If you're aiming to turn your passion for public speaking and writing into a successful career working in public relations, handling press releases, broadcasting news, or acting as a liaison for businesses, then communications scholarships can help you get there.
No matter your financial circumstances, there are a wide range of scholarships offered through professional associations and private organizations to help students with definitive communications career goals.
Nearly 75% of the average person's day is spent communicating in some fashion, so a communications degree can be the perfect way for you to boost your verbal and nonverbal skills for a variety of diverse career paths in virtually any industry.
Below we've highlighted 20 of the best and most lucrative scholarships available for undergraduate and/or graduate students to help cover tuition fees in communications programs.
1. Alliance Communications Scholarships
Deadline: March 14th
Each year, Alliance Communications offers four $1,000 scholarships for graduating high school seniors in their respective service area who will be pursuing a degree in the telecommunications or communications field full-time in the incoming fall at an accredited U.S. college. Eligible students must be graduating from a school in Alcester-Hudson, Baltic, Brandon Valley, Garretson, Hills-Beaver Creek, Howard, Oldham-Ramona, Tri-Valley, or West Lyon districts of South Dakota. Recipients will be chosen based on their academic record, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, involvement in community service, honors/awards, personal essays, extra-curricular activities, career objectives, and employment history.
2. AQHA Journalism/Communications Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
Through the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the Journalism/Communications Scholarship is granted annually to provide $8,000 over four years to student members who are pursuing an accredited undergraduate degree in journalism or communications. Qualified applicants must be graduating high school seniors, have admissions at an accredited U.S. college, carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and have had AQHA membership for at least one year. Preference will be given to all applicants who are pursuing a career in news, editorial or print journalism, and photojournalism specifically within the equine industry to write about subjects related to horsemanship.
3. BBG Communications Scholarship Award
Deadline: June 30th
As a leading provider of equipment in the communications industry since 1992, Breylan Communications offers the BBG Communications Scholarship Award annually for $1,000 to students between the ages of 16 and 21 who are pursuing a degree in a communications-related field. Candidates should be citizens of the United States or Canada, be enrolled in an accredited higher learning institution, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and have at least one full year of post-secondary studies remaining. For consideration, students must write one 1,500-word essay describing the greatest advancements in communications technology over the last decade and one 1,500-word essay explaining why a college education is important.
4. Baptist Communicators Association Scholarships
Deadline: March 15th
Since 1988, the Baptist Communicators Association (BCA) has awarded one $1,000 scholarship to an undergraduate student, one $1,000 scholarship to an undergraduate minority or international student, and one $500 scholarship to a graduate student annually. Eligible candidates must be majoring in communications, English, journalism, or public relations at an accredited four-year institution with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 to enter a career specifically in Baptist communications. Applicants should attach an official transcript, current resume, three reference letters, and a one-page statement describing their desire to receive the scholarship.
5. Bodie McDowell Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 2nd
Within the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), the Bodie McDowell Scholarship Program is available to provide annual awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 annually for three or more students pursuing a career in outdoor communications, including print journalism, photography, film, art, and broadcasting. Eligible undergraduate and graduate students must have at least junior-level standing, have a declared major in communications, and be in good academic standing at an accredited U.S. institution. Selection will be based on applicants' academic achievement, work samples, letters of recommendation, and future career objectives within the outdoor communications field.
6. Broadcast Education Association Scholarships
Deadline: October 14th
As the professional development association for industry professionals and students involved in studies related to radio, television, and other electronic media, the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) proudly offers 14 scholarships ranging in value from $1,500 to $5,000 apiece each year. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in a two or four-year member school, be enrolled full-time for the entire academic year, pursue a degree in a communications-related field for a career in electronic media, and show substantial evidence of superior academic performance. With the application, students should attach an official transcript, current resume highlighting broadcasting experience, written statement of career goals, and at least two references.
