Undergraduate Scholarships & Financial Aid

At the University of Montana, we understand that receiving support to finance an undergraduate degree can mean the difference between attending or not attending an institution. That is why we work to present students with competitive financial aid packages. In addition to a robust financial aid program, UM offers a number of annual scholarships to help make your education more affordable.

Last year, the School of Journalism gave $315,000 in scholarships and awards to current students in the program. The bulk of those scholarship recipients are chosen by their professors to honor the outstanding work they've produced while in the classroom. When you become a student here, you will be eligible for a variety of annual awards.

We have an online system of awarding scholarships -- the UM Scholarship Portal. Visit this link and fill out the general scholarship application.

The University of Montana offers a great value for the tuition dollars you’ll spend. When you compare the price tag with other universities, we think you'll like what you see.

For more information on scholarships and financial aid packages offered through the University of Montana, please visit the Financial Aid Office's website.

Incoming students are encouraged to apply for the Director's Scholarship. See details below.

Scholarships for Incoming Students

Director’s Scholars are among the best young journalists and students in the country. They compete to earn first-year scholarships, have special opportunities to meet and network with visiting journalists, receive additional advising and support and have an opportunity to shape the School of Journalism’s mission and focus. 

Scholars are selected in a competitive process and are based on academic as well as professional promise. The program is not just for the straight A students, but also for the creative writer, photographer or producer who has already demonstrated potential. Applicants must be majoring in journalism to qualify.

Applications are accepted until March 31, 2023 for incoming freshmen and mid-summer for transfer students. Eligibility is for both incoming freshmen as well as transfer students. 

To apply, submit a cover letter explaining why the J-School is a place where you will thrive, a transcript and up to three samples of work.

Director’s Scholar Program 

Scholars are selected based on their likely ability to succeed at the J-School and what they will bring to their classes and campus. Once selected, Scholars will: 

  • Be eligible for first-year scholarships of up to $5,000 
  • Be invited to meet with national and regional journalists and editors who visit campus during the year. 
  • Receive director’s advising before classes begin and at least once during each semester. 
  • Participate in a J-School advisory group to help recommend projects and opportunities at the school. 
  • Be invited to meet and network with visiting alums throughout the semester. 
  • Receive potential sponsored membership in the Society of Professional Journalism student chapter. 

How and When to Apply 

Applications are now open for the Fall 2023 class of Scholars. We are looking for stellar students, but also driven and talented journalists.

To apply submit: 

  • A letter of interest that makes the case for what you will get out of a J-School education and what you will bring to our community. 
  • An unofficial academic transcript from your college or high school. 
  • Links or copies to up to three work samples you feel capture your current abilities. (If your school does not have a journalism program, but you still have the drive, don’t let this stand in your way)  

Your application should be emailed to our school director, Lee Banville at lee.banville@umontana.edu

The first group of “early decision” Scholars will be selected in early March. To be considered for this group, please submit your application no later than February 1, 2023.  

The deadline for incoming first-year applications is March 31, 2023.

A transfer/regular decision group of scholars will also be selected August 1, 2023. To be considered for this group, please apply by July 15, 2023

Any questions, please also feel free to email Lee Banville and we hope to welcome you to the School’s Scholar Program this fall.

Incoming students who graduated from a Montana high school are also eligible for a scholarship from the Montana Broadcasters Association. The application process is similar to the director's scholarship:

Students can apply by writing a letter to School of Journalism Director Lee Banville (lee.banville@umontana.edu), explaining why they are interested in journalism and spelling out their particular interest in learning and doing broadcast journalism.