housing allowance.
Costs for which Students are Responsible
Students may use academic stipend to pay these costs:
- Laptop computer (approximately $2,500)
- Health insurance (reimbursement allowed up to $1,200 if University coverage is elected)
- Books (allowance up to $1,000 but no hardware or software)
- Attend the annual SFS Job Fair held in Washington, DC in January
- Attend colloquia, seminars, short courses, etc. offered - sometimes exclusively to students in the SFS program
- Attend a conference related to information security and assurance issues (students will be reimbursed up to $1,300 in expenses)