Getting A Lead On A Journalism Grant
Student journalists can hone their investigative skills on the search for sources of funding for the journalism education. The good news is that there is a lot of funding out there for journalism students, whether your focus is on print and broadcast journalism or is in a broader area of communications, such as advertising or web-based communications.
Most specialized grants and scholarships for journalism students come from two sources:
- College and university journalism programs, and
- Professional organizations and associations.
Journalism Grants from Colleges and Universities
Almost all colleges and universities offer journalism programs, and many of these programs offer grants, scholarships and fellowships in addition to the funding opportunities available for the entire student body. Once you have picked your target schools, do careful research at the Financial Aid office and in the department itself to determine if the J-School has its own grants and awards, and how much they give every year. Here are examples of what you could find:
- Indiana University makes grants available to incoming freshmen studying Journalism. Graduate students are eligible for professional grants, teaching grants and research grants. Learn more at www.journalism.indiana.edu.
- Every year the University of Kansas School of Journalism gives students over 20 named awards and grants. The J-School also maintains a site with recent external scholarship, grant and contest information that is a valuable resource. You can find it at http://www.journalism.ku.edu/services/student-opportunities.shtml.
- The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at The Ohio State University offers a valuable journalism fellowship for working journalists who want to return to school. See www.kiplingerprogram.org.
Funding for Journalism Students From Organizations and Associations
Virtually every major professional association for journalists offers grants, scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students. A few of the main professional associations are:
- The Society of Professional Journalists (www.spj.org)
- The Radio Television Digital News Association (www.rtdnj.org)
- Online News Association (www.journalists.org)
- National Press Club (www.press.org)
- National Association of Black Journalists (www.nabj.org)
- National Association of Hispanic Journalists (www.nahj.org)
- Asian-American Journalists Association (www.aaja.org)
- Overseas Press Club (www.overseaspressclubfoundation.org)
- National Federation of Press Women (www.nfpw.org)
In addition to national and international press association, each state has their own press association or club, and most large urban areas also have a press association. These organizations often offer grants and scholarships to student journalists. It is essential, therefore, to thoroughly research local press associations to ensure that these valuable opportunities are not missed. For example:
- The Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation (www.mspress.org) annually awards scholarships to journalism students.
- The Ohio Newspapers Foundation (www.ohionews.org/foundation) has a number of grants and scholarships available.
- The New Jersey Newspaper Foundation (www.njpa.org/foundation) awards several scholorships, internships and grants to aspiring journalists.
- The New York Financial Writers Association (www.nyfwa.org/foundation) is a source of funding for journalism students in the New York City area.
Some news outlets themselves award grants and other funding to journalism students.
- United Press International (www.upi.com) awards a grant for the best-pitched idea by a student looking for a way to fund their work on the story.
- The Associated Press Sports Editors (www.apsportseditors.org) gives four awards each year to student journalists entering their sophomore, junior or senior years.
The journalism profession is very generous in providing funding opportunities for the next generation of journalists. With some research, imagination and organization, there is money to be had for journalism studies.