Frequently asked questions
 
  1. Do I need to be a journalism, communications, or media major to apply?
    • No, just pursuing a career in electronic journalism or broadcast media
     
  2. Do I need to be an RTDNA member to apply?
    • No
     
  3. Do I need to be a US citizen to apply?
     
  4. Can I apply for more than one scholarship or fellowship?
    • No, please select one opportunity.
     
  5. What language may I use on my application?
    • Please submit all application materials in English. If your work samples are not in English, please include a translation.
     
  6. I will be attending a new school in the fall, or I don’t have a faculty advisor or know my dean very well. Can I get a recommendation from someone else?
    • You may get a recommendation from another faculty member or mentor. Choose someone who is familiar with your academics and your experience in broadcast journalism, especially someone who has played a role in the work samples you’ll be submitting.
     
  7. How do I submit my letter of recommendation?
    • The recommender should submit the letter as a PDF or Word document directly to you to upload to our online application portal. 
     
  8. How do I submit my cover letter and resume?
    • All supplemental documents are uploaded directly to our online application portal.
    • We recommend uploading your supplemental documents as PDF files. You may also upload Word documents.
    • Hyperlinks in documents do not always download properly. If you include hyperlinks (such as to your twitter account or website), please also include the complete URL in the text of the document
  9. What is the judging process?
     
  10. When will the scholarship be awarded?
    • The scholarships will be awarded in May for the academic year beginning the following fall.
     
  11. My pieces are all written work online, not on television or radio clips. Do I qualify?
    • Yes!  Digital as well as broadcast pieces are eligible work samples.
     
  12. I am a past scholarship or fellowship winner. Can I apply for another one?
    • No, you may not win again. However, past scholarship winners may be eligible to apply for a fellowship opportunity.
     
  13. What may I use the fellowship money for?
    • Fellowship awards may be used for continuing education, professional development, reporting equipment, or other professional costs.
     
  14. Am I eligible for a scholarship?
    • Are you pursuing a career in electronic or broadcast journalism?
    • Will you be enrolled full-time as a sophomore or higher in a college or university for the coming academic year?
    • Do you fit the additional qualifications for the scholarship you’ve chosen to apply for?
    • If you can answer yes to each of these questions, you are encouraged to apply!
     
  15. Am I eligible for a fellowship?
    • Are you a professional electronic or broadcast journalist?
    • Have you been a professional journalist for 10 years or fewer?
    • Do you fit the additional qualifications for the fellowship you’ve chosen to apply for?
    • If you can answer yes to each of these questions, you are encouraged to apply!
     
 

 Scholarship and Fellowship Application Tips

For applicants
 
  • Your resume and cover letter should both be about one page, depending on your amount of experience. The key is readability: don’t cram everything onto one page or pad it with too much white space to get to two.
  • Proofread everything! If you can, get a friend or teacher to proofread your application materials just to make sure you haven’t missed any typos. 
  • Carefully read and follow all directions and applicant criteria on the scholarship’s information page and the online application page.
  • Take your time!  You can start your application, save it, and come back to it later as long as you submit it by the deadline.
Uploading Documents
  • We recommend uploading your supplemental documents as PDF files.  You may also upload Word documents.
  • Hyperlinks in documents do not always download properly. If you include hyperlinks (such as to your twitter account or website), we strongly recommend you also include the complete URL in the document’s text.
  • For your letter of recommendation, the recommender should submit the letter as a PDF or Word document directly to you to upload to our online application portal. 
Cover Letter
  • Use a business format. Address your letter to the RTDNF Scholarship Committee.
  • The judges are looking for a personal connection and a compelling narrative. Be professional, but use your own voice. Be genuine.
  • Make sure you address the requested topics:
    • Your current and past journalism experience
    • How you would use the funds, and
    • Your choice to pursue a career in electronic journalism
  • Convince the judges why they should pick you. Highlight your best qualifications.
  • Use examples to show you fit the specific scholarship you are applying for, but don’t just re-list your resume.
Work Samples
 
  • Your work samples are one of the most important application components.
  • Judges are looking for applicants who are prepared for careers in broadcast journalism.
  • Judging panels are drawn from RTDNF’s trustees, themselves experienced journalists.  They are looking for professional quality work, and they know it when they see it!
  • Upload 3 to 5 of your best work samples to a site like YouTube, Vimeo, Sound Cloud or other platform and include the URL links to these samples on your application form. Briefly describe your role in each of the pieces, whether as producer, editor, reporter, etc.
  • If you have a personal website or use social media platforms to share your journalism, it is great to include these links as well.
Resumes
 
  • Be organized and consistent. Keep the formatting simple and easy-to-read so that key information like your name stands out.
  • List activities chronologically within each section so the most recent is highlighted.
  • Be detailed and results-oriented. “Produced X stories per week for student news channel with viewership of X” is much better than “Reported for student news channel.”
  • Things you might want to include on your resume are you relevant experience, achievements, and skills. As a student, you may not have much journalism work experience, but internships or even volunteer experience counts too. Achievements might include awards, scholarships, or professional organization memberships. Specialized skills or experiences like expertise in video editing software, fluency in a foreign language, or attending a journalism conference can set you apart from other candidates.
  • Video or infographic resumes are unique and creative, but for this application you’ll need to upload your resume as a PDF or Word document.
Recommendation Letter
 
  • Select someone familiar with you and your journalism experience.  Pick someone in a relevant position, like your dean, internship supervisor, academic advisor, or news director.
  • Make it easy for your recommender. Describe the scholarship and why you feel you are deserving. Provide a copy of your resume and the work samples you plan to submit.
  • Give plenty of notice to the person you are asking recommend you. Plan ahead and don’t wait until the last minute to ask for a recommendation.
  • The recommender should submit the letter as a PDF or Word document directly to you to upload to our online application portal.
  • Say thank you!
Visit our scholarships page for more information.
 
 
For Recommendation Writers
 
  1. Make sure you know which scholarship the candidate is applying for so your letter can be specific and relevant.
  2. Use a formal business letter format, on letter head if possible.
  3. Introduce yourself briefly.
  4. Explain your relationship to the candidate and how long you have known him or her.
  5. Ask for the candidate’s resume or work samples as a reference, but focus on work of which you have direct knowledge.
  6. Give examples of the candidate’s achievements.
  7. Describe the candidate’s positive characteristics as well as their qualifications.
  8. Be direct and specific; don’t generalize or exaggerate.
  9. Submit the letter as a PDF or Word document directly to the student, who will upload it to our online application portal. 
  10. Plan ahead: Know the students’ deadline to submit their applications!
 
Scholarship/ Fellowship Application Checklist:
 
  • Are you applying for only one opportunity?
  • Do you meet all the eligibility requirements for the award you’ve chosen?
  • Is your online application form complete, with the correct contact information?
  • Did you include URL links to 3-5 work samples and describe your role in each piece?
  • Did you attach a cover letter addressing each of the topics applicants are asked to cover, including:
    • Your current and past journalism experience,
    • How you would use the scholarship funds, and
    • Your choice to pursue a career in electronic journalism?
  • Did you attach your resume?
  • Did you attach one letter of recommendation?
  • Remember, your application is not complete until you have clicked "Submit." 
Visit our scholarships page for more information.