Cyber Corps funding hiked

The government's Scholarship for Service program is getting an infusion of new money, thanks to the supplemental funding bill signed by President Bush Aug. 2.

The supplemental funding included $19.3 million for the scholarship program, which offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students studying information assurance in exchange for two years of government service in the federal Cyber Corps. The program also funds capacity-building programs.

About $8 million will go toward expanding the program to four new schools, said Ernest McDuffie, program director for the Scholarship for Service program at the National Science Foundation, which runs the program.

The four schools, which have not yet been named, will be added to the 11 institutions that already participate in the scholarship program. They will be chosen from a list of "highly ranked proposals" that were not previously funded because of a lack of money, McDuffie said.

The remaining money will be used to help the schools already involved in the scholarship program increase the number of students who can participate, McDuffie said.

The funding will help double the size of the scholarship program to more than 100 students within the next six months.

Preston Gillmore, a Scholarship for Service graduate student at the University of Tulsa, said the plan to expand the program is a wise one because "there are not enough trained network security professionals available for either the public or private sectors." However, program officials should "allow the schools to continue to expand their programs to [develop] more information assurance instructors and to adequately compensate their existing instructors," so that the program can handle the increase, he said.

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