Aguilar Secures $7 Million for Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6157, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019. Included in the bill was language to add an additional $2 million in funding for the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program. The increase in funding, which was a direct result of Rep. Aguilar’s advocacy as a Member of the Appropriations Committee, will allow more students to participate in the cyber scholarship program. As a result of Rep. Aguilar’s efforts to fund the program last year, 40 students received cyber scholarships with offers of civilian employment within the Department of Defense upon completion of their degrees in the cyber field, including two students from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB).
“The need for cyber security officials within the Department of Defense continues to grow, and we need to make sure that need is met with bright young talent,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “I’m proud that this scholarship has been used to help connect Inland Empire students with this resource, and hope that this increase in funding will result in even more students from our region finding success in this critically important field.”
Dr. Tony Coulson, Director of the Cyber Security Center at CSUSB, commented, “This program is important, not only for the cyber security program at CSUSB, but for the nation as a whole. The students in this program are charged with protecting freedom and democracy in this country and to have the support of Rep. Aguilar shows his deep commitment to this university and region as well as recognizing the importance of cyber security for the United States.”
The funding secured by Rep. Aguilar, in addition to the $10 million secured by another Member through an amendment offered on the House floor, brings the program’s total funding for the upcoming fiscal year to $17 million. After successfully passing an amendment to restart the scholarship program in 2017, Rep. Aguilar has continued to advocate to expand the program to benefit more students and continue to grow the United States’ cyber security workforce. The OPPORTUNITY Act, Rep. Aguilar’s legislation to connect students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) with the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program has now passed the House and the Senate.