Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships
Affording college is the biggest obstacle for students wanting to further their education. And, although it can be frustrating finding the best financial aid, it doesn’t have to be. Most colleges and universities provide students with a financial aid office which assists and guides students in finding financial assistance.
For starters, journalism students should seek financial aid through the campus financial aid office. This is where students can obtain federal and state aid. Since journalism students have chosen their major area of study, they should also look into journalism departmental scholarships offered by the college or university of their choice. And, it doesn’t have to stop here. Journalism students can further seek outside scholarships from local, regional and national organizations by searching the Internet.
Since the field of journalism opens to the door to numerous career opportunities, it also opens the door to career-specific scholarship opportunities. When looking for outside scholarships, students should seek scholarships specific to their career needs. Some scholarship choices may include broadcast journalism, sports journalism, public relations, and mass communications.
Types of Scholarships Available to Journalism Students
With so many scholarship options, where can journalism students begin to find the best ones for them?
General and Campus-Related Scholarships
Scholarships are free money that helps students pay for college expenses, which makes it important to find as many scholarship options as possible. Most colleges and universities offer general scholarships based on merit and/or financial need through the school’s financial aid office.
Besides general scholarships, journalism students should speak with the School of Journalism department staff to find out what scholarship opportunities are available. Here are examples of some campus-related journalism scholarships:
The University of Iowa’s School of Journalism & Mass Communications offers many scholarships for journalism students, including:
Harry S. Bunker Memorial Scholarship—awarded to college juniors in journalism, pursuing a newspaper career.
Conger-Reynolds Scholarship—awarded to journalism students pursuing a career in public relations.
Judy Klemesrud Writing Scholarship—awarded to undergraduate students with interest in women’s issues and social change. Applicants must have a grade point average of 2.75 or higher to apply.
William S. Maulsby Memorial Scholarship—awarded to students demonstrating a financial need, and who plan to teach high school journalism. Applicants must have a 2.7 grade point average or higher to apply.
At the University of Maryland, The College of Journalism offers journalism students many scholarships. Here is an example of one:
The Reese Cleghorn Excellence in Journalism Scholarship —awards up to six journalism students (juniors or seniors) who demonstrate financial need and maintain high academic standing. Award amount is $1,500 each. This scholarship is non-renewable.
The University of Texas—Austin awards the George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship to U of T—Austin students majoring in broadcast journalism. Award amount is $6,000.
Outside Journalism Scholarships
Journalism students can also seek outside scholarships to supplement their financial aid package.
Here are several examples:
The American Copy Editors Society offers several scholarships to college students interested in pursuing a copy editing career. Award amounts vary, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.
Lou & Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship —is administered by the Radio Television Digital News Association which awards full-time undergraduate students (excluding freshmen) who major in radio, television, or film. Award amount is $1,000.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) offers eight Freedom Forum-NCAA Sports-Journalism Scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to full-time college students at the junior level, majoring in journalism, or seeking a career in sports journalism. Award amount is $3,000 each.
The National Press Photographers Association offers NPPF Scholarship awards to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in print and television photo journalism, who demonstrate financial need. Portfolio and letters of recommendation are required. Award amounts vary.
Journalism Scholarships for Minorities
With so many minority students pursuing a career in journalism, it’s no wonder the scholarship opportunities have also increased.
Some examples of journalism scholarships targeted for minorities include:
The Asian American Journalists Association offers several scholarships are the undergraduate and graduate level for Asian American students pursuing a degree in journalism. One award includes a $25,000 scholarship, distributed over four years, given to a high school student desiring a career in television news. Another option is administered by Cox Foundation which includes two $2,500 scholarships awarded to college students desiring a career in broadcast, print, or photo journalism.
Ed Bradley Scholarship —is awarded to undergraduate minority students of color pursuing careers in radio and television news. Applicants must be full-time students and in good academic standing. Award amount varies and is good for one school year.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists offers several scholarships to Hispanic undergraduate and graduate students interested in print, photo, broadcast, or online journalism careers.
Tips about Financial Aid for Journalism Students
- Do your homework. Talk to department heads to find journalism scholarships at your school of choice.
- Use the Internet. Seek outside scholarships by searching the many general and career-specific scholarships offered by organizations.
- Fill out a FAFSA. This is especially important for federal and state financial aid, and for some scholarships, and loans.
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