Scholarships & Competitions

We all need help creating our stories, and sometimes that means financial help. The CoJMC is fortunate that many alumni and friends have provided scholarships, allowing the college to award more than $255,599 in scholarships annually. Learn more about our scholarships, competitions, amounts and how to apply below.

Current Student Scholarships

Merit-based Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated academic achievement and involvement during their time at Nebraska. Merit-based scholarships can be combined with other campus-wide scholarships. Renewability varies by award.

Amount: minimum of $1,000

Need-based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement and financial need. To qualify for a need based scholarsip students must submit their FAFSA by April 1. Need-based scholarships can be combined with other campus-wide scholarships. Renewability varies by award.

Amount: minimum of $1,000

How To Apply

In order to apply for merit-based and need-based, you complete the steps below. See the Emergency Scholarship page for information on applying for emergency funding.

  1. Submit your FAFSA by April 1 (need-based scholarships)
  2. The current student scholarship application for the following academic year opens around November 15 every year and is due on February 1. Please speak with your academic advisor if you have questions about the application process.
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Emergency Support

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you need a little extra help. The College of Journalism and Mass Communications has emergency funds available to help students facing unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances that threaten their progress toward a degree.

Emergency funding is available to help with both tuition and fees and life interruptions, like a car breakdown, broken laptop, or needed prescription due to illness.

Learn more and apply

New Student Scholarships

Freshmen Scholarships

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications awards $100,000 in scholarships to incoming freshmen through the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid. The amounts vary for these scholarships. In addition to these scholarships, the college runs two seperate applications for the Andersen Scholarship ($10,000 renewable for four years) and the One-for-One scholarships ($1,000 renewable for four years). The application for these additional scholarships will be sent to all addmitted CoJMC students after the February 1 scholarship deadline.

Amount: Amounts vary

Transfer Scholarships

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications offers one incoming transfer scholarship in the fall semeter and one in the spring semester. The application will be sent to all fall admits in July and all spring admits in December.

Amount: Minimum for 2022-2023 academic year is $2,000

Internship Support

Internships are a key to professional success upon graduation. Internship awards provide students with funding to help offset the cost of pursuing unpaid or low-paid internships. Internship award applications will open in early April 2023.

Advertising and Public Relations

Internships awards for advertising and public relations majors provide funding to pursue unpaid or low-paid internships in Nebraska and in major media markets.

Award Amounts: $1,000

Explore ADPR Internship Awards

Competitions

Dana and Lynn Roper Sports Writing Competition

About the contest
The Dana and Lynn Roper Sports Writing Competition tests your ability to produce clear, concise, accurate and compelling stories about sports.

Eligibility
The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

To Enter
Submit two published sports stories, in print or online (no blogs) and a resume. 

About the prize
The first-place winner will receive a $2,000 cash award, second place $1,500, third place $1,000 and fourth place $500. 

Application opens in February 2023

George and Eva Grimes Memorial Competition

About the contest
The George and Eva Grimes Memorial Competition tests your ability to use written or visual storytelling to make a compelling case for the benefits of international experience. 

Eligibility
The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications who have been accepted to a University of Nebraska-Lincoln sponsored international experience. 

To Enter
Submit either a 1,000-word essay or a 30-60 video that demonstrates how funds will support your international experience. 

About the prize
The winner will receive a $1,000 cash award to offset the cost of their international experience.  

Application opens in February 2023

Abe and Belle Lieberman Competition

About the contest
The Abe and Belle Lieberman Competition for Excellence in Reporting tests  your ability to produce clear, concise and accurate reporting on public affairs. 

Eligibility
The competithttps://journalism.unl.edu/#ion is open to senior journalism majors in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.  

To Enter
Submit your best published public affairs story in print or online (no blogs) and a resume. 

About the prize
The winner will receive a $1,000 cash award.  

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Philip Perry Photojournalism Challenge

About the contest
The Philip Perry Photojournalism Challenge tests your ability to tell a story in pictures while working under an intense deadline. 

Eligibility
The Spring 2023 contest is open to all undergraduate majors in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications graduating no sooner than May 2024. There are no pre-requisite courses or experience needed to compete.

