CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) Program

NSF

 

What's New?

Last updated on Nov. 2th, 2022.

1. The application window for the 2023 CyberCorps cohort is January 1st, 2023 to March 1st, 2023. The new cohort will start receiving CyberCorps scholarships from Fall 2023. Click here to see how to prepare yourself to be a strong CyberCorps candidate.

2. A CyberCorps info session was held 6pm - 7pm on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022 at Rekhi 112. Another similar info session will be held in Jan. 2023. Click here to view the ppt. Click here to view the recorded info session.

3. There are ten students currently enrolled in the CyberCorps program. The cohort attended DEFCON, GrrCon, NCL, and many other cybersecurity conferences, competitions, and events. All costs were covered by the CyberCorps scholarship.

4. If you have any questions or comments, contact us at: sfs@mtu.edu

What is CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS)?

CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) is a unique national program designed to recruit and train the next generation of information technology professionals, industrial control system security professionals, and security managers to meet the needs of the cybersecurity mission for Federal, State, local, and tribal governments. This program provides full scholarships for two or three years of support for cybersecurity undergraduate and graduate education. In return for their scholarships, recipients must agree to work after graduation for the U.S. Government, in a position related to cybersecurity, for a period equal to the length of the scholarship.

Michigan Technological University is a proud participant in the CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program through a multi-million dollar grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2021. The SFS program at Michigan Tech utilizes a multi-disciplinary curriculum model by focusing on cross-cutting cybersecurity education and research areas. The program collaborates with the Pavlis Honors College (PHC) at Michigan Tech to explore a unique strategy for mentoring, advising, and engaging SFS scholars based on a combination of faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, and customized honors pathways.

Scholarship Benefits

SFS scholars (scholarship recipients) shall receive all of the following:

  1. Full-time tuition and education related fees
  2. Stipend: $25,000 per year for undergraduate students and $34,000 per year for graduate students
  3. Professional development allowance (travel, professional certification etc.) up to $6,000 per academic year

In addition, there are many non-financial benefits:

  1. Career development opportunities
  2. Personalized academic advising
  3. Supports from professional communities, and many more.

Obligations for Scholarship Recipient

SFS scholars must agree to:

  1. Work immediately following graduation for the Federal Government or a State, Local, or Tribal Government in a position related to cybersecurity for a period equal to the length of the scholarship
  2. Participate in government internship positions in the summers during the years of scholarship study
  3. Participate in other SFS activities, such as weekly individual meetings, monthly group meetings, cyber competitions, conferences and workshops
  4. Meet other SFS requirements, such as signing Service Agreement Forms and maintaining good academic standing.

SFS scholars are responsible to apply for and obtain a position. Michigan Tech's SFS program will provide assistance to SFS scholars by helping identify employment opportunities. 

Eligibility for Scholarship

To be eligible for consideration for the SFS scholarship, the student must meet ALL of the following:

  1. United States citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  2. Meet selection criteria for U.S. federal employment;  
    Internship placements and final job placements in government organizations typically require high-level security clearances. Scholarship recipients are required to undergo the background investigation necessary to obtain such clearances.
    For reference purposes, you can review the federal SF-86 form- Questionnaire for National Security Positions. However, do NOT fill out the form for this SFS application.
  3. Have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA;
  4. Current or prospective full-time student pursing cybersecurity related degrees at Michigan Tech;
    SFS scholars will be chosen from the following seven BS degrees and one MS degree:
    1. BS in Cybersecurity (CyS);
    2. BS in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA);
    3. BS in Computer Science (CS);
    4. BS in Software Engineering (SE);
    5. BS in Computer Engineering (CpE);
    6. BS in Electrical Engineering (EE);
    7. BS in Management Information Systems (MIS); and
    8. MS in Cybersecurity.

SFS Curriculum Tracks

The Michigan Tech SFS program provides scholarship opportunities with the following flexible tracks. If you are not sure about different options, contact the project PI (Prof. Yu Cai, cai@mtu.edu) to discuss your study plan.

Track 1) BS in Cybersecurity.
Students will receive two-year support (junior + senior year) after applying and being selected as an SFS scholar in their sophomore year.

Track 2) BS in another participating major + a minor in Cybersecurity.
Students in this track will be encouraged to include a cybersecurity component in their capstone project.
Students will receive two-year scholarship support (junior + senior year) after applying and being selected as an SFS scholar in their sophomore year.
The minor in Cybersecurity requires 18 credit hours. The minor provides a foundation in cybersecurity to prepare SFS scholars for their post-graduation employment in government agencies.

