The Director of the National Science Foundation, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and Secretary of Homeland Security, shall continue a Federal cyber scholarship-for-service program to recruit and train the next generation of information technology professionals, industrial control system security professionals, and security managers to meet the needs of the cybersecurity mission for Federal, State, local, and tribal governments.
Each scholarship under subsection (b) shall be in an amount that covers the student’s tuition and fees at the institution under subsection (b)(1) for not more than 3 years and provides the student with an additional stipend.
Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 33 of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service, an agency shall appoint in the excepted service an individual who has completed the eligible degree program for which a scholarship was awarded.
Except as provided in paragraph (4), upon fulfillment of the service term, an employee appointed under paragraph (1) may be converted noncompetitively to term, career-conditional or career appointment.
An agency may noncompetitively convert a term employee appointed under paragraph (2) to a career-conditional or career appointment before the term appointment expires.
As a condition of receiving a scholarship under this section, a recipient shall agree to provide the Office of Personnel Management (in coordination with the National Science Foundation) and the qualified institution of higher education with annual verifiable documentation of post-award employment and up-to-date contact information.
Except as provided in paragraph (3), any repayment under this subsection shall be returned to the Treasury of the United States.
A qualified institution of higher education may retain a percentage of any repayment the institution collects under this subsection to defray administrative costs associated with the collection. The Director of the National Science Foundation shall establish a single, fixed percentage that will apply to all eligible entities.
The Director of the National Science Foundation may provide for the partial or total waiver or suspension of any service or payment obligation by an individual under this section whenever compliance by the individual with the obligation is impossible or would involve extreme hardship to the individual, or if enforcement of such obligation with respect to the individual would be unconscionable.