Scholarships and Payment Plans for Law Enforcement Professionals

In addition to financial aid, the University of San Diego and other organizations provide additional financial support for students to further their education. Below is a partial list of scholarships that are available to our students.

Qualify for Reduced Tuition

The University of San Diego is offering members of law enforcement and public safety associations or unions a reduced tuition rate of $649 per credit hour (regular $699). Active duty military, veterans, and military spouses are also eligible for this discount. A reduced tuition rate will be available for the entire length of the degree as long as the student remains a member of the association or union, etc.

Qualifications and Process:

  • Submit a completed application packet and become admitted to the Masters in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program.
  • Provide evidence of active union membership (membership card or other proof*). Military, veterans, or military spouses can provide a letter from a current supervisor, officer, or the Veterans Affairs
  • A copy or scan of the card or verification letter needs to be emailed or mailed to your enrollment advisor. The student must update the card or letter annually in January to maintain the reduced tuition
  • The discount tuition will apply to the first course and will continue through the lifetime of the degree as long as the student’s preferred status is maintained, ex. union/association membership
    The discount cannot be combined with other offers

*If a membership card is not available, applicant must obtain a letter from an association, union, military or veterans affairs representative validating membership.

Ask Your Employer About Tuition Reimbursement and Educational Incentives

Many law enforcement agencies and organizations include tuition reimbursement and salary increases as part of their benefits. Check with your human resources department or union representative to see if your organization offers tuition reimbursement or salary increases for obtaining your master’s degree.

Apply for Private Scholarships

Below is a list of some of the organizations offering scholarship funds to criminal justice professionals.  Check with your local, state and national associations to see how they might support the educational advancement of their members.

National FOP Scholarship

The Education Services Committee of the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police provides assistance to members of the FOP in the form of an education tuition reimbursement scholarship. This scholarship is only available to eligible FOP members in good standing who attend one of the NFOPU-affiliated schools such as University of San Diego. Learn more about the FOP Scholarship program.

Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) Scholarships

WIFLE Foundation, Inc. and Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc. (both known as WIFLE) are organizations with a goal to achieve gender equity within federal law enforcement through the recruitment, retention, and promotion of qualified women. WIFLE offers several scholarships to talented individuals to meet the demands in the field of law enforcement and to foster the professional development of those engaged in Law Enforcement. Scholarships are $2,500 each and may be renewable on subsequent applications. Learn more about WIFLE’s Scholarship program.

American Correctional Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award

This $1000 scholarship is awarded to minority nominees who have demonstrated a need and a willingness to continue an educational mission toward a college education or graduate training related to a career in the criminal justice field. All nominees must describe in a short essay (250 words, double-spaced) their reflections on the ideals and philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King, and how they have attempted to emulate these qualities in their lives. Please check with the ACA for more details on qualifications and application deadlines.

Association of State Correctional Administrators Susan M. Hunter Scholarship

Children of a current, retired, or deceased full-time employee of a corrections agency that is a member of ASCA, including adult children seeking graduate level education, are eligible to apply for this annual scholarship. Learn more about this ASCA scholarship.

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship provides an opportunity for students to advance their education and anti-fraud career paths. Many of these outstanding and deserving students go on to become Certified Fraud Examiners. The Ritchie-Jennings Memorial scholarship award amounts are $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000. Learn more about this ACFE scholarship.

San Diego Deputy Sheriff Association (SD DSA) Scholarship

The San Diego DSA will award a total of two scholarships at $4,000 each to Active members in good standing. Any active DSA Member in good standing who has been a member for at least one year may apply for the scholarship. Look for more details in your member portal, or contact the DSA directly.

See if You Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness

If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Qualifying employers include government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal), and not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Interested students who who work in criminal justice and are still paying off student loans from their undergraduate degree may find relief with the PSLF program.

Sworn, full time law enforcement or corrections officers who have existing NDSL/Perkins Loans may qualify for up to 100% loan forgiveness over five years. Read more about NDSL/Perkins Loan cancellation eligibility. Benefits also exist for Military service, firefighters and Peace Corp volunteers.

Apply for Federal Financial Aid

The USD Office of Financial Aid is available to assist students with the cost of tuition. Students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline will be considered for all types of financial aid at USD. The priority deadline to file the FAFSA is April 1 of each year for graduate students. Please visit the Office of Financial Aid for more details, and ask your Enrollment Advisor to send you the instructions for setting up an FSA ID and completing your FAFSA application.

Take Advantage of the Tuition Payment Plan

USD offers a monthly payment plan to allow for payment in five installments each semester. A $50 non-refundable processing fee must be paid when signing up for each semester. To learn more about setting up a tuition payment plan contact the One Stop Student Center.