Five students were selected in December 2020 to receive the CyberCorps scholarship: (from left to right) Avery Smith, Alexa Freglette, Jonathan Duran, Shannon Truong, and Jake Backer. Jonathan graduated from Rhode Island College with a BS in Computer Science and is pursuing an MS in Computer Science at WPI. The other four students are in the Class of 2022, pursuing BS or BS/MS degrees in Computer Science. Each has some initial experience with cybersecurity, including participating in Capture the Flag competitions and other activities with the Cybersecurity Club and the WPI student chapter of Women in Cybersecurity. We welcome these new recipients to our cohort!
The National Science Foundation funds a Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at WPI to grow the nation's pool of qualified cybersecurity workers. Full scholarships (including tuition, fees, and a monthly stipend) are awarded to students whose studies in computer science, electrical and computer engineering, or a related field are focused on cybersecurity. These scholars also receive support in deepening their understanding of security topics and obtaining jobs in the security field. In return for their funding, scholarship recipients work for the government in cybersecurity for summer internships and post-graduation employment. Their period of required service is equal to the number of years they received the scholarship.
Scholars work in a variety of agencies and positions, with options including forensics, network defense, research, and public policy. Scholars' commitment to public service is critical to the integrity of the program, both at WPI and nationally. They must also be willing to reside in the Washington, D.C. area, or another place outside of Massachusetts, for their government employment period. SFS alumni from WPI have taken jobs at the National Security Agency, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, and other eligible employers. Additional details are below.
SFS Welcomes New Recipients
Students funded under the program receive the following benefits (while grant funds are available):
- Full-tuition scholarship (2-3 years depending on degree program)
- Annual stipend (for living expenses): $22,500 for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate students
- Additional annual funds to reimburse textbooks (up to $2,000), health insurance premiums (up to $3,000), and professional development (including travel, up to $4,000)
- Participation in a targeted job fair and other professional development events for SFS scholars
Students funded under this program incur the following obligations:
- Complete a degree program through a plan of study with a significant focus on security
- Search for and complete security-related government internships during the summers while funded under the program
- Search for and complete employment with the government immediately following graduation -- the period of employment must equal the duration of the scholarship
- Participate in conferences, job fairs, and meetings related to the SFS program
Applicants must be:
- a U.S. citizen
- a rising junior/senior undergraduate student, or a graduate student, at WPI (prospective students must have applied separately for admission to Computer Science, Data Science or Electrical and Computer Engineering)
- pursuing a plan of study with significant security content in their host department
- able to show strong evidence of their ability to obtain a Security Clearance
Evaluation criteria include (but are not limited to) academic qualifications (such as GPA), demonstrated interest in cybersecurity, and eligibility for a U.S. security clearance (required for post-scholarship employment).
How to Apply
A complete application requires the following:
- A resume that includes education, work experience, key skills, honors, and awards
- Contact information for two references, at least one of whom is a faculty member. We do not need letters from your references as part of the application, just their contact information. The application has a space to provide this information.
- Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended (other than WPI)
- A statement (1-2 pages) describing your experience and interest in cybersecurity, your broader career goals, aspects of government work that do (and do not) interest you, and why are you are applying for this scholarship
- A completed and signed Obligation Acknowledgement Form (PDF)
- A signed and scanned Student Release Form (PDF) - WPI students: (1) fill out the top section only and upload it to your application (do not take it to the Dean's Office); (2) if you attended another college before WPI, fill out the top section of an additional form and send it to that college (they can mail the completed form directly to WPI's SFS program staff at the address below, or return it to you to hand-deliver to our office); (3) you do not need a records release from your high school. Students at other colleges: fill out the top section of the form and give it to your Dean of Students. When it has been completed and signed by the Dean, upload it to your application.
When to Submit
We will be accepting applications in February 2021 for scholarships to begin in August for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The application deadline is: February 28, 2021.
Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date.
How to Submit
Click the link below to complete the application process and upload your supporting materials. Be sure to have the following completed and ready for upload before clicking on the application link:
- Cybersecurity interest statement
- Signed and scanned Obligation Acknowledgement Form (PDF)
- Signed and scanned Student Release Form (PDF) - see notes under "Requirements," above
Click HERE for the SFS Application.
Due to their sensitive nature, official transcripts from colleges/universities need to be hand-carried in a sealed envelope or mailed directly to:
WPI Department of Computer Science
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609
Contact us at email@example.com.