Press Release

Senator Gillibrand Announces Expansion Of Her Cyber Service Academy Scholarship Program In Annual Defense Bill, Encourages Students To Apply For Free College In Exchange For Public Service

Dec 19, 2023

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a video press conference to announce the expansion of her Cyber Service Academy scholarship program in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senator Gillibrand created this program to address a widespread shortage in government cyber personnel, which leaves the U.S. vulnerable to cyber-attacks by foreign adversaries. The program will help develop a talented cyber workforce by granting successful applicants a free college education – including the full cost of tuition, select books and fees, a stipend, purchase of a laptop, and more – in return for public service in a cyber-related discipline in the Department of Defense (DoD) or the Intelligence Community (IC) after graduating. The expanded program mandates that the DoD provide 1,000 scholarships by the 2025-26 school year and allow up to 10% of Cyber Service Academy graduates to serve in the IC after graduation.

“My Cyber Service Academy scholarship addresses a dangerous shortage in cyber personnel in the public sector while also targeting the skyrocketing cost of higher education,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The program will help train a new generation of cyber professionals, allow them to graduate debt free, and provide them the opportunity to serve in the Department of Defense or the Intelligence Community after graduating. There are 20 eligible institutions in New York State alone and I encourage all interested high schoolers to apply at on or before February 1st.” 

The Cyber Service Academy scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, required textbooks, fees (including health care), a one-time computer purchase, travel to attend cyber conferences, and room and board. The room and board stipend ranges from $22,000/year for community college students, and up to $32,000/year for graduate students. Applicants need to be either enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an eligible institution to be eligible for the Cyber Service Academy program. The deadline to apply for the next academic year is February 1, 2024. 

Academy students will be required to serve in the DoD or in the Intelligence Community for one year per year of scholarship, up to five years. They are also expected to serve in internships during school breaks.

The following New York institutions are part of the Cyber Service Academy program: 

Capital Region

  • Excelsior University, Albany
  • University at Albany (UAlbany, SUNY Albany), Albany

Central New York

  • Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica
  • Syracuse University, Syracuse
  • Utica University, Utica (including Utica University’s MS in Cybersecurity program)

Southern Tier

  • Binghamton University (SUNY at Binghamton), Binghamton

Finger Lakes

  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester

Long Island

  • Suffolk County Community College, Selden

Lower Hudson Valley

  • Mercy University, Dobbs Ferry
  • Rockland Community College, Suffern
  • The College of Westchester, White Plains
  • Westchester Community College, Valhalla

New York City

  • Fordham University, Bronx
  • New York Institute of Technology, Manhattan
  • New York University, Brooklyn
  • Pace University, Manhattan
  • St. John’s University, Queens
  • City College of New York, Manhattan

North Country

  • SUNY Canton, Canton

Western New York

  • University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (UBuffalo, SUNY Buffalo), Buffalo