Broadcast Education Association Scholarships
1771 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
7. Charles and Lucille King Family Scholarships
Deadline: March 15th
Established in 1988, the Charles and Lucille King Family Scholarships award up to $7,000 annually for junior and senior-level undergraduate students across America who are pursuing a degree related to communications for reaching their career dreams in television, film, or radio. To qualify, candidates must be enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year U.S. university, exhibit financial need, demonstrate academic ability, and have outstanding professional potential within the entertainment arena. Applications must be accompanied by a current resume of applicants' media employment history, an official college transcript, three letters of support, and a two-page typed statement describing their educational goals.
8. Earl B. Williams and Joseph B. Chilen Memorial Scholarships
Deadline: February 20th
In the amount of $1,500 apiece, the Earl B. Williams and Joseph B. Chilen Memorial Scholarships are granted annually through Pioneer Communications to five graduating high school seniors who will be majoring in communications, marketing, public relations, business communications, or telecommunications at an accredited Kansas university the upcoming fall term. Qualified candidates must reside within Pioneer's service area, plan to enroll full-time, and live in a household receiving Pioneer Communication's services. Applicants must attach a current resume outlining extra-curricular and work experience, a high school transcript, and a short paragraph describing their future plans in communications.
Earl B. Williams and Joseph B. Chilen Memorial Scholarships
P.O. Box 707
Ulysses, KS 67880
(620) 356-3211 ext. 131
9. Frank and Sally Morlan Scholarship
Deadline: February 13th
Funded by two long-time newspaper publishers and owners, the Frank and Sally Morlan Scholarship is administered through the Iowa Newspaper Association (INA) to provide up to $1,000 to outstanding students enrolling in a two or four-year journalism or communications program at an accredited higher learning institution in Iowa. Eligible applicants must reside within Iowa, originate from a community of fewer than 10,000 residents, be graduating high school seniors, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and show potential for succeeding in the state's newspaper industry.
10. GEF Corporate and Memorial Scholarships
Deadline: May 1st
Annually, the Gravure Association of the Americas Educational Foundation (GEF) offers eight corporate and three memorial scholarships for $1,500 each to undergraduate or graduate students with a declared major in printing, graphic arts, communications, or graphic communications. Eligible candidates must be enrolled full-time at a GEF-funded college in America, exhibit scholarly performance with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, have financial need, and demonstrate involvement in extra-curricular school or community activities. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay describing their interests in Gravure technology and the print communications industry.
11. Georgina MacDougall David Founder's Award
Deadline: March 31st
First founded in 1976 in honor of the beloved woman who founded the Theta Sigma Phi journalism society that transformed into the Association for Women in Communications (AWC), the Georgina MacDougall David Founder's Award is granted annually for $1,500 through the AWC Seattle Chapter. Qualified female applicants must be enrolled full-time in a Washington State college, have a declared major in a communications discipline, exhibit a high level of ethics, and be committed to professional excellence. Application packets should include a cover letter detailing career goals, unofficial college transcript, resume, and two writing samples.
12. International Food Service Editorial Council Scholarships
Deadline: March 15th
As a non-profit membership associated focused on increasing awareness of career options available in the field of food service communications, the International Food Service Editorial Council (IFEC) offers annual scholarships ranging from $500 to $4,000 apiece to extraordinary undergraduate or graduate students with a declared major in journalism, mass communications, marketing, public relations, culinary arts, or food science. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in an accredited U.S. higher learning institution, have strong academic records, exhibit financial need, and present good character references. These scholarships are aimed at communications specialists who are preparing for a career within the food and beverage industry only.
13. Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Scholarships
Deadline: March 30th
In its 17th consecutive year, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is offering the Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Scholarships for $1,000 to junior, senior, and graduate students who are majoring in journalism, communications, radio, television, and/or film at an accredited post-secondary institution. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens, have Arab heritage, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and excel in media studies. Along with the application, students should submit two signed letters of recommendation from communications professors, official academic transcripts, and a one-page statement explaining their goals.
