Background on the Scholarships
If you are applying for the TV Scholarship read these instructions instead of those that follow.
The application form has two selection filter questions, one whether or not you are applying for the TV Scholarship and the other for whether or not you are applying for the Clarkson Scholarship. The reason for these questions are there are three sets of judges. One group of judges considers a still picture portfolio as well as multimedia links. Another set of judges picks the TV scholarship winner and that application does not require a still picture portfolio. Yet another group judges the Clarkson Scholarship.
All scholarships are open to any applicant. You decide how you answer the filter questions based on your career goals and what materials you decide to submit.
New in 2015
NPPF is pleased to announce the Rich Clarkson Founders Scholarship in the amount of $2,000. The application process follows the same general procedure as our other scholarships with only two additions. You will need an essay describing your leadership abilities and experiences. Rich Clarkson showed exceptional leadership over his career and is still doing so. The judges are looking for students who show leadership qualities.
In addition to the application requirements described below, write an essay (maximum 1,500 words) describing your leadership abilities. Provide the name of one additional person who can write a recommendation on your behalf. This additional person should not be a faculty member.
You will be applying for either the TV Scholarship or be in the pool for all the other scholarships. If you provide an additional reference and write an essay on your leadership skills, you will be considered for the Clarkson Scholarship as well.
If applying for the Clarkson Scholarship, both your faculty member recommender and the nonfaculty recommender should be asked to specifically address your leadership skills.
Clarkson Scholarship FAQ
Will you be considered for other scholarships as well? Yes. The Clarkson Scholarship specifically concerns leadership skills. You apply for the TV Scholarship or are in the pool for our other scholarships. If you want to be considered for the Clarkson Scholarship as well, you provide a nonfaculty recommender in addition to your faculty recommender and write and essay. Both of your recommenders should be asked to specifically address leadership skills.
Do I have to provide an additional recommender and write an essay to qualify for a scholarship? No. You only need the additional recommender and essay if you wish to be considered for the Clarkson Scholarship as well as the other scholarships.
Is it possible to win the Clarkson scholarship in addition to another scholarship? Yes. If you were awarded two scholarships, the total would be $4,000.
If you don’t win another scholarship, is it still possible to win the Clarkson Scholarship. Yes.
A simplified flow chart of the process described in detail is available in a clickable PDF available for viewing or download. It will make sense to you after reading this page.
All required forms described below (with links) also may be accessed in pages as submenus under the “Scholarship/Scholarship Application Instructions” main menu item.
As soon as the competition is open, complete steps one and two in the Process section below.
Deadline for uploading your portfolio is March 2 at 11:59 p.m., eastern time.
- Be currently enrolled full-time in an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. or Canada or have been accepted at a four-year institution to complete suspended studies.
- Provide evidence of an aptitude for photojournalism as well as academic ability and financial need.
- Provide grade point average as an indication that applicant can successfully complete college studies.
- Explain financial need.
- Use the scholarship at the beginning of the next semester. Otherwise, it will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate candidate.
A letter of recommendation from a faculty member who knows your work is required. If applying for the Clarkson scholarship, a letter of recommendation is required from a non faculty member as well.
Instructions for faculty and other recommenders are found here.
- You will create an account on this website.
- Using your account, log into the website and Fill out the 2015 Application Form. When you press “Submit” for this form, you will automatically be taken to a page where you will download a zip file, that when unzipped has a system of folders to organize your portfolio. This application page may be edited later. You can update the information in the form at any time.
- Prepare your portfolio, with the required folder structure, re-zip the file and upload it by the competition deadline.
Steps one and two may be completed well ahead of the deadline and until the “Submit” button in step two is pressed, your faculty member cannot submit your required recommendation. So if you intend to prepare a portfolio, do steps one and two as soon as possible. Both your registration form and application form may be edited at a future time after you log in. After initial submission, the “Submit” button is replaced by an “Update” button.
Organizing your Portfolio Materials
Portfolios must be prepared in a specific folder system. The folder structure and specific instructions are found in the Portfolio Submission page.
You may enter up to 10 total entries. A entry is defined as a single picture, a multiple picture story, a multimedia story, or a website link at which you have done significant interactive programming or design.
- You enter 5 single pictures, 2 multiple picture stories and 3 multimedia stories.
- You enter 0 single pictures, 5 multiple picture stories, 1 website and 3 multimedia stories.
- You enter 0 single pictures, 0 multiple picture stories and 10 multimedia stories.
All three scenarios above total 10 items. You have great flexibility in your portfolio. A logical way to construct your portfolio is to select your multiple picture stories and multimedia stories you want to enter and if less than 10, make up the difference with great single pictures.
There is great flexibility in how you present your work. Further, we have added the possibility of entering innovative website features that contribute to storytelling.
