Writing Scholarships & Grants

Women who wish to attend a college or university to study journalism may be able to find a great deal of financial help to make their dreams come true. A number of scholarships and grants are available to help women learn more about this field.

Grants and scholarships may take a number of factors into consideration when awarding funding for studies. The factors considered may include financial need, academic standing, specific areas of interest, or even age, race, religion, or ethnicity.

Most journalism scholarships are open for both male and female recipients. Indeed, as the number of women pursuing higher education increases, the number of men doing the same continues to decrease. According to a the Digest of Education, as of 2010, the female-to-male ratio at the university level is about 60-40. That gap has continued to steadily widen since the 1970s, which was the last time the United States saw an equal number of men and women in college.

Scholarships For Women in Journalism

Even though most grants and scholarships do not determine eligibility based on gender, there are some that continue to boost the efforts of women. This is particularly important in the field of journalism, which is still largely dominated by men.

The Association for Women Journalists-Chicago has scholarships available for women only. These include the AWJ-Chicago Scholars Program, which recognizes female journalists in the Chicago area with a $1,500 annual award, and the Joy Darrow Memorial Scholarship.

Other scholarships that are dedicated to women pursuing journalism include:

WSCGA Foundation Anne Trabue Scholarship Fund


Application Deadline: May 15
Qualifications: Open to female golfers with a 3.2 or higher GPA. Must be a full-time student and reside in Southern California.

Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship Award


Award Amount: $4,000
Qualifications: Eligible applicants must be college or university female basketball players seeking to pursue a graduate degree in sports communication/journalism.

New York Women in Communication Foundation Scholarship Program


Award Amount: Distribution varies. Most scholarships range from $2,500 to $10,000.
Qualifications: Recipients may be high school seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students. Students must demonstrate need and have a GPA of at least 3.2. Recipients must reside in either New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania.

New York Women in Communication also awards a number of other scholarships that are sponsored by external entities. Most of these scholarships carry the same eligibility requirements and award about $2,500 per year. Among these, the Hammond Family Scholarship, the Hearst Scholarship, the Meredith Scholarship, the Interpublic Group Scholarship, and the Judy Corman Memorial Scholarship from Scholastic include internships along with the scholarship moneys.

Radio Television Digital News Association

The Radio Television Digital News Association offers a number of journalism scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students. The award amounts and qualifications vary. All undergraduate scholarships are eligible only to currently enrolled, full-time students who have completed their freshman year.

Applicants are not required to be pursuing a specific degree, but must state that their future goals include a career in electronic journalism.

Graduate scholarships are available to full-time graduate students pursuing an electronic journalism career and who have at least one year of graduate studies remaining. Students must also be in good academic standing. The deadline for all RTNDA scholarships is April 1. Students may only apply to one scholarship.

The Abe Schechter Graduate Scholarship


Award Amount: $2,000
Qualifications: Graduate scholarship.

Ed Bradley Broadcast Journalism Scholarship

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Award Amount: $10,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate scholarship. Preference is given to minority students.

Carole Simpson Scholarship

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Award Amount: $2,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate scholarship for minority students.

The George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship

Lyndon Johnson Scholarship

Award Amount: $6,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate scholarship for students at the University of Texas-Austin.

The Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship


Award Amount: $1,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate scholarship for a student with excellent writing skills who is pursuing a career in sports journalism.

The Mike Reynolds Journalism Scholarship

Mike Reynolds Scholarship

Award Amount: $1,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate scholarship for high achieving students enrolled in journalism. Need-based.

Pete Wilson Journalism Scholarship

Pete Wilson Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate or graduate scholarship. Student must be from the San Francisco Bay area.

President’s Scholarship

President’s Scholarship

Award Amount: Two $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually
Qualifications: Undergraduate scholarship. Students must be in good academic standing.

National Press Photographers Foundation

The National Press Photographers Foundation offers scholarships for those students interested in pursuing a career in photojournalism. Each year, the NPPF awards approximately $14,000 in scholarships. The deadline for all scholarship is March 1.

The Bob East and Bob Baxter scholarships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students, while the Reid Blackburn and Jimi Lott scholarships are available to undergraduate students only. Each of these scholarships are awarded in the amount of $2,000.

Other scholarships offered by the NPPF include:

NPPF Still and Multimedia Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,000
Qualifications: Open to undergraduate students who are pursuing a career in still photography and multimedia.

NPPF TV News Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,000
Qualifications: This undergraduate only scholarship is available to Television photojournalism students.

Kit C. King Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,000
Qualifications: Open only to graduate students studying photojournalism.

National Association for Black Journalists

The National Association for Black Journalists also has a number of scholarships that are available to members of the NABJ. The deadlines for these scholarships vary, with April 1 being the latest deadline. All scholarships require that students be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university, except where noted. Students must be pursuing a career or degree in journalism as well.

