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Becoming a Police Officer: Scholarships, Grants, and Programs

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Updated on Dec 2, 2010

This money is awarded to students for a wide variety of reasons, including good grades, financial need, future career plans, ancestry, and even hobbies.

Money for scholarships and grants is available for just about every student. Anything from being in the top 10% of your high school graduating class to playing the piano could make you eligible. And while they probably won't be the sole means of financing your college education (most range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a year), scholarships and grants should not be overlooked as a source of financing.

Just the Facts

The Pell Grant is designed to assist students with exceptional financial need. In the academic year 2008–2009, six million students received Pell Grants ranging from $431 to $4,731. To determine whether you might fall within the income limits for a Pell Grant, make sure to check online or to ask your campus financial advisor. There is no stigma attached to taking the money if you are eligible. The program exists specifically to help low-income students attend college.

One scholarship that considers ancestry is awarded by The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). A scholarship is given to a high school senior, male or female, who is African American, has a minimum GPA of 2.5 and is planning to study criminal justice, law, or a related field. Financial need is a consideration. NOBLE's various chapters throughout the country offer about 35 similar scholarships. For further information, write to:

      Noble National Office
      4609 Pinecrest Office Park Drive, Suite F
      Alexandria, VA 22312-1442
      703-658-1529

Women going into a career in law enforcement might apply for a scholarship with the National Association of Law Enforcement Executives (www.nawlee.com), while those with a sports background could contact the NCAA at 913-339-1906 to find out about scholarships and other funding for athletes.

However, the best way to find scholarship and grant money is to use the Internet. You enter the appropriate information about yourself, and a search will take place which will give you a list of those awards for which you are eligible. If you want to expand your search, your high school guidance counselors or college financial aid officers also have plenty of information about available scholarship and grant money.

Just the Facts

Campus-based aid is administered through the school rather than directly by the government. Participating schools are free to set rules, restrictions, and regulations as long as they comply with federal guidelines. In the case of the Federal Work Study Program, the government makes funds available to schools and other organizations, which in turn provide jobs and tuition remission to qualifying students. Other campus-based aid programs include the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) and the Federal Perkins Loan program. FSEOGS are given primarily to students who qualify for Pell Grants, while the Perkins loans are made in the $4,000 to $6,000 range at 5% interest. The basic requirements for these and most federal aid include being a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a Social Security number. You must also have a high school diploma or a GED.
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