Track 3) BS in a participating major + an accelerated MS in Cybersecurity.

Students will receive two-year SFS scholarship support (senior year + one year MS) after applying and being selected in their junior year of undergraduate study.

Track 4) Regular MS in Cybersecurity.

Students will receive two-year scholarship support (MS year one + year two) after applying and being selected as an SFS scholar in their senior year.

Track 5) Transfer students from Community Colleges
can enroll in Track 1 or Track 2.
Transfer students from community colleges will receive three-year scholarship support (sophomore + junior + senior year) after applying and being selected during their last year at their community college. Most community college transfer students will require three years to complete the BS and/or the minor after transfer.

Track 6) Option for third-year support to pursue an accelerated MS in Cybersecurity.

Students in Track 1 and Track 2 will have an option of extending to a third year to get an accelerated MS in Cybersecurity, with permission of the team that supervises the scholarship program.

Since the SFS program will only provide two or three years of financial support, the program is mainly intended for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year undergraduate students at Michigan Tech.

  • If you are a high school student or a 1st year student at Michigan Tech, we encourage you to actively participate in cybersecurity activities. Click here to see how to prepare yourself to be a strong CyberCorps candidate.
  • If you are a 2nd and 3rd year student at Michigan Tech, you can choose Track 1, 2, or 3.
  • If you are a 4th year student at Michigan Tech, you can choose Track 3 or 4.
  • If you are a student from a community college and plan to transfer to Michigan Tech, you can choose Track 5.
  • Exceptional students from non-computing majors (such as law and policy) who demonstrate strong commitment to cybersecurity career in government agencies will also be considered. Contact the project PI (Prof. Yu Cai, cai@mtu.edu) to discuss your study plan.

Scholarship Application

Application Materials

A complete SFS application must include the following items, in addition to the online application form:

  1. Proof of U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status
  2. A resume including list of academic recognitions, awards, honors and distinctions received
  3. Transcripts from all of the colleges and universities attended (scanned copies are preferred) 
  4. A short essay (no more than 2000 words) OR a short video (no more than 15 minutes) describing the applicant's:
    1. goals and motivations to pursue a career in cybersecurity
    2. commitment to the service obligation and understanding of government jobs
    3. past achievements and experiences related to cybersecurity
    4. leadership, teamwork, and communication skills
  5. Two letters of recommendation. One letter should come from a faculty member at Michigan Tech or your current institution, addressing the applicant's academic performance and potential for success. The second letter, preferably not from a Michigan Tech faculty member, should address the applicant's character and work ethic. 

Application Deadline: March 1st, 2023

Scholarship opportunities are limited, early application is strongly recommended.

Candidate Selection

This SFS scholarship opportunity at Michigan Tech is a highly selective process and subject to grant funding availability. After initial assessment based on submitted application materials, a shortlist will be generated for in-person interviews. SFS candidates in the shortlist will also be asked to complete a questionnaire for background check.

SFS scholarship recipients are selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic performance and potential
  2. Essay/video outlining the applicant's objectives as it relates to cybersecurity and a career in government
  3. Resume highlighting cybersecurity experience and achievements
  4. Letters of recommendation
  5. Ability to obtain security clearance
  6. Interview

What makes you a strong candidate for the CyberCorps scholarship:

  1. Commitment to complete the CyberCorps program successfully
  2. Commitment to government services after graduation
  3. Satisfactory academic performance and potential
  4. Technical skills and experience (such as internship, cyber competitions, cybersecurity projects...)
  5. Soft skills (such as leadership, communication, team work…) and experience
  6. Ability to get high-level security clearance

Practical suggestions to strengthen your qualification:

  1. Join the RedTeam if you are a Michigan Tech student
  2. Participate in National Cyber League (NCL) and other cyber competitions
  3. Find summer internships to polish your computer skills
  4. Take cybersecurity courses and conduct cybersecurity projects
  5. Take leadership roles in student organizations and community activities
  6. Last but not least, study hard and get good grades

Underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, first-generation / low-income students, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contact Us

The project PI is Professor Yu Cai from the College of Computing at Michigan Tech. The project coordinator is Mr. Thomas Cogswell.

Project co-PIs and other important personnel include Professor Jean Mayo, Professor Todd O. Arney, Professor Bo Chen, Professor Chee-Wooi Ten, Professor Kedmon N. Hungwe, and Dr. Laura Kasson Fiss

If you have questions or comments, contact us at: sfs@mtu.edu