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SJC Scholarships

Scholarships are available from many places, and spending time searching for them can be well worth the effort. To help you find scholarships for which you may qualify, the School of Journalism and Communication has gathered some of the main resources on this page. Make sure to check the Southern Scholarship guidelines below. Also, when you find the right scholarship(s), use the application tips listed in the end of this page.

If you have a passion for journalism, communication, and media, support our students. Give here».

Scholarships offered by the SJC

The School of Journalism and Communication offers two departmental merit-based scholarships to support its students. The Cecil R. Coffey Scholarship is for new and transfer students who are going to pursue a major in the SJC. The Maize Family Communication Scholarship is for current Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior students who major or minor in Journalism and Communication. Click on each scholarship to learn more.

Coffey Award

OPEN NOW! for New Incoming Students

The Cecil R. Coffey Scholarship for Creative Communications is a contest to help incoming students with their first year at Southern. Win up to $1500!

If you are passionate about communication and have something to showcase, you are invited to apply».

Application Deadline
: August 28, 2023 at 11:59 pm

You are eligible if
  • You are a Southern incoming student, either freshman or transfer,
  • You pursue a major  in the SJC, and
  • Submit your own creative work(s) for the contest:
    • writing
    • photography
    • videography
    • public speaking
    • research
    • media editing
    • graphic design
    • social media
    • podcast
    • technical media skills or
    • any related communication skill


If you have any questions about the process, please email Karina Savelio at communicator@southern.edu or call 423-236-2330.

Maize Family

All Current SJC majors and minors

A contest for creative writers to help students with their tuition at Southern. Win up to $3,500! An announcement will be sent out when it opens.

The contest for this scholarship has not been opened yet! However, if you have a passion for writing, research, and critical analysis, you may start exploring now. Who is eligible?
  • All current SJC majors and minors with FR, SO, and JR standing, who
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00, and who
  • Submit an essay exploring issues related to (a) religious communication or (b) organ and tissue donations and how media could be key in framing the public’s view and awareness in a positive or negative way. The essay requirements will be announced when the application opens.

The essays are evaluated by the Maize family and the School of Journalism and Communication faculty. Check the introduction of the W22 winner essay here».

The Maize Family Scholarship was created to honor baby Olivia Maize. She was featured in The Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest heart transplant recipient and in the CBS movie, Before Your Eyes: A Heart for Olivia, the real story as it happened with no actors. Baby Olivia is the niece of former professor Dr. Pamela Harris.

Scholarship Guidlines and Application Tips

Application Tips

  • Southern Adventist University scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted.
  • Scholarships are divided and distributed equally over the fall and winter semesters and are not applicable for summer sessions.
  • Scholarships and awards cannot exceed costs for tuition (for 12 to 16 hours), general fees, room rent, and a capped amount for books and food. Outside grants and subsidies are applied before Southern scholarships and awards. In addition, full tuition scholarships (freshman renewable academic and National Merit) combined with other Southern scholarships will not exceed the cost for tuition (12-16 hours) and the general fee only, and cannot be applied towards lab fee.
  • Scholarships listed here are available for full-time students taking 12 or more hours each semester at Southern's Collegedale campus.
  • Southern reserves the right to change or amend any of the scholarship policies at any time. Our full financial aid policy can be found in our online catalog.

  1. Don’t ignore small awards, they can add up and cover most of your tuition. Also, the larger the award, the more competition.
  2. Read and follow the scholarship eligibility and requirements carefully.
  3. Create a schedule to meet all application deadlines.
  4. Gather materials early. Rushed submissions look sloppy, and incomplete applications won’t be considered.
  5. Request letters of recommendation early, so that people have time to write a good letter. Ask people who can speak to your strengths and ability to overcome your weaknesses (letters from family members are generally a bad idea). Follow-up with your recommender to assure that your letter was submitted.
  6. Take time to write a great essay - stick close to the question asked and dig deep. Include things about you that might not be shown elsewhere in the application. Get help with editing for grammar and spelling, but do your own writing. As a Southern student, you may seek help from the McKee Library Writing Center. 
  7. Consult with your Student Financial Advisor/Counselor if necessary. 
  8. If appropriate, tell about your recognitions and awards; emphasize activities that show your talents and passions. Don't underestimate yourself - as uncomfortable as this may feel, this is the time when it's necessary to brag.
  9. Keep trying even if you don’t win a scholarship right away. Save copies of every application, build upon, and improve.