We are writing to inform you about an all-expenses-paid program for highschool student journalists from low-income backgrounds that will take place for 10 days next summer on the campus of Princeton University. The program is entering its 14th year; since 2002, approximately 260 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, National Journal, New York Magazine, The New Republic, ESPN the Magazine, 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.
If you are a teacher, we ask that you encourage your students to apply. If you are an administrator, we ask that you help us spread the word by publishing an announcement for teachers or other administrators who might know students who would be interested in applying. We will happily accept several students from the same school, so there is no need to worry about your own students competing for slots in the program.
The application process will take place in two rounds. The first round of the application should be filled out online here:
We must receive this part of the application by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, February 20, 2015.
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 2013 (or 2014, 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, the best way to reach us is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.