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Montgomery College has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, opening the door for its students to apply for grants and scholarships from federal agencies.

The designation was awarded by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security and lasts through 2027, according to a press release from the college this week.

It highlights Montgomery College’s cybersecurity associate in applied science degree, which the agencies said is helping to “reduce threats to our national infrastructure” by promoting research and “providing the nation with a pipeline of qualified cybersecurity professionals.”

The goal of the designation is to “reduce vulnerability in the nation’s information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense; and to produce a growing number of professionals with expertise in the discipline, contributing to the advancement of state-of-the-art cyber defense knowledge and practice,” the press release said.

Students at Montgomery College can now apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.