Criminal Justice Scholarships
You're ready to go back to school for your criminal justice degree, which leaves you with one major question: how are you going to pay for it? Higher education can be expensive, but you can minimize your costs by exploring your options and getting started early. Learn more about criminal justice scholarships and grants for your degree level and start applying.
What is a Scholarship?
Financial aid is a general term that refers to money you can use for schooling expenses. However, scholarships are a more specific category. They are different from student loans and grants.
A scholarship is basically money for school that you do not have to repay. While loans require repayment, typically with interest, and grants are based on financial need, scholarships are usually awarded based on your achievements or your academic potential. Some scholarships do take financial need into account.
Scholarships are generally awarded by private organizations. Some state agencies have scholarships for criminal justice programs, but scholarships are typically outside the framework of federal student loans and federal grants.
How You Can Use Scholarships
When you are awarded a scholarship, you can use it for any educational expense you choose. Some scholarship providers send the award to your school first; if your tuition expenses are already paid, your school then sends you a disbursement check. Other scholarships may be sent directly to you.
No matter which scholarships for criminal justice you get, keep track of how you use scholarship funds. Scholarships may be considered taxable income in some cases, which may mean putting aside money for taxes. Scholarship awards from certain organizations are always taxable. If you use award funds for tuition, books, and required materials, that money is generally exempt from taxes. If you use award funds for living expenses or non-required items, that money is often taxed.
Applying for Criminal Justice Scholarships
The first step to getting a criminal justice scholarship is getting accepted to a college or university. The vast majority of scholarship providers require you to have accepted a place at an accredited educational institution prior to being considered. Once you've gotten accepted to a school and you've indicated your intention to attend that school, you can then start applying for scholarships.
Many scholarships, criminal justice included, are limited to certain degree types. If you are planning on earning an Associate's degree in criminal justice, it's a waste of your time to apply for criminal justice Master's degree scholarships.
You can use our scholarship list to find criminal justice scholarships that you qualify for. Make sure to apply early and check back often, since scholarships run on different award schedules.
Scholarships are one of the best options for covering educational expenses. You never have to pay that money back. Explore the list of criminal justice scholarships below to start your search.