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By: Emma J. Walsh, Staff Writer

An opportunity is available for USM students interested in pursuing a career in journalism. The New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) announced that the Journalism Education Foundation of New England is awarding up to ten scholarships to high school seniors and college students in the New England region who are planning to pursue a career in journalism. The NENPA website states, “This is a wonderful program that encourages and supports those who will staff and lead our news organizations in the next generation.”

This scholarship, like any other scholarship, is free money and does not need to be paid back. Nancy Varin, USM Scholarship and Financial Literacy Coordinator explained their importance, “Scholarships are a key component to reducing a student’s out-of-pocket costs or reducing the amount of student loan debt that a student pursues while in school. Scholarships are also a way that students can be rewarded for their academic excellence…,” she said. Additional resources for scholarships can be found on USM’s website, and on iGrad, USM’s financial wellness resource. iGrad has many courses, including one on how to find scholarships. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for scholarships.“Applying for scholarships can help reduce student loan debt over a student’s time in school, and also reduce stress,” Varin said.

NENPA is a professional trade organization for New England newspapers in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island. According to their website, “As the principal advocate for newspapers in New England, our goal is to help newspaper professionals successfully fulfill their mission to engage and inform the public while navigating and ultimately thriving in today’s evolving media landscape.”

Students who are interested in the scholarship can apply online. Qualifications include that the student must be a New England resident, be a high school senior or undergraduate student studying or plan to study journalism (or a related field), and have a 3.0 or above GPA. Applicants must also submit materials such as a cover letter, transcript, resume or biography, letter of recommendation, and a published work or work prepared for a journalism class. The deadline to submit the application is March 27, 2020.

Linda Conway, Executive Director for NENPA, states that, “It’s a wonderful program to encourage and support college students who aspire to contribute to the field of journalism and lead our newsrooms in the future.”

If journalism interests you, USM also offers many great journalism courses. There are classes on basic journalism and writing, or on areas of interest such as news reporting, opinion writing, or sports broadcasting. If you are looking to put your journalism skills into practice, you may also want to consider writing for the Free Press.
This journalism scholarship is just one of many available to USM students. Students are encouraged to learn about and apply for scholarships to make college less stressful and costly.


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