TV Scholarship Instructions

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 Applications are open for 2016

Background on the Scholarships

Please read about the named scholarships here.

If you are NOT 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 scholarship started 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.

Flow Chart

A simplified flow chart of the process for the NPPF TV Scholarship application described in detail is  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 “Scholarships/TV 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 video links is March 1 at 11:59 p.m., eastern time.

Applicants must:

  • •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.
  • Applicants must have shot and edited all stories submitted for consideration.

•A letter of recommendation from a faculty member who knows your work is required.  Instructions for faculty are found here.


  1. You will create an account on this website.
  2. Using your account, log into the website and fill out the 2016 Application Form. This application page may be edited later. You can update the information in the form at any time.
  3. Prepare your links to the videos on the Internet and upload them  by the competition deadline.

Steps one and two may be completed well ahead of the deadline but until the “Submit” button in step two is pressed, your faculty member cannot submit your required recommendation. So if you intend to enter video stories, 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 Video Stories

You may enter up to 10 total entries. It is recognized that many students many have only one video. The form accommodates up to 10 stories but one is enough to enter.

There is flexibility in how you present your work. We have added the possibility of entering innovative website features that contribute to storytelling.

Judges advise you to have a minimum of three video stories.

All videos, are supplied as links to where they live on the Internet. The URL links must take the judges directly to the video, 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. This is done with a program such as Photoshop, Lightroom or GIMP in which you can adjust the size of a jpg photo. You can do a screen snap of your video to produce the jpg.

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 video 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]+[4]     (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.
  • Open direct links to your video entries in browser windows so that the URL may be copied and pasted into the entry submission form. This will prevent typos. Be sure to NOT password protect your videos.

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 some video 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.

Your thumbnail will be about this size:


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.