Allison E. Fisher Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,500
Qualifications: Students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. Open to graduate and undergraduate students.

Carole Simpson Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,500
Qualifications: Student must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and be a broadcast journalism major.

Dewayne Wickham Founder’s High School Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,500
Qualifications: Awarded to high school seniors who hold a GPA between 2.5 and 3.0.

Larry Whiteside Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,500
Qualifications: Student must be pursuing a career in sports journalism. Students must have previous journalism experience, either working on campus or through an external source. The minimum GPA qualification is 2.5, and preference is given to seniors, though juniors may apply.

Les Payne Founder’s Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,500
Qualifications: Must hold a minimum GPA of 3.0.

NABJ Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,500
Qualifications: Minimum GPA of 2.5.

The NABJ New Corporation High School Scholarship

Award Amount: $2,500
Qualifications: Awarded to high school seniors who are NABJ student members. Must hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate financial need.

Visual Task Force Scholarship

Award Amount: Up to $1,500
Qualifications: Students must declare a concentration in visual journalism and hold a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students must have experience working with the campus newspaper or TV studio and must have held a previous internship. Open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation

The Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation has many different scholarships that are open to students interested in document management and graphic communication.

Each year, EDSF gives away about 40 scholarships worth $1,000 to $5,000 each. The application deadline is May 1. Among these are the Clampitt Paper Scholarship, which is available only to students residing in Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, or Oklahoma; the Don Lowe Honorary Scholarship and PIP Scholarship for those studying at California Polytechnic State University; the OutputLinks Communication Group Hal Morrow Memorial Scholarship for students at Hope College; and many more, some of which are not specifically geared toward a university or region. Of particular interest to women studying journalism is the OutputLinks Communications Group Woman of Distinction Award, which gives $5,000 to one outstanding female applicant.

Scholarships often focus on students who live within a certain region or attend a specific school. This greatly limits the number of students who can apply, which can be both positive and negative. While not every woman is eligible for these scholarships, those who are suitable have a smaller pool of applicants with which to vie for the award.

South Carolina Press Association

The South Carolina Press Association offers two different scholarships for South Carolina students who are pursuing degrees in journalism.

SCPA Foundation Scholarship

Application Deadline: January 20
Award Amount: $3,000
Qualifications: Full-time college student entering their junior year.

Smoak Scholarship Fund

Award Amount: The fund contains $6,000, which is distributed to a varying number of individuals each year.
Qualifications: Applicants may be full-time or part-time students who are interested in the newspaper business.

Regional Scholarships

Other regional scholarships include:

KATU Thomas R. Dargan Scholarship


Application Deadline: April 30
Award Amount: $6,000
Qualifications: Open to minority students who are either residents of or are attending an accredited school in Washington or Oregon. Must hold sophomore status or higher. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship Fund


Application Deadline: March 1
Qualifications: Students must reside in King, Snohomish, or Pierce County in Washington state and must plan on attending a four-year university in Washington.

Valley Press Club Scholarships


Application Deadline: April 1
Award Amount: Five awards of $1,000 each
Qualifications: Open to high school seniors living in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.

Specific Journalism Scholarships

Journalism scholarships are available from multiple sources throughout the country. Many of these have specific qualifications, geared to offer opportunities to women from certain backgrounds or who have special skills in unique areas. Women should apply to as many as possible in order to improve their chances at funding their education. The following scholarships are only a sample of the many choices.

Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship


Application Deadline: April 30
Award Amount: $5,000
Qualifications: Must be pursuing a creative writing or other creative endeavor that focuses on the curbing of tobacco use.

American Copy Editors Society Scholarship


Application Deadline: November 15
Award Amount: One scholarship of $2,500 and four of $1,000
Qualifications: Scholarships are open to juniors, seniors, or graduate students pursuing a career in copy editing. Must display excellent academic achievement and letters of recommendation.

Edna R. Anthony Memorial Scholarship


Application Deadline: March 31
Award Amount: $500
Qualifications: High school senior with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Must attend a Historically Black College or University.

International Foodservice Editorial Council Scholarship


Award Amount: Scholarships vary from $500 to $4,000
Qualifications: Scholarships are eligible for students pursuing a foodservice journalism career. Applicants must be able to display past experience working in the foodservice journalism industry. Students must be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university.

Additional Resources

Along with the scholarships listed here, there are many more choices for women who are interested in pursuing careers in journalism. A student should talk with her college or university’s financial aid office to learn of any scholarships that the school may offer or be aware of.

Many local organizations also offer scholarships to first-time and returning students. A list of these scholarships should be available by visiting with a financial aid office or speaking with a high school guidance counselor. Students should also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to learn if they can qualify for federal grant money.

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