Through the Federal Cyber Corps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, Penn State provides scholarships to outstanding students studying in the field of Cybersecurity (broadly defined). Each scholarship recipient will complete either a Bachelor, Master, or Ph.D. degree in diverse Cybersecurity-related programs at Penn State (e.g., IST, CSE, Engineering, Geography, International Affairs).
Note: application for the recruitment for 2024-2025 academic season will be due around March 2024. Please check the details in the application page in the early spring semester 2024.
The SFS Program is offered and funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The SFS program is a unique program designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal cybersecurity professionals that protect the U.S. government’s critical information infrastructure. This program provides scholarships to U.S. citizens or permanent residents that fully fund the typical costs during the study. After graduation, participants must fulfill a government service obligation for a period equivalent to the length of their scholarship.
The scholarship program will cover in-state tuition for up to two years of study for Bachelor or Master students, and up to three years of study for Ph.D. students. Full benefits include:
- Tuition and fees (excluding items such as meal plans, housing, or parking)
- Annual stipend (undergraduate: $27,000, and graduate: $37,000)
- A professional development allowance of up to $6,000 per year for a laptop, books, SFS job fair, travel, professional certification etc.
In return for receiving scholarship benefits, each scholarship recipient incurs two obligations:
- During the summers while enrolled in the program, each student will be responsible for securing an Cybersecurity-related internship position at a federal, state, or local government agency. Numerous resources are available to assist students in identifying and applying for internships.
- Upon graduation, each student will be required to work in a qualified Cybersecurity related position for federal, state, local, or tribal government agencies, qualified national laboratories (or state universities). The work requirement time period matches the supported time period. For example, a full two-year scholarship requires two years of federal employment. Each student is responsible for identifying, applying for, and securing a qualified position. Numerous resources are available including an annual job fair specifically for SFS students as well as the assistance of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) which oversees permanent placement for scholarship students.