Lowering the Cost of Education with SANS: A Guide to Affordable Programs for Prospective Students


Years ago, I wanted to learn digital forensics and started researching what trainings were available. The consensus seemed to be that SANS training courses were amazing, but not inexpensive. I was going to have to pay out of pocket so I also researched if SANS had any programs to help reduce the cost. Thankfully they did, and still do. Many people aren’t aware of what’s available so I wanted to write a post about some of the programs SANS offers.


SANS Work Study Program

The first SANS program that I utilized was the SANS Work Study Program, also known as the SANS Facilitator Program. Work Study allows students to attend a SANS training event at a significantly reduced cost. In exchange for facilitating the event, students can save up to 70% on their course fees. Facilitators must be available for the entire duration of the training event and be able to handle various logistical tasks including showing up a day early to help set the conference up and help take it down when it’s over. This program is an excellent opportunity for students looking to gain in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity without breaking the bank. There are even opportunities for remote moderators for online classes.

You can learn more about the Work Study Program here: https://www.sans.org/work-study-program/

SANS Academies

SANS has numerous academies to help individuals break into cybersecurity. You can find a list of the academies, see their schedules and read more about them here:


Current academies listed include:

  • ·         HBCU+ Academy
  • ·         Cloud Diversity Academy
  • ·         Cyber Workforce Academy Maryland
  • ·         Women’s Academy
  • ·         Cyber Diversity Academy
  • ·         VetSuccess Academy

SANS Law Enforcement Appreciation Programs

The SANS Law Enforcement Appreciation Program provides a 50% promotion to a single-seat purchase for qualified law enforcement personnel in all Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) or Digital Forensic and Incident Response (DFIR) courses in a live or online format or to the annual DFIR Summit.

You can find out more about the program here: https://www.sans.org/mlp/state-local-LE-program/


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