National Cyber League Expands HBCU Scholarship Program

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America's National Cyber League has announced a new set of scholarships to help financially disadvantaged students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) compete in its latest competition.

Last fall, the non-profit organization collaborated with HBCUs to award scholarships to more than 60 students so they could participate in the NCL games. Today, the NCL announced that it has expanded this collaboration by committing to offering 150 HBCU students scholarships to take part in its springtime competition. 

"HBCU computer science students may be stressed about their future careers. How will they land a good job in these crazy times of a pandemic and racial unrest?" states the NCL website

"One way to stand out from the crowd is by taking advantage of the learning and community engagement of the NCL games."

The gesture equates to a total grant of $5,250, as regular registration for the event costs $35 per person. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021.

The National Cyber League is a virtual collegiate offensive and defensive cybersecurity capture-the-flag competition featuring nine different categories that align with the CompTIA Security+ and the NIST NICE framework. The categories are open source intelligence, cryptography, log analysis, password cracking, network traffic analysis, scanning, forensics, web application exploitation, and enumeration and exploitation. 

Powered by content and platform partner Cyber Skyline, the NCL games attract more than 10,000 student participants from over 550 schools across the United States. 

Students who take part receive individual scouting reports that detail the skills they have demonstrated while competing. Included in the document is the student's national rank, score, flag capture, flag attempts, and accuracy in the competition.

These reports can be presented as proof of practical experience by students who go on to apply for jobs in the cybersecurity industry. 

Participants are sorted into four ability categories during a week-long pre-season game that starts on March 15. Students then take place in an individual game that generates their scouting report. Each participant is then offered the opportunity to join or create a team with others from their school and compete against other schools in a three-day team game that starts on April 9. 

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