Forensic Science School Grants and Scholarships

Grants

Are you willing to work for your college funds? When you apply for grants, it may take some time and effort, but the funds you receive are yours to keep. Additionally, you never need to repay them. Like scholarships, grants usually are based upon financial need or on high grade point averages (GPA). But unlike scholarships, grants normally do not require that you write an essay or fulfill some other criteria. Nor are there any expectations attached to the grant – you may fail a course, drop out for a semester, or change your major and the grant money usually remains in place.

When you fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you automatically apply for several federal grant options, including the Pell Grant. So, be sure to fill this application out and make sure the colleges you plan to attend also receive this information. The colleges can make some informed decisions about grants as well, based upon your FAFSA information. The information you pull together to fill out this form also can help you fill out other grant applications.

As a future forensic science student, you can initiate an investigation into other grants offered by the college of your choice or through other organizations. Many colleges may maintain grant programs that you may need to apply for separate from the FAFSA. Other institutions may offer grants as well, such as IIEPassport, a study abroad funding program. While this organization offers scholarships for forensic anthropology, they also offer grants for study abroad in a variety of topics.

You also can search for grants within a specific field in the forensic sciences. Look at the national level, state level, and even at local sources for funds that might pay part or even all your tuition. Grants can be found for:

  • criminal justice programs
  • law enforcement training
  • firearms management
  • others

Finally, grants are available to specialized segments of the population. If you belong to a police force or if you have a military background, you might find college funding from those resources. If your parents are military veterans or currently serving in the military or in the police or fire department, then you might find funds there, too. Don’t forget to seek out grant opportunities from religious organizations or from other associations that support women, ethnic groups, or even ancestors of a person who served in any given war.

While grants may be one way to pay for your college education, they also require some effort on your part. Be sure to read all the rules and regulations that come with any specific grant to make sure you are qualified for that grant. And, you may not be accepted for any grant, even after all your work. But, if you do receive monies from a grant program, you may consider your work well worth the effort.

Scholarships

Grants are not your only option when looking for financial aid that you don’t have to pay back. One of the best ways to pay for your schooling is through scholarships. Although scholarships may demand essays or other criteria for entering a competition for funds, you never need to repay scholarship money once you meet the requirements for that scholarship. You can find many scholarship offerings through college scholarship websites such as FastWeb, but – fortunately – a person who wants to study forensic sciences also can find funds earmarked just for this field. Many of these scholarships can be discovered through sites such as the Bronx High School of Science, which lists a number of available forensics scholarships on their site.

During your search for scholarships, you might check with the financial aid office at the college of your choice. If you plan to attend a forensics program at that college, they may offer scholarships to entering freshmen or to juniors or seniors for that program. Your college also may offer scholarships based upon merit (good grade average) or financial need. You may need to write an essay or fulfill some other criteria to obtain that scholarship, but the effort may be minor compared to the financial help you may receive.

You also can look for scholarships based upon your choice for specialization while in college:

  • The IIE Passport site offers about 140 results for funding in forensic anthropology if you want to spend some time studying abroad. Other opportunities await you in the form of scholarships offered by various organizations and institutions focused on forensic sciences.
  • The Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) Scholarship provides funding for students pursuing a degree in Forensic Science.
  • Annual student scholarships are available from the American Society of Crime Lab Directors. Students must be at least in their junior year of college and must provide a letter of recommendation from faculty in their forensics program. Applicants are also required to write an essay on their career goals and career choice.
  • Each year the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists awards scholarships to regional students enrolled in a forensic science program. Applicants may be undergraduate or graduate students and a student member of this organization.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Division of the International Association for Identification funds the George Robinson Memorial Scholarship. Students or professionals in the field are welcome to apply for the awards. Qualified applicants must be members of the organization and possess superior GPAs.

Finally, you can look for scholarships outside your realm of studies. If you are a member of the military, or a child of military veterans, you may be eligible for scholarships. You can find scholarships based upon religious affiliation, a disability, gender, or ethnic association as well. No matter where you find scholarship funds, the point is to go after them – after all, if you don’t try for the money, someone else may receive the funds you deserved.

Online Forensic Science and Criminal Justice Degrees

Forensic science, or forensics, is a rapidly growing field of criminal investigation whereby forensic technicians employ their technical skills in the field. To become a forensic scientist, students must obtain at least an associate's degree in fields such as criminal investigation, forensic psychology, criminal justice, and more.

Kaplan University — At Kaplan University, students can get a forensic science bachelor's degree in two different concentrations: forensic psychology and crime scene investigation. No matter which program you choose, Kaplan will quickly prepare you for a career in forensic science.

American InterContinental University — AICU's justice and forensic science program is designed to be a fast-track course that will help anyone segue into a job as a crime scene forensic science analyst after only one year of schooling.

St. Joseph’s University — The MSCJ in Intelligence and Crime Analysis from St. Joseph’s University is offered online for busy adults who may already have other commitments that keep them out of class during normal hours. The flexible program will give students the skills they need to begin a criminal investigative career after graduation.

Walden University — Walden University offers their master's in forensic psychology degree program fully online. Students of this program will gain insights into how forensic psychologists work with the legal system on reducing criminal behavior within a community. A graduate of this program is well-equipped to become a psychologist in a correctional institution, mental health center, psychiatric facility, child welfare agency, and more.

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