MNSPJ opens applications to college journalists for 2022 scholarships

Attention college journalists: The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) is now accepting applications for its 2022 student scholarship. This year, MNSPJ will award one $2,500 scholarship to a student pursuing a career in broadcast, print, online or visual journalism. A second winner will receive $1,000.

Last July, a five-judge panel chose to award the top scholarship in our 2021 competition to Hofstra University student Amudalat Ajasa. Her freelance reporting for the Guardian in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and the quality of her work for the Spokesman-Recorder greatly impressed the panel, as did her many extracurricular activities at Hofstra.

Judges included working reporters at the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, the Mankato Free Press and the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal.

“I’m so grateful that there are scholarships like this that award young journalists and enable them to further their career and trajectory,” said Ajasa.

“If you would have told me a year ago that I would have won first place for this amazing scholarship, I would have told you,’There’s no way they’d select me.’ But you miss all shots you don’t take! … I was able to use the scholarship to alleviate some of the final tuition costs going into my final year of college. I truly can’t express how much this scholarship contributed to my career path as a blossoming journalist.”

Second-place winner Gracie Stockton was recognized in July for her freelance reporting for the Minnesota Reformer and American Public Media, as well as the diversity of her training and experience in video, radio and open government sourcing.

“I’m thrilled to receive this,” said Stockton. “The scholarship helped support the purchase of a new computer to upgrade my video and audio editing capabilities, which aided immensely in my freelance gigs. I’m now working at KSTP-TV in St. Paul.”

Given the challenges of being a student journalist during the pandemic, “Honorable Mentions” were awarded to six additional applicants. They are: Zoe Pharo, Ava Kian, Casey McCabe, Rachel Blood, Shannon Brault and Mitchell Levesque.

To participate in the 2022 scholarship competition:

Applicants must either be enrolled in a post-secondary institution in Minnesota or have graduated from a high school in Minnesota and be enrolled in college elsewhere. Preference will be given to Society of Professional Journalists members.

Click here to submit an application form –- the first step. Email the additional application materials to Here’s what’s required:

Application form, which can be found here
College transcript (unofficial transcript is fine)
Letter of recommendation
Essay (limited to 500 words): Why have you chosen journalism as a career?
Up to six samples of work via a link to your portfolio, a PDF of clips or story URLs

Applications must be received by 8 p.m. on April 21, 2022. No late submissions will be accepted. The scholarship winners will be announced prior to MNSPJ’s annual Page One Awards banquet, where recipients will receive their awards.

Questions? Email