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Virginia Sheriffs' Institute
Supporting Virginia’s Sheriffs & Deputies

A Scholarship opportunity for Virginia criminal justice students

The Virginia Sheriffs’ Scholarship program was established to provide an opportunity for people across Virginia to pursue an education in criminal justice. Accordingly, the Board of Directors has established the application process for students to receive scholarships to assist in their educational endeavors. The scholarships are available only to students in jurisdictions where sheriffs participated in scholarship fundraising efforts. This program is limited to students attending Virginia colleges and universities.

To access the online 2025-26 Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute scholarship application, please check back here in January 2025.

2025-26 Scholarship Program Policies

  1. Eligibility:
    A. Students must be a permanent resident, and if 18 or older a registered voter, in a Virginia county or city where their sheriff is a member of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute (VSI) and has authorized the VSI to conduct a direct mail special appeal to raise funds for the scholarship program.
    B. Students, 18 and older, must be registered Virginia voters and provide a copy of their voter registration card. Students under the age of 18 are required to provide a copy of a government issued picture ID with their home address, providing proof of residency.
  2. Applications will be available on the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute website by January 31, 2025.
  3. Applications must be submitted online with all required information by May 1, 2025. The deadline will be adhered to.
  4. Two types of scholarships will be awarded, one to full-time students and one to part-time students. All the scholarship awards to students will be consistent, i.e. all check amounts will be the same, depending on the type.
  5. Only majors in the criminal justice field will qualify for a scholarship. Those majoring in law or pursuing a career as a lawyer will not be considered a criminal justice major.
  6. Only students attending Virginia colleges or universities for the 2025-26 school year will be considered.
  7. Applications must be completed online and electronically signed or the student will not be considered.
  8. Certificates of award will be mailed to the individual sheriffs’ offices by the end of May 2025.
  9. After verification by the students of chosen college/major, checks will be made payable to the educational institution indicated on the application. College or university student IDs will be required to issue a scholarship check.
  10. Letters of rejection will be mailed to students directly from the VSI office.

Application Checklist

  • A Current Letter of Recommendation from the Sheriff where you Live and Vote? The letter must be from the Sheriff. Letters from deputies or other staff members in the office will not be accepted.  The letter must be current.  Past recommendation letters will not be accepted.
  • Application Completed Online and Electronically Signed
  • Majoring in Criminal Justice Field (Not pre-law/law)
  • Attending a Virginia College or University
  • Application and all Required Documents and Information Required Submitted Online by May 1, 2025
  • Essay Included
  • High School Transcripts submitted (for incoming freshman applicants only)
  • College Transcripts submitted for currently enrolled college students (college student’s transcripts must provide major. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted)
  • Proof of Acceptance from College or University submitted (for incoming freshman applicants only)
  • For Students 18 and older, a copy of voter registration card submitted or for students under 18, a copy of a government issued picture ID with home address submitted

To access the online 2025-26 Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute scholarship application, please check back here in January 2025.