Journalism Student Scholarships

Get the Facts

As a journalism student, you can use your research and writing skills to compete for scholarship aid, and most journalism scholarships will want to evaluate your professional abilities. Before you can apply for those awards, you’ll need to create a portfolio that highlights your best work.

In building that portfolio, try to include articles written for your campus newspaper or published through a previous internship instead of projects handed in as class assignments. If an article in your portfolio was produced by a group effort, remember to explain your role in developing it.

Scholarships From Private Organizations

Journalism students receive a generous amount of financial support from professional organizations.

Broadcast Education Associationjournalism scholarships

The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) has posted a full page of information about the fourteen scholarships it administers. All of them except the BEA Two Year Award (limited to study at two-year schools or further instruction for graduates of such schools) are reserved for more advanced students (juniors, seniors, and graduate students) at BEA’s member schools. You must attend school full-time, and for an entire academic year.

Here are some examples of available assistance:

  • The Abe Voron Award gives $5,000 to a student in radio broadcasting.
  • The Alexander M. Tanger Award, also for $5,000, will accept any type of broadcasting as a major.
  • The Vincent T. Wasilewski Award in the amount of $2,500 goes to a graduate student in broadcasting.
  • The Walter S. Patterson Awards are two gifts of $1,750 each for students in radio.
  • The John Bayliss Scholarship Award, for $1,500, also benefits a radio student.

American Copy Editors Society

The American Copy Editors Society (ACES) offers the ACES Education Fund scholarships every year, and you may now apply online. Required documentation consists of a resume focusing on your editing activities, a brief essay on editing copy in multimedia, six of your headlines in verifiable format (such as a screen capture), and three references. Finalists will be tested online in editing to decide the five winners.

The Aubespin Award brings $2,500, and there are also four scholarships for $1,000 each. Winners also receive as much as $500 so they can travel to the ACES annual conference, to which their registration will be free of charge. The judges want to see excellent editing work, a strong academic history, and desire to pursue copy editing as a career.

Overseas Press Club Foundation

The Overseas Press Club (OPC) Foundation underwrites fourteen scholarships and internships for students at American schools, or American students at schools elsewhere in the world, who wish to work as foreign correspondents. Recipients of OPC Foundation gifts are invited to take advantage of the networking support the OPC offers throughout their careers. Those who win internships are given travel and living expenses while they work in major news bureaus abroad, as employees of agencies like Reuters and the Associated Press.

Each scholarship brings $2,000. You can read the story of one current winner here.

Asian American Journalists Association

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) sponsors three monetary scholarship and internship opportunities, summed up below. You must be a member to receive any of these awards, and may join after winning rather than when applying for the following:

  • The NBC Summer Partnership provides $5,000 in living expenses, a paid 10-week internship on one of the network’s daily programs, and professional mentoring. Experience in production is very helpful.
  • The Stanford Chen Internship Grant gives $1,750 for travel and living expenses to journalism students in at least the junior year. You must already have secured an internship at one of the following types of companies: print with a daily circulation of less than 100,000, broadcasting outside the top 50 markets, or online journalism.
  • The Council for International Cooperation/Anna Chennault Scholarship goes to a sophomore. The award has two parts, a scholarship for $3,900 and $1,100 in expense money for the AAJA’s annual convention, where the recipient will participate in the association’s VOICES student training project.

National Association of Black Journalists

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) maintains a page containing information on its seven scholarships, which include the three examples below. NABJ membership, full-time enrollment in an American school, and proof of your GPA are required to apply for the following awards:

  • The Allison E. Fisher Scholarship brings $2,500 to a journalism major who has engaged in community service and kept a GPA of at least 3.0. Required documentation includes a transcript, personal essay, and samples of your work.
  • The Carole Simpson Scholarship awards $2,500 to either an undergraduate or a graduate student who plans to seek a career in television news. The base GPA requirement is 2.5, and the essay topic concerns the scholarship’s donor, so you will need to familiarize yourself with her life story.
  • The Larry Whiteside Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 also provides a free trip to the annual NABJ Convention & Career Fair, giving the recipient a chance to network with professionals. The award is for majors who intend to pursue employment in sports journalism.

Scholarships From Colleges

Almost every school of journalism underwrites some form of scholarship assistance for its students, as you will discover when you consult your school’s financial aid office.

University of Missouri

The University of Missouri’s School of Journalism has devised an exceptionally interesting method of training its best students, allowing them to immerse themselves in an environment of honors study that includes special living space, access to faculty, classes, and activities for high achievers, and other similar benefits.

The Walter Williams Scholars Program is reserved for students with an ACT score of 33 or an SAT of 1440, with a high school class ranking in the top 20 percent or a GPA of 3.25. A $1,000 scholarship can be applied to either foreign study or internships in New York City and Washington, D. C.

Columbia University

The Columbia Journalism School, attached to Columbia University, has compiled a lengthy list of its scholarships, and distributes them based on both merit and financial need. You will need to contact the school’s financial aid office for details, but some of the entries give clues about probable recipients. Examples include these items: the Maria Moors Cabot Scholarships for International Students, the Dr. Robert E. Campbell Memorial Scholarship for an American minority student in journalism, and the Benjamin Franklin Scholarship for a graduate of a college in the New York City area.


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