5 Excellent Scholarships for Communications Majors

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Scholarships for Communications Majors
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With an early career median salary of $40,000, communications degree-holders don’t always have room in their postgraduate budget to pay off student loans. But one way to offset future financial strain is to focus on scholarships for communications majors now.

Here are five communications scholarships to be aware of, plus tips on finding additional gift aid that unlike costly federal and private student loans, doesn’t need to be repaid. Each of these is excellent in terms of offering funds that can make a significant difference in you ability to afford school:

1. Axia Public Relations Scholarship
2. New York Women in Communication scholarships
3. Broadcast Education Association (BEA) scholarships
4. Marketing EDGE scholarships
5. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ (NATAS) scholarships
Plus: Find additional scholarships for communications majors

1. Axia Public Relations Scholarship

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in public relations, the Axia scholarship is doubly worthwhile. It provides a $2,000 scholarship and a summer internship practicing PR at the company.

Some public relations experience is required to be considered. When applying, you must share three work samples from past internships or jobs.

To be eligible, you must also be a college junior or senior with demonstrated financial need. If you don’t meet the criteria, the PRSA Foundation offers a host of other public relations scholarships for members and nonmembers alike.

Deadline to apply: May

2. New York Women in Communications scholarships

These New York Women in Communications scholarships range in value from $2,500 to $10,000 and often include internships. The program offers 15 to 20 awards nationally each year to high school graduates and undergraduate and graduate students. Winners in 2019 were matched with name-brand companies like Scholastic, Hearst Magazines and Bloomberg Media Group.

All told, 320 women have received more than $1.7 million in scholarship support.

You must have a 3.2 grade point average (GPA) or above to apply, and you’ll need to undergo phone and in-person interviews to be selected.

Deadline to apply: January

3. Broadcast Education Association (BEA) scholarships

College students specializing in any electronic media could be eligible to receive one of four high-value communications scholarships from the BEA:

  • BEA Founders Award: $1,500
  • Richard Eaton Foundation Award: $2,500
  • Peter B. Orlik Award: $3,000
  • Vincent T. Wasilewski Award: $4,000 (for graduate students only)

Scholarship applications are judged on college transcripts and recommendation letters. You could apply for multiple scholarships at once, though you would only be chosen for one award.

If broadcasting is in your future, consider all of the BEA’s scholarship opportunities — the organization has doled out about $750,000 in financial aid over the past 25 years.

Deadline to apply: October

Not sure about communications? Check out our scholarship resources for more majors …
Art
Computer science
Criminal justice
Journalism
Business
Music
Photography
Medical school
Nursing school

4. Marketing EDGE scholarships

Because communications is such a broad field, you might find scholarship success by considering interdisciplinary organizations.

If you’re interested in using your communications degree to work in marketing, for example, consider a nonprofit like Marketing EDGE. It pairs more than a dozen students with scholarship foundations annually — in 2018, 19 students pursuing a communications or related career in marketing took home awards spanning $1,000 to $7,000. Over the last 25 years, the organization has $643,000 to 248 students, or nearly $2,600 per student.

Application requirements include:

  • Maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Majoring in marketing or a related field, including communications
  • Participating in a Marketing EDGE program, such as one of its online courses

Deadline to apply: April

5. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ (NATAS) scholarships

If marketing is not for you, maybe the entertainment industry is a better fit. Don’t look past NATAS’ five scholarships for high school and college students, worth $10,000 apiece.

  • The Univision NATAS Scholarship: Among scholarships for Hispanic and Latino journalism and communications students seeking a career in TV
  • Jim McKay Memorial Scholarship: For students aspiring to work in televised sports
  • Douglas W. Mummert Scholarship: For students with an eye on a television career who also have a strong community service record
  • Mike Wallace Memorial Scholarship: For students pursuing a broadcast journalism career
  • Linda Giannecchini Memorial Trustees Scholarship: For students aiming to work in any aspect of the TV industry

It’s also possible to receive a regional NATAS scholarship. Nineteen local chapters of the organization, which puts on the annual Emmy Awards presentation, award financial aid to their student members.

Deadline to apply: March (regional scholarships may have different deadline dates)

Find additional scholarships for communications majors

Don’t be shy about using online scholarship search tools until you’re sick of staring at your computer screen. Websites do a great job of aggregating scholarships for communications majors and other fields of study.

Sometimes, however, the key to finding — and, eventually winning — gift aid is to walk into your campus financial aid office and employ that old communication tactic: talking to a human being.

Aside from pointing you toward sources of scholarships for communications majors, for example, the office could alert you to on-site funding options. Communication and journalism departments at the Universities of Houston, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Florida and Wisconsin are among schools with in-house scholarship options.

Aside from seeking communications scholarships from your school and elsewhere, don’t forget about grants. Like scholarships, grants are a form of gift aid that generally don’t need to be repaid. You can find grants from your state or via the federal government.

Though many scholarships and grants don’t cater specifically to communication majors, they could help you accomplish the same ends: By winning more, you can borrow less in federal and private student loans.

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