Princeton University Offers Free Summer Journalism Program for High School Juniors, Deadline to Apply Feb. 21

Members of the Summer Journalism Program pose for a photo at the entrance to The New York Times, one of several news organizations they visited during a visit to New York City. The students also visited CNN as well as Newsweek and The Daily Beast as part of the broad exposure they received on various forms of journalism. (Photo by Brian Rokus)
Members of the Summer Journalism Program pose for a photo at the entrance to The New York Times, one of several news organizations they visited during a visit to New York City. The students also visited CNN as well as Newsweek and The Daily Beast as part of the broad exposure they received on various forms of journalism. (Photo by Brian Rokus)

An all-expenses-paid program for high school student journalists from low-income backgrounds will take place for 10 days next summer on the campus of Princeton University. The program is entering its 13th year; since 2002, approximately 250 students from high schools across the country have participated. The program’s goal is to diversify college and professional newsrooms by encouraging outstanding students from low-income backgrounds to pursue careers in journalism.

Classes at the program are taught by reporters and editors from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast, Time, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Sports Illustrated, CNN and NPR, among other media outlets. Students meet with numerous Princeton professors, as well as Princeton’s president and dean of admissions. They report an investigative story, cover a professional sports event, produce a TV segment, and publish their own newspaper. And they receive guidance on the college admissions process not only during the 10 days of the program, but also during the fall of their senior year of high school.

Students selected for the program will have all their costs, including the cost of travel to and from Princeton, paid for by the program, which will run from August 1-11, 2014.  The application process will take place in two rounds. The first round of the application should be filled out online here: https://fs4.formsite.com/pusjp/form1/secure_index.html.  This part of the application must be completed by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, February 21, 2014.

Those students selected to advance to the second round of the application process will be notified in March. They will be asked to provide printed copies of the following items via U.S. mail: an official transcript; the first page of the 2012 (or 2013, if available) income-tax return form (the 1040 or 1040EZ form) of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s), or a signed statement by their parent(s)/guardian(s) saying that their income is below the level at which they would be required to file income tax returns; a recommendation letter from a teacher; and clips from their high school newspaper or other publication (optional).

To be eligible for the program, students must meet the following qualifications:

– They must currently be juniors in high school.

– They must live in the continental United States.

– They must have at least an unweighted 3.5 grade point average (out of 4.0).

– They must have an interest in journalism.

– The combined income of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, must not exceed $45,000.

Note: This program is for students from low-income backgrounds. If the combined income of the custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, exceeds $45,000 and a student still wishes to apply, he or she may attach a letter explaining why his or her family qualifies as financially under-resourced.  Additional information about the program is available at www.princeton.edu/sjp.  If you have questions, email sjp@princeton.edu.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

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