Grants for Journalism Students

The Scoop

A career in journalism can take many different paths. Print and broadcast journalism remain as popular as ever, but with the rise of web-based communications a new wave of journalists have found careers with online news services. Moreover, the advent of the 24 hour news cycle has created something of an information vacuum, leading to a growth in niche specific journalism. Today, a journalist might devote themselves solely to reporting on the entertainment industry, sport, healthcare, science and technology, or ecology.

Students pursuing degrees and careers in journalism will find the education intense, and exciting. However, they will also find it expensive, and many students will struggle to meet the costs of their college education. Fortunately, there a number of grants available to help journalism majors find the money they need to pay for their education.

Grants from the Federal Governmentjournalism college grants

The Federal government is a prime source of financial aid for students struggling to meet the rising cost of a college education. Two grants supported by the Federal government and the U.S. Department of Education will be of particular interest to journalism majors. These grants are designed to help low income students find the money they need to complete a college education. As with any Federal financial aid program, students must first fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before applying for either of these grants.

  • The Federal Pell Grant – This grant provides financial assistance to low income students pursuing undergraduate degrees at an accredited institution. Award amounts are determined by financial need. The maximum annual award is $5,500.
  • The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – The FSEOG is a campus-based grants, funded by the government and administered by participating colleges and universities. The grant is designed to provide financial assistance to students with extreme financial need. Grants awards range from $100 to $4000 per academic year. The FSEOG is awarded on a first come, first served, basis. Students are encouraged to apply early though their college’s office of financial aid.

Grants from Colleges and Universities

Most colleges and universities offer journalism programs as part of their curriculum, and many also offer financial aid opportunities for their enrolled students. These may come in the form of grants, fellowships, scholarships or work-study programs. Journalism students should contact the financial aid offices at their college for information on grant programs for which they eligible.

The following grants for journalism majors are typical of the campus-based financial assistance that is available at colleges and universities across the country.

  • The Indiana University School of Journalism offers grants and fellowships for journalism majors pursuing their Master’s of PhD. Awards are based on academic achievement, and recipients will receive a monthly stipend in addition to tuition waivers.
  • The Ohio State School of Communication offers a full range of grants and scholarships for its enrolled students. Awards are a mix of need-based grants and merit-based scholarships and fellowships. More than $60,000 in financial aid is given to deserving students each year.
  • The Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers a number of need-based grants for students enrolled in its journalism department. Students can apply through the Kent State Student Financial Aid Office. Awards are limited, and students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Grants from Private Organizations

Grants for journalism majors are also available from the private sector, and many professional associations provide financial aid for promising students preparing for careers as journalists. Many private sector journalism grants have specific eligibility requirements, often being targeted to women and minorities, or to students pursuing careers in a highly specialized field of journalism.

The following examples should better illustrate the types of financial aid supported by the private sector for journalism majors.

  • The Asian-American Journalists Association offers a number of grants for Asian-American students pursuing careers in journalism. The William Woo Internship Fund provides $1000 for students studying print and online journalism. The Stanford Chen Grant provides up to $1750 to a journalism student who is interning at a small to medium media outlet.
  • The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing sponsors an annual grant for graduate level students majoring in journalism with an emphasis on writing about science and technology. Interested students should contact the CASW directly for application information.
  • The Alexia Foundation sponsors an annual photojournalism grant for students and professionals using photojournalism to “make the world a better place”. The Alexia Foundation also offers scholarship opportunities for photojournalism majors. Students must apply directly to the Alexia Foundation.
  • The Carter Center offers the annual Rosalyn Carter Fellowship Grant for Mental Health Journalism. The program provides up to $10,000 for student journalists working on research related to mental health or illness. Applicants must have at least 2 years of practical journalistic experience.

Students pursuing degrees and careers in journalism have access to a variety of grants and fellowships designed to help them achieve their educational and professional goals. From traditional print journalism to web-based communication, financial aid opportunities are available for the diligent journalism major looking to fund their college education.