SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association has proud to announce High School Essay Contest for all students in grades 9-12 in public, private and home schools. The Journalism Education Association supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities by promoting professionalism, encouraging and rewarding student excellence. The first place, second place, and third place winner will receive $1,000, $500 and $300 scholarship respectively.

The Journalism Education Association, as the nation’s largest association of scholastic journalism educators and secondary school media advisers, denounces the practice of administrative prior review as serving no legitimate educational purpose.


  • The contest is open to all students in grades 9-12 in public, private and home schools within the United States.
  • Contestants may submit only one essay entry during any given contest year.
  • No individual having previously won a national SPJ Essay Scholarship will be eligible to compete at any level of the competition again.
  • The entry fee for this contest is $5 per essay.

How to Apply:

To applying the contest, applicants may apply on-line or offline to download the form.

  1. Why is it important for a democratic society to have women involved in professional media and legal roles?
  2. What can be done to reverse the dearth of females in these professions?

Contest Rules:

  • Participants must write on the official topic.
  • Each entry must include the Contest Entry Title Page (entry form) or submit a cover page containing the same information found on the Entry Form.
  • Essays may be typewritten or legibly handwritten but must be double-spaced.
  • Essays must contain at least 300 words but no more than 500 words. Every word of the essay is counted. This does not include the title, bibliography or footnotes.
  • Any quotations or copyrighted material used in the essay must be identified properly. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.
  • Essays must be written in English.
  • Mailed entries must be stapled together in the upper left-hand corner.
  • Any protest in the conduct of the contest must be made immediately. The JEA executive director will decide all protests in conformity with the contest rules. The decision of the executive director is final, and no higher appeals will be recognized.

Submitting Details: 

Applicants can mail the completed application packet to:

Journalism Education Association

ATTN: SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest

105 Kedzie Hall

828 Mid-Campus Drive S

Manhattan, KS 66506

Financial Aid and Award Money:

Three “place” awards each year and are as follows:

  • First Place: $1,000 scholarship
  • Second Place: $500 scholarship
  • Third Place: $300 scholarship

Application Deadline:

All entries should be postmarked by February 23, 2017.

Link for More Information:


Contact Information: If you have any question, email at staff-at-jea.org

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