What is the US Department of Homeland Security Scholarship?

United States Department of Homeland Security (HS) scholarships are provided to military members who perform jobs that focus on protecting the country and its borders.  If you work in a military unit like the Coast Guard that reports into the Department of Homeland Security you might have an increased opportunity of learning about and getting one or more of the scholarships. 

Although guidelines for the Department of Homeland Security Scholarship may change annually, to be eligible for the scholarship you generally must be or have:

  • United States citizen by the time you submit your scholarship application
  • Not already have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.30 or higher
  • In your second or third year of college as a full-time student
  • Finished between 45 and 60 semester hours of postsecondary coursework or 60 to 75 quarter hours of study

Furthermore, you must also be able to attend college full-time after you receive the scholarship.  Your schedule must also permit you to attend the Department of Homeland Security Career Development Conference and complete a 10-week internship.  After you receive a Department of Homeland Security Scholarship you must also complete one year of full-time service in a HS-STEM field.  If you’re currently serving on active duty in the military you may find it beneficial to wait until the last year of your military contract to apply for a Department of Homeland Security Scholarship as your schedule may be more open then, allowing you to complete service requirements associated with the scholarship.

Get Money to Pay College Tuition with Homeland Security Scholarship

Financial benefits and rewards you may receive after you win the scholarship include:

  • $1,000 a month during a nine-month academic year
  • $5,000 while you complete the 10-week Homeland Security internship
  • Full payment of your college or university tuition for the years your scholarship is effective
  • Payment of non-refundable school related fees (e.g. lab fees)

A Department of Homeland Security Scholarship may not be combined with other forms of federal financial aid like scholarships, fellowship or grants.  As a retired military professional, you can combine the scholarship with tuition financial aid you receive from the Veterans Affairs. 

The Department of Homeland Security Scholarship application process is rigorous.  To start, when you complete your scholarship application as an active duty or retired military member you must answer a series of essay questions and provide two completed online reference report forms.  To prove your citizenship, submit a copy of your birth certificate or United States passport.  Transcripts from postsecondary schools you attended before and after you entered the military are also required with your scholarship application.

Subjects you can major in while at college or university include:

  • Advanced Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Chemical Threats and Countermeasures
  • Border Security
  • Community, Commerce and Infrastructure Resilience
  • Food and Agriculture Security
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Communications and Interoperability
  • Human Factors
  • Transportation Security
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Unlike other forms of financial aid, you generally won’t have to repay your Department of Homeland Security scholarship.  The education you receive with the scholarship may also help you to land a permanent job with the Department of Homeland Security after you are honorably discharged from the military.  To remain up-to-date on new scholarships the Department of Homeland Security as well as other federal agencies offer active duty, reserve and retired military professionals regularly check the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Scholarship Program guidelines.

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