Financial Support for Criminal Justice, M.S.

There are several ways to finance your education, including university support and scholarships specific to the Criminal Justice program.

Graduate Assistantships

There are a limited number of graduate assistantships in the University. They are part-time, paid work experiences for graduates in their field of study, which allows them to expand and/or apply their discipline knowledge and skills under supervision. Tuition is also paid based on requirements of number of hours worked and course credits being taken per semester.

Graduate Assistantships are available fall and winter semesters and students are encouraged to apply.  If you are interested, please complete the Graduate Assistantship Application today! 

Inquiries about the availability of assistantships should be made to the Director of the Graduate Program.  Dr. Christopher Kierkus, (616) 331-7132 or


William Hegarty Scholarship

William Hegarty embraced higher education throughout his police career. Obtaining a degree while on the Oakland Police Department in California, Hegarty moved to Michigan State University for graduate studies. After completing graduate school, he joined the faculty at Michigan State. He left MSU to become the Director of Public Safety in Jackson, Michigan in 1972. In 1974 Chief Hegarty led the New Rochelle Police Department in New York until he came to Grand Rapids.  Hegarty was Chief of the Grand Rapids Police Department from 1982 to 1997 and taught as an adjunct in the School of Criminal Justice at Grand Valley from 1984 until 1997. Chief Hegarty had a special fondness for GVSU and his teaching legacy lives on. He donated funds to establish Hegarty Criminal Justice scholarship when he retired. The William Hegarty Scholarship is awarded on a yearly basis to a Grand Valley State University Criminal Justice graduate student, working in law enforcement.  

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Kendal DenBleyker Endowed Scholarship

Established in loving memory or their son, Kendal DenBleyker, with an anonymous gift on behalf of his parents, Bryan and Lauri DenBleyker, the purpose of this scholarship is to continue Kendal’s memory by assisting nontraditional students pursuing a degree in criminal justice at Grand Valley State University. Kendal was a junior studying criminal justice with a goal to become a probation officer and ultimately to become a lawyer. While studying at Grand Valley, Kendal worked to pay for school and commuted to campus to save money. Family members described him as a “driven and determined Christian man who expected much from those around him, but even more from himself.”

Preference for this scholarship will be given to candidates who are residents of West Michigan (Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon Counties) and are classified as nontraditional students who work and commute to campus.  For qualifications and application procedures please refer to the Kendal J. DenBleyker Endowed Scholarship Application Form.

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Additional Scholarships for Legal Studies Majors

For more information on Financial Aid , scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit  the GVSU Financial Support website.

Page last modified August 22, 2017