Homeland Security Scholarships
High-level and Low-level Careers in Private and Public Sectors
Homeland security is the name given to America’s campaign to defend the country against terrorist attack. The primary goals of this effort are to increase the difficulty of attacking the nation and to render America less vulnerable to whatever attacks do occur. Homeland security employees specialize in fields like information technology, emergency management, public policy, and public health. They are drawn from various professions in order to contribute to this aspect of national security.
Homeland security work includes an eclectic assortment of tasks, everything from preparing stockpiles and arranging transport for an emergency response to securing the nation’s borders and ensuring the purity of food and water supplies. The largest employer of homeland security personnel is the federal government, which also supplies a great deal of financial assistance to students.
U. S. Department of Homeland Security
The U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Science and Technology Directorate has established the DHS Scholarship Program to support undergraduates working in the STEM fields (that is, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Applicants should be focusing on one of the Directorate’s research specializations and be able to work for ten weeks during the summer in a research internship.
You must be a U. S. citizen and be eligible for a security clearance to be considered. Documentation required with your application includes transcripts, two reference letters, and a birth certificate or passport. There is a list of accepted academic concentrations on this page.
The DHS scholarship program includes two types of research internship. The HS-STEM Summer Internship Program consists of spending ten weeks in a government laboratory (such as Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, or Sandia) or other research facility (such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology). Undergraduates are paid $5,000 plus travel expenses, and the graduate stipend is $7,000.
The DHS Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions funds summer work by students and teachers at designated schools. In addition, there are a number of other DHS internships listed as Student Opportunities. Here are three examples of these internship tracks:
- The Secretary’s Honors Program looks for the brightest, most driven students based on both academic performance and practical experience. A few of them, both undergraduates and graduate students, will receive fellowships in subjects like computer science and information technology, law, and emergency management.
- The Presidential Management Fellows Program, or PMF, has its own website. PMF selects only graduates with advanced degrees and it develops candidates to fill leadership roles.
- The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center College Intern Program lets criminology and criminal justice students experience federal law enforcement training.
You can always review the DHS website to determine whether any new scholarships are being offered, for example the Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Scholarship Program (NFUSP). NFUSP gives $10,000 awards for summer work to students in physics, chemistry, and nuclear engineering.
Indiana Department of Homeland Security
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has created the Secure Indiana Scholarship Program to encourage students preparing for careers in public safety. There is one annual award for each legislative district, and full-time students receive $2,000 (part-time students get half that sum).
You must submit documentation of volunteer work with emergency personnel, a personal essay, and transcripts with your application.
Scholarships From Colleges
Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Illinois University is one of several college websites that list the Caterpillar Homeland Security Scholarship for students pursuing a certificate in a security-related subject (either Applied Engineering & Technology or Technology is recommended). Financial need is the primary consideration, and the availability of the award depends on the program’s current funding.
One scholarship is to be handed out for fall semester, and one for spring.
Laramie County Community College
Laramie County Community College now sponsors a Homeland Security Scholarship program, available for any HSEC (homeland security) course on the approved list, including online courses. After you finish that course successfully, the scholarship will pay you back for all school expenses incurred in taking it, such as tuition, books, or laboratory fees. If funding permits, you may secure a reimbursement award for more than one course per semester.
Students with majors in Homeland Security receive preference.
Long Island University-Riverhead
The Homeland Security Management Institute at Long Island University-Riverhead has posted a lengthy page of information on its scholarships. Here are three of the awards you will find:
- The Homeland Security Management Institute Scholarship gives a discount of one-third tuition to government employees (whether federal, state, or municipal). Members of some unions and professional organizations are also eligible for the reduction in price.
- The Mayors Graduate Scholarship Program helps full-time employees of New York City enroll in graduate programs.
- The Riverhead Merit Scholarship rewards exceptional students noted for academic performance, community service, and commitment to the field of Homeland Security Management.