How to Apply

The competition is open to any Virginia college student or to any Virginia resident attending an out-of-state college. Scholarship applicants must be planning a career in journalism, photojournalism, public relations or another related communications field. Applicants do not have to be enrolled in a journalism or public relations degree program to qualify, but strong evidence of a commitment to the field of communications is essential. Students must be enrolled in an accredited college or university. Graduate students may apply if they have been accepted to a specific program.

The scholarship competition is open to female and male students and to undergraduate and graduate students. Members of Virginia Professional Communicators receive additional consideration.

Along with a completed scholarship form applicants must submit the following by April 28, 2023:

  • Three samples of your published work (term papers and work published on personal blogs do not qualify)
  • A resume
  • A signed personal letter of recommendation specific to this scholarship
  • Statement outlining financial need

The scholarship recipient will be our honored guest at the Virginia Professional Communicators spring conference.

Frequently Asked Scholarship Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

You must be a college student in good standing to apply. That means you must be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university.

What do you mean by work samples?

The kinds of samples we’re looking for include stories you have written for a school newspaper or local publication (print or online), broadcast demo tapes/disks/reels, press releases or other public relations work, blogs that required original reporting and/or interviews, photojournalism, informational graphics or even communications class assignments.

Who judges the Virginia Press Women Foundation scholarship entries?

The five-member board reviews each entry and awards points based on factors including:

  • Commitment to the field of journalism
  • Academic achievement
  • Outstanding leadership qualities
  • Contribution to community
  • Financial need
  • Overcoming adversity

What does a scholarship judge look for in an application?

The VPW Foundation’s scholarships are awarded to deserving Virginia undergraduate and graduate students who plan to pursue a career in communications. While we look at such things as GPA, awards and involvement in this field, the key factor is the need for financial assistance. Students must be attending an accredited college or university.

What are the biggest mistakes students make when applying for your scholarships?

The biggest mistakes that we’ve seen are not explaining financial need, not including a signed letter of recommendation and omitting GPA and other indicators of academic standing.

When are the scholarships awarded?

The scholarship checks are awarded during lunch at the Virginia Professional Communicator’s fall conference, which is traditionally held in Richmond. Each recipient and her or his guest attend free. We cover reasonable transportation expenses and accommodations, if needed.

Does the scholarship include anything in addition to a check?

Scholarship recipients also receive a year-long student membership in VPW and the National Federation of Press Women.

I’ve applied in the past but didn’t receive a scholarship. Can I apply again?


Past Winners

2022 — Jessica Johnson

2021 — Jacqueline Llanos Hernandez

2020 — Peyton Kennedy

2019 — Alyse Johnson

2018 — Caroline Blackmon

2017 — SaraRose Martin and Noah Petersen

2016 — Kayla Solsbak

2015 — Katie Shepherd

2014 — Brittany Nicholson

2013 — Cameron Austin and Heather Butterworth

2012 — Kayla Robbins

2011 — Mechelle Hankerson and Candice Corrigan

2010 — Sara Mitchell, Rachel Satterwhite and Jordan Bondurant

2009 — Heather Templeton and Katie Thisdell

2008 — Valerie Lambros and Sharon Tully

2007 — Tierney McAfee and Alyssa Walden

2006 — Alexis Hatfield

2005 — Chelsea Fry and Sonia Harmon

2004 — Nicole McMullin and Stephanie Kriner

2003 — Erin Hill

2000 — Lacy Ann Hale

1999 — Colleen Long

1998 — John P. Metcalfe

1997 — Rebecca Neale

1996 — Tara Marie Tuckwiller

1995 — Nancy Wright Beasley