Living in the Old Dominion, going to college and thinking maybe you want to be a white hat hacker? If so you may be eligible for some big bucks to help pay for school.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has announced a new $1 million state scholarship program to dole out $20,000 a year to students interested in a cybersecurity career. 

But everyone knows there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.  Recipients of funds from the Virginia Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Program must commit to working for a state agency or institution for the same number of years as they received scholarship funds. 

About 25 students per year at in-state schools will be granted the scholarship on a first-come, first-served basis depending on funding. The governor has set aside $500,000 per year for funding the program in the 2016-2018 biennial budget.

The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students attending CyberVirgnia certified schools.

“As we work to build a new Virginia economy, we must ensure that our electronic infrastructure is secured against cyberattacks,” McAuliffe said. It is imperative that states promote programs to help students tackle the cybersecurity challenges of the 21st century,” he said.

McAuliffe has made state cybersecurity preparedness a focus of his tenure as chairman of the National Governors Association.

So, Virginia is indeed for lovers … of cybersecurity.

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