Cyber Corps funding boosted

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 included $19.3 million for the 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 of the $19.3 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 now participate in the scholarship program. They will be chosen from a list of "highly ranked proposals" that have been submitted but were not previously funded because of 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 that can participate, McDuffie said.

The extra funding will help double the size of the scholarship program, from more than 100 students within the next six months to 200 to 300 students within the next two to three years, McDuffie said.

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 create more information assurance instructors and to adequately compensate their existing instructors," so that the program can handle the increase in students, he said.

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