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Criminal Justice Scholarships

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Pursuing a career in law enforcement, investigative services, or corrections? There are many criminal justice schools to consider, as well as larger colleges and universities which have a criminal justice department. Either way, criminal justice students have many options for financial aid, especially in the form of ‘free money’, or scholarships. Scholarships are a great supplement to a student’s financial aid package . . . and, they don’t have to be repaid.

Larger institutions typically offer general scholarships through their financial aid office, as well as departmental scholarships for students majoring in criminal justice. Specialized criminal justice schools offer more scholarships, which are typically specific to the student’s career goals. Some examples include scholarships for students pursuing careers in law enforcement, investigative services, forensic science, or pre-law.

Who Offers Free Money

Scholarships are free money that helps students pay for college expenses, which makes it important to find as many scholarship opportunities as possible. Most colleges and universities offer general scholarships based on merit and/or financial need through the school’s financial aid office.
Besides general scholarships, criminal justice students can speak with departmental staff to find what types of scholarships are available to them.

Here are examples of some campus-related criminal justice scholarships:

Ball State University’s Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology offers the Lionel Niemann Scholarship to students in their junior and senior year. Students must be enrolled full-time while pursuing a bachelor degree, demonstrate financial need, and have proof of community and/or campus service activities.

At Sul Ross State University in Texas, the Criminal Justice department offers two scholarships to its students majoring in criminal justice. The James B. Gillett Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students in their junior or senior year who demonstrate good academic standing. Applicants must include three letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay. Award amount ranges from $500 – $750. The Joe Hicks Memorial Scholarship awards $200 – $500 per year to undergraduate students majoring in criminal justice. Deadline for this scholarship is March 1 of every year.

University of Northern Colorado’s criminal justice program offers the Lisa Marie Kimmel Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to two full-time students majoring in criminal justice. UNC awards two scholarships at $500 each. UNC’s Walt Francis Award is given to students majoring in criminal justice who seek employment in law enforcement as well as plan to attend graduate school. Award amount is $250.

At Sam Houston State University, the College of Criminal Justice offers its students several awards. Some include the following scholarships: The Jason W. Stachey Criminal Justice Scholarship is awarded to full-time undergraduate students majoring in criminal justice. To receive this scholarship, students must demonstrate financial need. The Alpha Phi Sigma Scholarship is awarded to members of the organization who have good academic standing. The Brandon Ashley Memorial Scholarship is awarded to senior-level students studying criminal justice, seeking a career in law enforcement. Amounts all three awards vary.

The University of Texas—Arlington offers scholarships through their Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. One such award is the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Scholarship. This scholarship is given to undergraduate junior or senior level students studying criminal justice. Applicants must have a background in this field of study as well as a minimum of six hours of graduate study. Award amount varies.

In addition to major colleges and universities with criminal justice departments, students studying criminal justice can also enroll at educational institutions specializing in the field of criminal justice and related public service fields.

At John Jay College (CUNY) of Criminal Justice students can pursue degrees in a variety of public service fields including criminal justice. The college offers several scholarships including the Justice Scholarship—awarded to incoming freshmen in the amount of $2,000, who plan a career in criminal justice and public service. This award is renewable for up to three years. The college also offers the Maria I. Ramirez Memorial Scholarship—awarded to a female student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Award amount is $1,600, distributed among two semesters.

Tips to Remember about Criminal Justice Scholarships

  • Speak with a financial aid representative at the school to find general and subject-specific scholarships available to students.
  • Meet with departmental heads to find scholarships specific to criminal justice majors. Many departments offer specialized awards, based on financial need and/or merit.
  • Research using the Internet and speak to campus staff. With perseverance and inquiries, criminal justice scholarships can be found.

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