10 Scholarships and Awards for Criminal Justice Majors

Criminal justice majors who need money for college are in luck. There are many different scholarships and awards available to help cover the costs associated with pursuing an undergraduate or graduate-level degree. Here are 10 criminal justice scholarship and award programs worth exploring:

Education-Portal.com Undergraduate Award – This $500 academic award is given annually to one student who is pursuing an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, correction, forensics, homeland security, or a related major. The winner of this award is chosen based on academic history and extracurricular activities. The deadline to apply is April 1st of each year.

Distance Learning Award for Grad Students – Education-Portal.com offers a distance learning scholarship to students of any major who are pursuing a master’s degree online. The annual academic award is worth $500. The application deadline is April 1st of each year.

StraightForward Media’s Law Enforcement Scholarships – StraightForward Media awards a law enforcement scholarship every three months. Each scholarship is worth $500 and can be used by any student who is pursuing a career in police work, corrections, and other criminal justice fields. Applications can be submitted online throughout the year.

Department of Homeland Security Undergraduate Scholarship – The DHS offers an excellent undergraduate scholarship program to students who are pursuing a degree in homeland security. The program awards $1,000 per month for nine months and an additional $5,000 to be used toward a 10-week internship. New competition cycles for this scholarship program are announced in the fall of each year.

Captain James J. Regan Memorial Scholarship – This National Technical Investigators’ Association scholarship is awarded to senior students in high school and students who are already enrolled in a law enforcement or criminal justice program. The criminal justice scholarship is merit-based; winners are chosen on the basis of their academic record, leadership ability, and extracurricular activities. Two $500 scholarships are awarded each year. The application deadline is March 31st.

ACJS Scholarships – The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) awards several annual scholarships to criminal justice students and professionals. The award amount and deadline varies for each program. In most cases, nominations and applications must be received in the fall of each year.

NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund – The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund hosts an annual writing contest for senior (grades 10-12) and junior (grades 9 and below) students who need money for college. The fund awards U.S. savings bonds to winners in the senior category and the junior category. First prize is $1,000; second prize is $600; and third prize is $200. An honorable mention award of $100 is also given. The application deadline for this contest is December 1st of each year.

Online Associate Degree Scholarship – This $500 scholarship was not created exclusively for criminal justice majors, but it may still be of interest to anyone who is pursuing an associate degree in the field. To be eligible, you must be pursuing an online degree from an accredited institution. The deadline to apply is April 1st of each year.

Online Bachelor Degree Scholarship – The Online Bachelor Degree Scholarship is a $500 award from DegreeDirectory.org. The scholarship is open to students of any major who will be earning their bachelor degree online. The deadline to apply is April 1st of each year.

Recession Relief Scholarship – This unique scholarship is awarded four times each year to students who are struggling with credit card debt, loan debt, and other types of debt. To be considered for the scholarship, you must write an essay explaining why you are in debt and how the scholarship will help you continue your education. Applications can be submitted online throughout the year.

Nina Hyland from the National Center for Juvenile Justice added the Maurice B. Cohill Jr. Young Investigator Award. You can check out Nina’s comment below for more info.

Don’t forget to check out the various criminal justice careers and the many criminal justice schools while you’re at it.

Article written by Radek Gadek

Radek holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is currently doing consulting work and runs this blog to provide relevant information on criminal justice degrees, colleges and related careers.

7 comments… add one
  • Also, through the end of the summer, eight online accredited schools are giving away 100 scholarships (pretty much full scholarships)… It is really easy to apply… It is called the “Empowerment Tour” and you can access the scholarship application at http://www.empowermenttour.com.

    • Radek M. Gadek


      Excellent! Thanks.

  • I also wanted to invite those interested in criminal justice to apply for the Maurice B. Cohill Jr. Young Investigator Award. First prized wins $500 scholarship and a trip to New York City to receive the award. Deadline to apply April 1st.

    The scholarship opportunity requires a short research paper from 11th/12th graders on topics related to improving the juvenile and family court systems, as well as policies and laws that impact these systems.

    All the materials youth need to apply are available on our website at http://www.ncjj.org, by clicking on the Cohill Award logo. The scholarship is named after NCJJ’s founder, the Honorable Maurice B. Cohill Jr., now a federal district judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh).

    Nina Hyland
    National Center for Juvenile Justice
    (412) 227-6950

    • Radek M. Gadek

      Nina, thanks for the great addition.

  • The deadline for the Maurice B. Cohill Jr. Young Investigator award has now been extended to May 1st, and the winner will be announced on June 1st.

  • Merico Aeon Lomu

    Criminal justice is the study of laws regarding criminal behavior. I am interested in the study of criminal justice because, I want to be a lawyer it has been my goal to fight for the “unheard.” I wanted to be a lawyer who either prosecute, or defend those accused of a crime. I believe that justice should be the top priority in the criminal justice system; since laws applied to those accused of a crime should be equal or fair.

  • Brett


    I would like to invite everyone to our newly listed Criminal Justice Scholarship.

    Crimcheck.com is offering a $500 scholarship to a student who is currently enrolled or high school seniors/recent high school graduates who are pursuing post-secondary education during the 2015-2016 school year who are interested in and seriously considering a career in criminal justice

    Thank you.


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