Prizes and Fellowships

2015 Awards Night
Our 2015 award winners received more than $103,000 in scholarships.

The School of Media and Public Affairs offers a number of awards, fellowships, prizes, and other special opportunities each year to enhance our students' abilities to pursue their academic goals and be recognized for their achievements. The Spring 2017 deadline for applications has passed. 

Questions about these opportunities can be sent to Professor Steven Roberts, chair of the SMPA Awards Committee, at Please note that all opportunities listed below are for SMPA undergraduate majors and SMPA M.A. candidates only. Journalism minors are not eligible.

Undergraduate Opportunities

The Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research Prizes (Fall Semester)

Named in honor of two legendary SMPA faculty members, the Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research Prizes are designed to support and encourage outstanding mentored undergraduate research and creative activity in the School of Media and Public Affairs. The School awards two prizes each academic year, one for a political communication major and one for a journalism/mass communication major. Students must have an SMPA faculty mentor for their project or be engaged in collaborative research with an SMPA faculty mentor to qualify for these awards. The awards are designed to afford students an opportunity to partake of the many benefits that result from undertaking a serious research project or creative work and from establishing a close mentoring relationship with a faculty member. These prizes are typically available each fall outside of the spring process. Read More ►

GW-White House Correspondents’ Association Scholarship

The scholarship is awarded by the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) to one incoming freshman as selected by the SMPA Director and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The scholarship will provide one journalism major per year who has an interest in diversity issues and a demonstrated commitment to a career in journalism with a financial award and a seat at the annual WHCA Dinner. Until the class of 2018, one rising senior who is over 21 years of age will also be chosen by the SMPA Director to represent GW at the WHCA Dinner during their senior year and receive a financial award.

SMPA Career Access Network Internship Fund Prizes (Spring Semester)

Looking for extra funding to support an unpaid summer 2017 internship? Apply now to receive a prize of up to $3000 from the SMPA Career Access Network (SMPA CAN). The Fund permits SMPA undergraduates to pursue and benefit from enriching summer internship experiences that they otherwise might not be able to afford. The fund is awarded in the spring to rising GW seniors. It supports an internship experience in the summer after junior year with an established media organization only. Award recipients are based on merit, professional promise and need. Read More ►

J. Michael Shanahan Fund Prize (Spring Semester) 

Created in the memory of beloved SMPA faculty member J. Michael Shanahan, this prize is awarded to rising JMC seniors only during spring semester to fund unpaid summer internships at established media organizations. This prize has a separate application process from other spring opportunities.

Awards range from $200 – $4,000 per individual per academic year

Larry King Scholarships: Created by the former CNN personality who never attended college, this award goes to rising seniors with demonstrated financial need who have superior academic records. ONLY current juniors should apply.

Sherman Page Allen Scholarships: These scholarships are open to all freshmen, sophomore and juniors majors if they display a desire to specialize in the field of journalism. They were endowed in 1966 through a bequest from the estate of Violet B. Robinson.

Student award winners with Professor LivingstonGridiron Foundation Scholarships: These scholarships were created in 1975 by the Gridiron, a long-standing organization of Washington-based journalists. All freshmen, sophomore, and junior majors are eligible to apply for these merit-based awards but consideration will be given to financial need and minority status.

Schneider-Taylor Scholarship: This scholarship, established by the parents of a recent graduate, provides “need-based” aid to a freshman, sophomore, or junior in SMPA.

Eaton Foundation Scholarship: This merit-based scholarship provides aid for SMPA seniors in the dual degree program. Your letter to the awards committee should outline previously received honors, awards, and other reasons for special consideration.

Philip L. Graham Fund Scholarship for Diversity: Named for the late publisher of the Washington Post, these awards give preference to students from underrepresented groups including but not limited to women and individuals of diverse backgrounds. Only freshmen, sophomores and juniors should apply.

Freedman Family Scholarship: This award was endowed by Mike Freedman, a former vice president of GW and SMPA professor, who is also the father of an SMPA graduate. It gives preference to a freshman, sophomore and/or junior student with financial need who wants to become a professional journalist.

Essary Prize: SMPA's oldest prize, created in 1948 to honor the memory of Jesse Frederick Essary. It is awarded "to a student who has given promise of sound citizenship and ability in 'forthright reporting'." This is a writing award, open to all SMPA students, and a portfolio of at least five examples of published or broadcast work from campus-based news outlets or professional outlets outside of class assignments is required.

Hoberman Prize: Created by the family of a recent graduate, this a merit-based award is open to all SMPA students and will be awarded to those who have produced original and meaningful journalism. That work can take any form - print, video, audio, photography or a combination of multimedia platforms. The prize will honor reporting that demonstrates depth, originality and a connection to either local or global community.

Dorothy and Will Roberts Prize: This prize was created by Professor Steven Roberts in the name of his parents. It is given to graduating seniors who have demonstrated academic achievement, professional promise and community service. ONLY current seniors should apply.

To apply for the Gridiron, Allen and Hoberman awards: Applicants for the Gridiron, Allen and Hoberman awards must also include a portfolio of journalistic work that can include print, video, sound, photography and web-based efforts.

Graduate Opportunities

Prospective graduate students applying to the program should consult the financial aid section of our website for aid package information.

Eaton Foundation Scholarship: This merit-based scholarship provides aid for both undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Media and Public Affairs.

The Elberger Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 will be awarded to one Documentary Filmmaking Certificate Program student per academic year to assist with financial hardship. Students should consult the Documentary Center's website for additional information.