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March 08, 2017

Aguilar Secures $5 Million to Restart Cybersecurity Scholarship Program Affecting CSUSB Students

Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar announced that his amendment to appropriate $5 million to the Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) was included in H.R. 1301, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, and passed the House of Representatives this afternoon. This funding will allow the Secretary of Defense to issue scholarships to individuals obtaining skills in computer and network security. The scholarships were previously offered at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) but were suspended due to lack of funding.

“The issue of cybersecurity has never been as critical to our national defense programs as it is today,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “We need to do everything in our power to ensure that we are ahead of the rest of the world on cybersecurity advances, which we can only do if we invest in our talent early.”

Dr. Tony Coulson, Director of the Cyber Security Center at CSUSB added, “The restart of this very important program will provide critically needed cyber security skills for the Department of Defense, the nation and this region.”

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2017 allocates federal funds for defense programs and projects for the fiscal year. Rep. Aguilar’s efforts to secure this funding will allow CSUSB to offer IASP scholarships again. CSUSB is renowned for its cybersecurity education program. This is not the first time that Rep. Aguilar’s work has helped support cybersecurity programs. Last year, Rep. Aguilar passed legislation to establish a pilot program to expedite the process for individuals in the cybersecurity field to become officers in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force.

H.R. 1301 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Current defense funding expires with the current continuing resolution on April 28, 2017. Rep. Aguilar serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Cybersecurity Caucus.