College scholarships are available from both the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association and the National Sheriffs’ Association. 

North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association offers ten college scholarships each semester to North Carolina residents who are full-time undergraduate students majoring in criminal justice, one for each college that offers a criminal justice program in the University of North Carolina System. Applicants must get a letter of support from their home county Sheriff.

Recipients of the scholarship are chosen by the financial aid office at the constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System that the student plans to attend or is currently attending. Applications are available from the school’s financial aid office, and after completion, should be returned to the school’s financial aid office. Additional information is available through the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association website.

National Sheriffs’ Association 

The National Sheriffs’ Association deadline is April 1st to apply for scholarships from the National Sheriffs’ Association. Details about the selection criteria and the process for submitting an application are available from the National Sheriffs’ Association website.

These college scholarships are a tremendous benefit to Sheriffs, Sheriff’s Office personnel and their children. Eligible students are encouraged to apply prior to the applicable deadlines.


To be eligible for an NSA scholarship, an applicant must, at a minimum:

  • Be applying to, or enrolled in, an undergraduate or graduate college program, and intending to major in a criminal justice-related subject area
  • Be employed full-time by a sheriff’s office or the son/daughter of an individual employed full-time by a sheriff’s office
  • Not be a previous NSA scholarship recipient

NSA unconditionally reserves the right to:

  • Amend scholarship eligibility criteria at any time.
  • Withdraw a scholarship award at any time prior to its actual receipt by an award recipient.

Required Materials

Scholarship applications are reviewed and ranked by the NSA Awards and Scholarship Committee and must contain all of the following application items:

  • Official NSA scholarship application form
  • Transcript from high school or college, if already attending college
  • 2 letters of recommendation, including one from applicant’s principal, a teacher or guidance counselor, college advisor, or college faculty in applicant’s major
  • Endorsement statement from sheriff of applicant’s county
  • Short essay (minimum of 150 words) by applicant as to why he/she intends to pursue a career in law enforcement
  • Statement of financial need (i.e., why applicant needs a scholarship)

All materials submitted by scholarship applicants are photocopied and forwarded to the NSA Awards and Scholarship Committee. Therefore, applicants should be mindful of: 

  • The neatness of their application
  • Whether the paper size of transcripts, etc., makes photocopying easy and whether the print will be readable after photocopying
  • The quality, not volume, of supporting application materials


Scholarship applications should be mailed to:

National Sheriffs’ Association
1450 Duke Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Attn: NSA Scholarship Program
Phone: 703-836-STAR
Fax: 703-683-6541


For questions, please contact Karen Killpack at 800-424-7827, ext. 331 or Email Karen Killpack.