To Enter
Register for the competition. The competition is limited to 20 students and will take place over three days. Students need to be present in Lincoln, Nebraska, to participate. Students will be required to participate in all competition components. Photographs must be taken only during the contest period and only using the provided equipment. Students must return the equipment following the event.

About the prize
The winners will receive a scholarships of $7,000 for 1st place, $2,000 for 2nd place and $1,000 for 3rd place applied directly to their student accounts.

Registration Opens February 2023

BL Design Diversity Competition

About the contest
The Bailey Lauerman “Design Diversity in Nebraska” Competition is a chance to install your design as a mural in Andersen Hall, have it displayed on digital screens throughout the building and earn a scholarship to continue your studies at Nebraska

Eligibility
The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

To Enter
Registration opens in October 2022. The application will be linked below.

About the prize
The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 cash award, mentoring by a BL creative content specialist and their design displayed as a mural in Andersen Hall. 

Registration opens in October 2022

Omaha Press Club Scholarships

Overview

The Omaha Press Club and Omaha Press Club Foundation for more than half a century have awarded journalism scholarships to the most deserving students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Scholarship recipients and competitors will be selected by either the College of Journalism and Mass Communications Scholarship Committee or the Omaha Press Club Foundation. Not all scholarships are available every year. The criteria to select recipients and competitors will include: 

  • majoring in the areas of advertising and public relations, broadcasting, journalism or sports media and communication
  • demonstrated promise through publication or airing of work at campus newspapers or broadcast outlets and/or internships or experience in professional organizations
  • demonstrated experience in professional organizations such as the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Society for Professional Journalists or the American Advertising Federation
  • demonstrated academic achievement with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • at least junior standing in the upcoming fall semester and have completed at least two years of campus studies

Panko-Roberts/President's Memorial Scholarship

About the donor: The oldest Omaha Press Club Scholarship was first presented in 1957 in memory of Omaha World-Herald reporter Walter Panko. More than a decade later, the name of KMTV News Director Jim Roberts was added and the award now honors all past presidents of the Omaha Press Club and Omaha Press Club Foundation.

Selected by: UNL CoJMC Scholarship Committee

Additional requirements: None

John Davis Scholarship

About the donor: In 1974, the Davis scholarships were established in honor of First National Bank executive John F. Davis, who helped establish the Omaha Press Club atop the bank building at 16th and Dodge Streets.

The annual scholarships allowed the club to significantly expand its scholarship offerings to help students studying journalism, public relations or advertising. In recent years, the Davis family has provided funds for two annual scholarships at UNL.

Selected by: UNL CoJMC Scholarship Committee

Additional Requirements: None

Paul N. Williams Scholarship

About the donor: Paul N. Williams was a dedicated journalist whose 27 years as a newspaperman culminated in a share of the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to a weekly newspaper, the Sun Newspapers of Omaha.

Selected by: UNL CoJMC Scholarship Committee

Additional Requirements: None

Stan Bond Scholarship

About the donor: Stan Bond was KETV’s first field engineer, pioneering live broadcasting from remote story locations for the newsroom in which he was a full newsgathering participant. A past president of the Omaha Press Club and trustee of the Omaha Press Club Foundation, Bond received the Distinguished Club Member Award in 2001.

Selected by: UNL CoJMC Scholarship Committee

Additional criteria: The Stan Bond Scholarship is presented to one deserving student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln based on these criteria: 

  • The recipient must be pursuing a program preparing him/her for a career in news disseminated on any platform.
  • The recipient for the upcoming fall semester must be a junior or senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Through an internship, part-time employment or other activity, the recipient must have demonstrated the intention to pursue a career in news disseminated on any platform.
  • Working knowledge of newsgathering technology is desirable.

Additional requirements: Explanation of how your academic program is preparing you for a career in news, explanation of how internships, part-time employment and/or co-curricular activities are preparing you for a career in news. 

