Virginia offers scholarship for cybersecurity students

Virginia offers scholarship for cybersecurity students

With organizations worldwide scrambling to cover the growing need for cybersecurity professionals, Virginia has responded by starting a $1 million scholarship fund for students who plan to go into the field.

Recipients of the Virginia Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Program will receive $20,000 a year for studying how to safeguard computer networks, data and electronic resources. The money does come with a caveat, however: Students funded by the scholarship must agree to work in a Virginia state agency or institution for the number of years that they received the scholarship, according to the announcement from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office.

About 25 scholarships awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, depending on available funding. To be eligible, students must be within two years of graduating from a cybersecurity program at a Virginia college or university with a grade point average of at least 3.0.

Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson said in a statement that cybersecurity professional are a vital part of state government and its future.

“These funds will help ensure that the next generation of cyber professionals receives the cutting-edge training they need to be successful in this vital industry,” Jackson said.

Applications for the scholarship are now open and will be accepted until Sept. 15, 2016.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.

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