Judges suggest that you have at least 1 multiple picture story and 1 multimedia or video story. If your desired career is television or multimedia journalist, judges advise you to have a minimum of 3 multimedia or video stories.
Multiple picture stories have a minimum of two pictures and a maximum of 10 pictures.
All multimedia entries, including videos, are supplied as links to where they live on the Internet. The URL links must take the judges directly to the video or other form of multimedia, not to a personal home page where judges must select other menu items or links to get to the story. Popular places for videos are YouTube or Vimeo for stand alone videos. Other locations might be student media sites. Any Internet URL is fine as long as it takes judges directly to the story. You also need to supply a jpg thumbnail (250 px wide) for each video or multimedia entry.
Note that the judges unanimously feel that portfolios that do not include at least one multimedia entry will not be competitive. Multimedia is defined as video and/or photos combined with edited audio, in any format, slide shows and interactive pieces. A multimedia story with only a music track doesn’t count. You must have originally gathered sound that helps tell the story.
What information do I need to gather before entering?
You will need your faculty advisor’s contact information: name, phone and e‐mail. Since faculty often have more than one email address, ask which one is preferred. When you complete your application, an automatic email is sent to that address so make sure you enter it correctly. Likewise, ask for a preferred phone number.
If you are applying for the Clarkson Scholarship, you will also need the same information in the paragraph above for a nonfaculty person, who can write a recommendation addressing your leadership skills.
Contact a faculty member who knows your work for permission to list her/him as willing to write a recommendation. That recommendation also is submitted on this website and cannot be done until you complete step two above. If applying for the Clarkson Scholarship, you will also need a nonfaculty recommender. When you do complete step two, an automatic email will be sent to your recommenders with a link to submit your recommendation. Be sure to followup with your recommenders to ensure that the email was received and has not been diverted by a spam filter. That email is sent when you complete Step Two in Process. Accurate recommender information is very important. We sometimes need their assistance to help us locate a winner.
Be sure to make your faculty member is aware of specific instructions for her/him. The same applies to the additional recommender if you are applying for the Clarkson Scholarship. Their specific links are here:
There are three short essays (four if you are applying for the Clarkson Scholarship) you may wish to prepare ahead of completing step two so that you can copy and paste the text into the boxes provided in the form. These items are:
- List your academic and journalistic accomplishments.
- Explain your need for a scholarship. Be specific.
- Briefly state your goals in visual journalism.
- (If applying for the Clarkson Scholarship) In a detailed essay, tell us about your leadership skills/experiences. In detail, explain what you accomplished and the methods you used for you successes. Include any information that will support your application. Maximum length: 1,500 words.
You will need to know your overall GPA and the point system it is based on. For example, your entry might be “3.5 on a 4-‐point system.“ You will also need your GPA of courses within your major. If you don’t know how to calculate your GPA within your major, ask your campus registrar.
You will need a screen snap of your multimedia entries, which will be used to create a thumbnail for your entry. Both Windows and Macs allow this. Click on your desktop and use the “Help” menu to search for “screen snap” or “screen grab.” For Macs:
- To take a picture of part of your screen:
- Press [command]+[shift]+ (depending on your keyboard, the Command key may have a cloverleaf or apple on it instead of the word ‘command’.)
- Click at a corner of the area you want to capture, drag the pointer across the area, and release the mouse button.
- Use image editing software to convert the PNG format screen grab to a JPG format at 250 px in the longest dimension. You will upload these thumbnails in step two in Process.
- Organize your multiple picture stories into the folder structure provided. Organize your stills into the folder provided. Download the folder structure here if you haven’t already. Read the README files after you unzip the file.
- Open direct links to your multimedia entries in browser windows so that the URL may be copied and pasted into the portfolio submission form. This will prevent typos. Be sure to NOT password protect your videos.
Each picture should be less than 2 MB in size, and at least 700 pixels on the long side (1350-‐2000 pixels at 72 DPI preferred). All pictures must be in the jpg format at quality 8 or 80 depending on the scale of 10 or 100 respectively. All pictures must have IPTC captions.
Preparing Video Stories or other Multimedia Stories
All video stories must be available for viewing on the internet and have a public link to them. In the entry form there will be places to enter a URL and to describe your role in the story since many multimedia stories may be produced by a team. If the story is not already on a news site, Youtube or Vimeo are popular places to link to a story. You will also need a thumbnail jpg, which we use as a link to your URL for the judges. Make the thumbnail 250 px wide, in jpg format.
While you do not have to be a member of NPPA to enter, you must adhere to the principles of the NPPA code of ethics. Please read the code prior to submitting your application.
How to Enter
Note. The call for entries is in January of each year. There will be a notice on this website when applications are open.
See the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Create an Account on our Website
If you entered in a previous year do not create an account. Simply login here:
If you have forgotten your password there is a text link to reset it. Your login is your full email address.