Rounds, Kaine Introduce Bipartisan DOD Cyber Scholarship Program Act of 2017

WASHINGTON –  U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services’ Committee Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) today introduced a bill to strengthen the cybersecurity workforce that is critical to addressing the United States’ growing cyber challenges. The DoD Cyber Scholarship Program Act of 2017 would reinvigorate and modify an existing DoD scholarship program for students pursuing degrees in cybersecurity fields. This bill would authorize the DoD’s scholarship fund to receive $10 million for FY 2018 and would expand scholarships to students pursuing associate’s degrees at several community colleges.


“As our reliance on technology in everyday life continues to grow, so does our threat of cyber-attacks which could significantly disrupt our economy and weaken our national security,” said Rounds. “This expanding threat underscores the need to recruit and train cybersecurity professionals. In particular, our national shortage of these experts impacts the Defense Department’s ability to accomplish its cyber missions. Our legislation strengthens a proven cybersecurity scholarship program that has amply benefited students in South Dakota and nationwide as they embarked on cybersecurity careers in support of our national security.”


“A well-trained and highly skilled cyber workforce is essential to addressing the United States’ growing cybersecurity challenges,” Kaine said. “There are good-paying jobs in Virginia and across the country in the cyber field that are going unfilled, and it’s clear we must make it easier for students to access the programs that prepare them for these roles. Expanding scholarship funds so they're available to community college students is a commonsense change that will help put more of Virginia’s students on a path to success and support our national security needs.”

The bill would require that at least 5 percent of scholarship funds go to 2-year program students who attend institutions designated by the NSA and DHS as Centers of Academic Excellence, such as Dakota State University in Madison. The bill would also make competitive grants available to eligible schools for developing cybersecurity academic programs.