14. Leonard M. Perryman Communications Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
In honor of an accomplished journalist who served as the editor for the United Methodist Church's Board of Missions for 30 years, the Leonard M. Perryman Communications Scholarship is awarded annually for $2,500 to junior and senior-level students pursuing their studies in communications, mass communications, and/or religious journalism. Qualified candidates must be enrolled full-time in an accredited U.S. university, represent a racial ethnic minority group, plan to pursue a career in electronic or print journalism, and be actively involved in the United Methodist Church. Applicants are judged based on their academic achievement, letters of reference, journalistic experience, future career plans, professional potential, and Christian commitment.
15. Lynda Baboyian Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
Sponsored by Videk Inc. and the Board of Directors of the Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation (EDSF), the Lynda Baboyian Memorial Scholarship is presented each year for $2,000 to full-time junior or senior students committed to pursuing a career in the document management and/or graphic communications marketplace. Eligible students must be attending an accredited university anywhere in the world, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, be actively involved in community service, and have clear career objectives in digital communications. In addition, there are over 40 other scholarships offered through EDSF for students showing interest in document management and graphic communications.
16. Michael Vergauwen Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 2nd
Through the International Communications Industries Foundation (ICIF), the Michael Vergauwen Scholarship Fund was established to provide $5,000 awards annually for third or fourth year undergraduate students or graduate school candidates who are pursuing a degree in communications to enter a career in the audiovisual industry. Applicants must be related to an InfoComm member, be enrolling full-time in an accredited college, carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.75, and support their desire to work in the AV arena. The scholarship panel will pick recipients based on their grade point averages, work experience, AV-related extracurricular activities, essay responses, letters of recommendation, and career potential.
17. New York Women in Communications Scholarships
Deadline: January 30th
Ranging in value from $2,500 to $10,000 each, the New York Women in Communications Inc. (NYWICI) offers up to 20 annual scholarships for graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students who intend to pursue a career in communications. Eligible female students must be enrolled in a communications-related degree, have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, and be members in good standing. Candidates should reside in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania, but those outside this region who plan to attend an accredited university in one of the five boroughs of New York City can also apply.
18. NDS Marshall E. McCullough Scholarships
Deadline: April 15th
Named in honor of a well-known Georgia nutrition researcher and journalist, the Marshall E. McCullough Scholarships are granted through the National Dairy Shrine (NDS) annually for $2,000 to graduating high school seniors planning to major in dairy or animal science with a communications emphasis. Eligible candidates must have U.S. citizenship, be accepted into a four-year accredited college, and wish to pursue a career in dairy communications or journalism upon graduation. Applications must be accompanied by one letter of recommendation, proof of enrollment, official transcripts, and a video responding to specific dairy industry questions.
19. RubÃ©n Salazar Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 1st
Within the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the RubÃ©n Salazar Scholarship Fund has been created to provide $1,000 to $2,000 annually to college-bound high school seniors, college undergraduates, and graduate students pursuing a degree in communications or journalism. Applicants must be enrolled in a four-year college in the United States or Puerto Rico, be in good academic standing, and be pursuing a career in English or Spanish-language media. To qualify, candidates must submit a W-2 form, current resume, two references, an unofficial school transcript, proof of financial need, work samples, and a 1,000-word essay explaining their interest in the journalism field.
20. Tony and Linda Bonnici Scholarship
Deadline: May 2nd
As part of the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation (NBF), the Tony and Linda Bonnici Scholarship Fund (TLBSF) offers annual tuition awards for Nevada residents who have enrolled in a broadcast-related curriculum with a major in journalism, communications, or broadcasting at an accredited in-state higher learning institution. Qualified applicants must be taking at least 12 credits each semester, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7, and be recommended by a college radio/TV/communications department head. Selection will be strongly based on commitment to broadcasting, extra-curricular involvement, community service, financial need, academic performance, previous work experience, and industry potential.
Earning a degree in communications can place you on the fast track to careers in either the multimedia or business world, but you'll first need to finance at least four years of post-secondary education to get there. That's why communications majors should discover other sources of financial aid to cut their tuition bills and avoid borrowing too many loans. Let your voice be heard by applying to some of these great communications scholarships before their deadlines.