Jim Denney Good News Scholarship

About the donor: The family of James Denney created this scholarship to memorialize this veteran reporter who spent 38 years with the Omaha World-Herald. Readers knew Denney best for his feature writing, much of it focused on Cornhusker football and state history. His writing about the latter area netted him the Nebraska Historical Society’s Addison E. Sheldon Award in 1983.

Selected by: UNL CoJMC Scholarship Committee

Additional criteria: In the spirit of Denney's propensity for writing "feel-good" stories, recipients must demonstrate outstanding work through publication as a feature writer. 

Additional requirements: submit copies or links to two published feature stories (self-published work does not qualify)

Howard Silber Scholarship

About the donor: Howard Silber’s widow, Sissy Silber, established this scholarship. A reporter for the Omaha World-Herald for more than 30 years, Silber became known for his sports writing and his reporting on military affairs. He became an authority on the Cold War and was one of the first reporters to break the news about the U.S. Air Force’s latest weapon, the B-2 stealth bomber.

Selected by: UNL CoJMC Scholarship Committee: 

Additional criteria: The scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated prowess through publication as hard news writers. 

Additional requirements: submit copies or links to two published hard news stories (self-published work does not qualify)  

Judy Horan Scholarship

About the donor: Judy Horan was a freelance writer, public relations and marketing professional who during her life made tremendous contributions to the Omaha Press Club. She twice served on the board and for nearly 20 years volunteered her time and talents to put out the Press Club’s monthly newsletter. Earlier in her career, Horan had also worked as the promotion and marketing director for WOWT-TV. Upon her death in 2017 at age 74, her friends and husband Jim (the longtime artist for the Press Club’s Face on the Barroom Floor events) raised money to create this scholarship that goes to a promising student of public relations or marketing.

Selected by: UNL CoJMC Scholarship Committee

Additional requirements: None

Senator Edward Zorinsky Memorial Scholarship for Graduate Study in Journalism and Communication

The family of Senator Edward Zorinsky established this scholarship in memory of the late U.S. senator and former mayor of Omaha.

Selected by: Omaha Press Club Foundation

Additional requirements: explanation of how your field of study will further your career objectives, academic transcripts, brief biography

Additional criteria: 

  • taking graduate courses in journalism, broadcasting, online communication, public relations and/or advertising
  • may involve courses in a non-communication field in which the student seeks to become knowledgeable because of its relation to career goals. For example, an applicant may take some graduate classes in business in preparation for a career in business and economic news reporting. The relation between a field of study and career objectives should be clearly spelled out in the application.
  • complete the application form and attach it to a transcript of academic coursework, a statement of career goals and a brief biography

Mark Gautier Intern Award

About the donor: This first privately endowed Omaha Press Club Foundation award was established by colleagues and friends in memory of Mark Gautier and his long and distinguished career as news director at KMTV, Omaha. Gautier was a pioneer in the early years of Omaha broadcast news.

Selected by: Omaha Press Club Foundation

Additional requirements: an explanation of how your program of study and internship are preparing you for a career in broadcast journalism, completion of an internship at an Omaha television news department, letter of support from your internship supervisor

Additional criteria:  

  • completion of an internship at an Omaha television news department
  • preparation for a career in broadcast journalism 
  • letters of support from a faculty member and news director supervising the internship

Nebraska Broadcasters Association Scholarship

About the Donor: Endowed by the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Foundation beginning in 2017 to assist in the completion of the college education of a student with a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career at an FCC-licensed radio or television station

Selected by: Omaha Press Club Foundation

Additional requirements: intention to pursue a career at an FCC-licensed  radio or television station, internship, part-time employment or co-curricular activities that demonstrate your intention to pursue the aforementioned career 

Additional criteria:

  • pursuing a program preparing him/her for a career at an FCC-licenses radio or television station
  • junior or senior class standing
  • demonstrated intention to pursue a career at an FCC-licensed radio or television station through an internship, part-time employment or co-curricular activity

To Apply

To apply, submit an application form, upload a resume and any other required information requested in the application. The application period for the OPC scholarships is usually January or February each year. Those who receive a scholarship are requested to attend the OPC awards banquet in April.

The OPC application will open in January/February 2023