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Journalist of the Year Scholarships

About the Scholarships

Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarships, named for JEA’s longtime treasurer, recognize some of the top high school journalists in the country. The contest begins at the state level. Winning portfolios from state Journalist of the Year competitions are sent to the national level. Portfolios are judged at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention, and winners are announced at the convention’s concluding awards ceremony. Scholarship funds — $3,000 for the top winner, and $850 each for runners-up (up to six runners-up awards are usually given) — are released to the student after the winners are announced.


Deadlines vary from state to state, so check with your JEA State Director for contest information specific to your state, including where to send your entry. Do not send your entry to JEA Headquarters. The state contest coordinator must send the winning state entry to be received at JEA by March 15.

Submission Updates for 2015

Students start the competition within their home state. Please contact your JEA State Director for how the changes to this national contest may affect the state contest.

For national Journalist of the Year submissions, all entries must now be digital. In an effort to help make this a smooth transition, an online toolbox page was created. Advisers should give the URL to eligible candidates. Part of the process is to see what candidates will do to market themselves. This should be the student’s project; however, advisers may guide them however much or as little as they see fit.

The judging rubric also has changed to align this contest with the 11 key areas in the Curriculum Initiative. Eligible contestants should be encouraged to review all guidelines, as they have changed. In addition to the online entry requirement, work examples need to be organized differently than how it has been done in the past. The toolbox site will address those portfolio-building changes for eligible contestants.

If there is an area of this site that is lacking, please send an email at pollardr@friscoisd.org so we can enhance our content to be more user friendly.