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*At this time, the National Security Scholars Program (NSSP) has been suspended indefinitely. Please contact Lori Livingston (llivingston@micua.org) or Sara Fidler (sfidler@micua.org) with questions or concerns. We apologize for the inconvenience.

National Security Scholars Program

Accepting applications September 1, 2021 through October 15, 2021


Program Partners                                                         

Program Benefits

Candidate Eligibility

To Apply

Scholar Selection & Expectation

NSSP Student Brochure

NSSP Online Application


Paid Summer Internships



The national security industry confronts the formidable challenge of preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to sensitive or classified national security information; collects, processes, and disseminates intelligence information from foreign signals for intelligence and counter intelligence purposes; and supports military operations to defeat terrorists and their organizations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

Focusing on the needs of the intelligence and defense industry in Maryland, the I-Fund’s National Security Scholars Program (NSSP) offers opportunities for scholarships, assistance with national security clearance processing, internships, and future employment to students who attend an I-Fund member college or university.

Now entering its 21st year, the NSSP has awarded more than $3.8M in scholarships to more than 300 students attending an I-Fund member college or university. Additionally, the NSSP provides a network of opportunities to its partners for the purpose of maintaining a pipeline of future hires addressing current and future employment challenges of the national security industry in Maryland.


NSSP Partners include ASRC Federal, Geon Technologies; Leidos; Lockheed Martin; ManTech; the National Security Agency; Northrop Grumman; Raytheon; and TechUSA. All Partners provide a minimum contribution of $20,000. Ninety percent of contributions are used to provide scholarships to qualifying students and ten percent of contributions are used to support the administrative costs associated with the program. Partners may appoint one representative to serve on the I-Fund National Security Scholars Program Board and may vote on all NSSP policies and procedures. In addition, Partners participate in the selection of NSSP Scholars and may employ at least one intern who has received national security clearance from the National Security Administration. Each year, the I-Fund hosts an annual event for NSSP Partners and Scholars. Read more...


Students selected to participate in the program may receive the following benefits:

  • Scholarship award;
  • Paid summer internship in the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area with a program Partner;
  • Assistance with processing an application for a national security clearance; and
  • Unique opportunities to explore a future in the national security field and obtain employment leads with the I-Fund’s national security industry Partners.


To be eligible to participate in the program, a student must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application, attend an I-Fund member college or university, and not have advanced beyond the level of Junior by the application deadline (October 15, 2021). In addition, qualifying students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, have earned at least 24 credit hours at the time of application, and be available for an in-person interview on November 11 or 12, 2021. Successful candidates must also agree to complete a summer internship prior to graduating.


The I-Fund National Security Scholars Program (NSSP) will be accepting applications September 1 through October 15, 2021. Interested candidates must email Lori Livingston at llivingston@micua.org regarding intent to apply and must complete and submit an application to the campus liaison by the deadline. If you have questions regarding your campus liaison, please direct your inquiry to Lori Livingston.

An application for the I-Fund National Security Scholars Program may be obtained online. Complete the application, sign it, and forward it with the required documents to your Financial Aid Office (or designated campus liaison) by the deadline.

Information on the application must be typed and legible. Please do not staple documents together. All documents should be single sided for ease of copying.

The following items should be included with your application:

  • RESUME—a current resume. Your name should appear at the top of each page. Please format your resume in Word according to the following headings: a) contact information; b) major/minor; c) employment history/experience; d) college honors/accomplishments, leadership honors, and awards received; and e) community activities and organizations.
  • ESSAY—a 300-500 word typed essay on one of the following topics:
        1. What do you consider the greatest threat to our national security and why?  Please provide current examples of US deficiencies and measures that you would suggest to mitigate the threat.
        2. Is it possible for the government to offer its citizens 100% privacy and 100% security from terrorism?  If so, how would you recommend that be done?  If not, how would you balance that line between privacy and security?
        3. Compare and contrast the differences between working for a highly visible public, commercial company as compared to one that supports the National Security mission of the United States?
  • LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION—at least two letters of recommendation addressed to “National Security Scholars Program Board.” Letters may be from teachers, professors, employers, counselors, clergy, community leaders, etc.
  • CERTIFIED TRANSCRIPT OF GRADES—a certified transcript of grades and credits from the I-Fund member institution you are attending. Additionally, students who transferred to an I-Fund member institution may be required to submit a certified transcript of grades and credits from the transferring institution. (Please request transcripts early to avoid delays.)
  • Apply online for an NSA internship prior to 15 October so that you are recorded in their system.  THIS IS MANDATORY. You wil find the link to the application here. NSA Summer Intern Program.  Use code 1148458. * Please add the following text to either the 'Objective' or 'Summary' field in the application: "Applying for the National Security Scholarship Program (NSSP)"

The NSSP candidate selection process runs from September 1 through May 15 of the academic year.

  • Deadline for submitting application is October 15, 2021.
  • Initial review of application is made by the NSSP panel in late-October. All candidates are notified whether or not selected for an interview on or before November 1st.
  • Candidate interviews are scheduled for Thursday, November 11, and Friday, November 12, 2021. Each candidate will be assigned a specific interview date/time. Due to the number of interviews scheduled, the date/time is not negotiable. 
  • All applicants receive e-mail notification with results of the scholarship interview process on or before December 1. Selected applicants will move forward to security clearance processing. Processing is ongoing between January and May 15.
  • Candidates who are approved for a national security clearance are reviewed by the NSSP Board for internship placement with program Partners by May 15. Notification of a scholarship award is determined in early June. Internships generally run June through August.  An applicant who applies for and is granted a security clearnace is committed to serve a summer internship with one the NSSP partner corporations.
  • Housing is the candidate’s responsibility; however, I-Fund will provide information or assistance with available housing options. Candidates should inquire about housing during interview process.
  • Successful candidates are expected to attend the Annual NSSP Award Dinner held in mid June at a Baltimore area location.
  • Successful candidates must complete and submit the Internship Feedback Form no later than September 15, 2022, following their summer internship.

Additional information about the program will be shared at an upcoming September campus presentation—see posters on campus or contact either your Career Center or Financial Aid office for details. Alternatively, you may contact program director Lori Livingston by phone (301-440-2486) or email (llivingston@micua.org).


All Fall Presentations have been suspended.  Please check back for more information.

Capitol Technology University: 9/9/21 at 4pm
Goucher College:
9/17/21 at 4pm 
Hood College: 
9/9/21 at 1pm and again 9/9/21 at 5pm
Johns Hopkins University: 9/8/21 at noon and 9/14/21 at 5pm

Loyola University Maryland: 9/13/21 at 6pm and again 9/17/21 at 6pm

McDaniel College: 9/14/21 at 6pm
Mount St. Mary's University
: 9/15/21 at 4pm and 9/22/21 at 4pm
Notre Dame of Maryland University
: *Please attend any of the above meetings
St. John's College:
 8/31/21 at 4pm and 9/8/21 at 3pm

Stevenson University: 9/8/21 at 5pm and again 9/16/21 at 5 pm
Washington Adventist University: *Please attend any of the above meetings
Washington College
9/6/21 at 4pm and again 9/13/21 at 5 pm