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 23, 2021:
- 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?
2020 — Peyton Kennedy
2019 — Alyse Johnson
2018 — Caroline Blackmon
2016 — Kayla Solsbak
2015 — Katie Shepherd
2014 — Brittany Nicholson
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