The School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) 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. Students were awarded over $150,000 in SMPA scholarships during the 2017 – 2018 school year.
Additional scholarship and other funding opportunities are announced to students in the weekly “Rundown” newsletter. Questions about these opportunities can be sent to Jennifer Halpin, [email protected]. Please note that all opportunities listed below are for undergraduate majors and M.A. candidates within SMPA — minors and students enrolled in other programs at GW are not eligible.
GW-White House Correspondents’ Association Scholarship
The scholarship is awarded by the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) to an incoming student as selected by the SMPA director and GW Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The scholarship will provide one journalism and mass communication major per year with 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.
Fall Semester Prizes
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. SMPA awards two prizes each academic year, one for a political communication major and one for a journalism and mass communication major. Students must have an SMPA faculty mentor for their project 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.
The nation’s most talented journalism students come together as part of the News21 initiative to report and produce in-depth multimedia projects for major national media. This prestigious opportunity gives one lucky SMPA student the chance to learn advanced reporting skills from a staff of veteran journalists, including former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. Fellows will complete an in-depth spring seminar on a selected topic followed by an intensive 10-week summer reporting experience where students work out of a digital newsroom at the Cronkite School in Phoenix, Arizona and travel around the world to report and produce their projects.
Spring Semester Prize and Scholarship Opportunities
Applications open February 4 and are due March 31.
The SMPA Career Action Network (SMPA CAN) Fund supports students with financial hardship pursuing summer internship experiences at established media organizations that they otherwise might not be able to afford. This prize has a separate application process from other spring opportunities and awards are available for rising seniors.
Spring Scholarships and Prizes
Applications open February 4 and are due March 1.
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.
Sherman Page Allen Scholarships: This scholarship is open to first years, sophomores and juniors if they display a desire to specialize in the field of journalism. The scholarship was endowed in 1966 through a bequest from the estate of Violet B. Robinson.
Gridiron Foundation Scholarships: Created in 1975 by the Gridiron, a long-standing organization of Washington-based journalists, these merit-based awards are open to first years, sophomores and juniors, 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 first year, sophomore or junior.
Eaton Foundation Scholarship: This merit-based scholarship provides aid for SMPA seniors in the dual degree program. The 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 first years, 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. Preference is given to aspiring journalists with financial need. Only first years, sophomores and juniors should apply.
Essary Prize: The School of Media and Public Affairs oldest prize, created in 1948 to honor the memory of Jesse Frederick Essary, the award goes “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 requires a portfolio of at least five examples of published or broadcast work from campus-based news outlets or professional outlets outside of class.
Hoberman Prize: Created by the family of a recent graduate, this merit-based award is open to all SMPA students and is awarded for 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 a 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.
Applications open February 4 and are due March 1.
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. Seniors can apply for the scholarship in the spring semester.
The Elberger Scholarship
The Documentary Filmmaking Certificate Program awards the Elberger Scholarship providing partial tuition in consideration of financial hardship.
The SMPA Career Access Network (SMPA CAN) Fund supports students with financial hardship pursuing summer internship experiences at established media organizations that they otherwise might not be able to afford. This prize has a separate application process from other spring opportunities and awards are available for rising seniors.