The White House Correspondents’ Association Scholarships
The association provides scholarships to promising journalism students at partner colleges and universities around the country.
Since expanding its work to add scholarships in 1991, the WHCA has provided $1.7 million in grants, and leveraged another $1.4 million in aid. The scholarships are financed by proceeds from the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner as well as tax-deductible contributions to the WHCA.
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In addition to the financial assistance, the students are invited to the annual WHCA dinner in Washington, featured at a scholarship luncheon the day before, and paired, when possible, with volunteers from the White House press corps for a year of mentoring
Some of the scholarships honor former White House correspondents including Frank Cormier, Deborah Orin, Hugh Sidey and Harry McAlpin. Others honor journalist Cokie Roberts and Carter Holland, the late son of former WHCA President Steve Holland.
Criteria differs school to school for selecting recipients. All are selected by the WHCA’s partner schools and associations.
The following is a brief description of each.
Arizona State University
This partnership with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication was launched in 2018. A majority of the recipients are expected to reflect the diversity of the school’s student population.
Arizona State University.
The “Trust In Reporting” Scholarship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication started in 2018. The graduate student should be a member of one of these associations: National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association and National Association of LGBTQ Journalists; have experience in multimedia story telling; an international outlook, and a drive to build sources, break news and deliver deeply reported stories. The grant is financed by a contribution from Reuters.
Asian American Journalists Association
The partnership started in 2021. The student must have a demonstrated interest in a career in journalism and proven academic performance. “The student must also be aware of issues facing the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and have a commitment to accuracy and fairness in the coverage of these issues.”
The partnership started in 2009. Its goal is helping a graduate student at the School of Journalism. “We prefer that the fellowship is awarded to a student from the Middle East who demonstrates financial need, an interest in political coverage and an intention to return to the Middle East after graduation to continue his or her journalism career.”
George Washington University
The relationship started in 2015. It provided scholarships for an undergraduate student.
The partnership with the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Education at Hampton University was started in 2022. The “Trust in Reporting” scholarship goes to a journalism student at the Scripps school, preferably with an interest in government and/or political reporting. The annual grant is financed by a contribution from Reuters.
The partnership at the School of Communications was created in 2007. There are three scholarships.
The WHCA designated one of them in 2014 as the Harry S. McAlpin Jr. Scholarship, and that continues. It was named for the first African American correspondent to attend presidential news conferences in 1944 – in spite of the refusal of the WHCA to give its approval or grant him membership.
Iowa State University
The scholarship was created by the White House Historical Association in 2016 with co-sponsorship by the WHCA, building on an ongoing partnership between the WHCA and WHHA established in 2014. The Hugh S. Sidey Scholarship in Print Journalism at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication is named for a former White House correspondent. The award is financed by the WHHA.
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
The WHCA created a partnership in 2020 with the NAHJ, its first non-academic partner. The scholarship is awarded annually to a student “with a demonstrated interest in a career in journalism and proven academic performance. The student must be aware of the issues facing the Latino community and Latinos in the newsroom while also striving to portray all people in a fair and accurate manner in coverage of stories.” The WHCA and NAHJ both contribute to the grant.
The Deborah Orin Scholarship at the Medill School of Journalism is named for the late reporter for the New York Post and was created after her death in 2007. The scholarship for each of two graduate students is financed by a grant endowed by a donor who requested to remain anonymous publicly.
The scholarship at the Medill School of Journalism started in 2008. “The graduate student should exhibit a strong interest in politics or government or both, and in covering these subjects….special consideration should be given to a student who has: overcome educational or economic obstacles, is the first generation in their family to attend college or graduate school, comes from a rural or inner-city area, or is a member of a group that is underrepresented in gradate journalism at Medill.”
The scholarship at the Scripps College of Communication was started in 2017. It is aimed at students participating in the school’s semester in Washington program. The WHCA and the school both contribute to the grant.
University of California, Berkeley
The scholarship at the Graduate School of Journalism was created in 2012. The scholarship is for a student on the government and public affairs reporting track.
University of Kansas
The partnership with the University of Kansas was created in 2020. The scholarship at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas is designed for students who excel at media information management. The student winners will have reputations for accuracy in fact-checking and the ability to access databases, government documents, and personal sources. In addition, the students will excel at using methods of dissemination of information, including use of traditional and social media. The WHCA and the school both contribute to the grant.
University of Maryland
The partnership with the Philip Merrill College of Journalism was created in 2001 when the Frank R. Cormier Scholarship was changed from a high school grant to a college scholarship. It is named for the 1967 WHCA president. It is awarded to 4 students each year.
University of Missouri
The partnership with the Missouri School of Journalism was started in 2009. It provides grants to students participating in the school’s Washington semester program or its Missouri statehouse program. Students must have an interest in government affairs reporting and financial need. A preference is given to “underrepresented groups, either students of color, international students or students from rural or less-populated areas who might not otherwise have the opportunity…”
Along with the WHCA grant, the school waives the rest of the tuition for the semester and provides a 100 percent health insurance subsidy.
University of Tennessee
The partnership with the School of Journalism and Electronic Media was formed in 2021, to begin with the 2021-2022 school year. It is named for the late Carter Holland, an aspiring journalist and the son of Lucie Holland and former WHCA President Steve Holland. The school gives preference to a student with an interest in political reporting or investigative reporting. The WHCA and the school both contribute.
For more information, contact WHCA Executive Director Steve Thomma at firstname.lastname@example.org