PR Students: Scholarship Season is Here. Apply Now.

When I desperately needed money to complete my senior year in college, a professor recommended that I apply for the Eugene C. Pulliam Journalism Scholarship. Until then, I thought scholarships were awarded only to A students. Except for my journalism and political science courses, I was anything but an A student.

That scholarship, plus serving as editor of the student newspaper and a twice-a-week gig as a night reporter for the local newspaper allowed me to complete my senior year without incurring additional student debt. Ever since that final year in college, I have been an evangelist in encouraging students to apply for scholarships.

PR students should check out the nearly two dozen PRSA Foundation scholarships. I’m such a believer in PRSA scholarships that I created one 12 years ago to recognize PRSSA members who are great student mentors.

Recipient of the latest “Culpwrit” scholarship is Emma Gabbert, a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Besides excelling in her classes, Emma is president of her PRSSA chapter, and she finds time to serve as a digital content specialist at Whisker Media, a pet public relations agency in Buffalo, MN. Upon graduation this spring, Emma hopes to land a job with a political campaign, government agency or in the PR department of a major corporation in her home state of Minnesota.

Check Out Available Scholarships

Scholarships are not lotteries. Your chances of winning a scholarship are far greater than you might think. Do you research, find logical scholarships where you can make a personal case.

Most universities have a wide variety of scholarship programs, many of which are within easy reach for public relations majors. Check out college websites for scholarship programs.

DePaul University and my alma mater, Indiana State University, alone provide thousands of annual scholarships. My wife and I have endowed scholarships at both institutions — The Ron Culp Endowed Scholarship for Future Leaders in Public Relations at DePaul and the Ron and Sandra Culp Student Leadership Scholarship at Indiana State.

Finally, I encourage other senior professionals to consider creating scholarships at their favorite colleges. Or donate to scholarship funds at their alma maters or PRSA Foundation.

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