2023 NCA Legacy Scholarship

November 06, 2023

The National Communication Association invites undergraduate college students to apply and compete for the NCA Legacy Scholarship award. The NCA Legacy Scholarship seeks to broaden the Communication discipline’s relevance to various publics by providing a $1,000 scholarship to a local college student pursuing a degree in Communication, Journalism, or related program within the host city/region where the NCA Annual Convention is being held. A $250 scholarship will go to the runner up.  The scholarship will be competitively given to a student based on both an essay and a convention theme-related speech presented during the NCA Annual Convention.

The 2023 Annual Convention will be held November 16-19 in National Harbor, Maryland. For more information on the Annual Convention, please visit the convention website

There are several criteria for scholarship eligibility:

  • Applicant must be an undergraduate college student, (preference given to self-identified first-generation college students), with at least one year of postsecondary education remaining at an accredited college or university.
  • Applicant must be attending a college or university within the city/region where the NCA Annual Convention is being held – this means within the DMV/Baltimore area.
  • Applicant must be pursuing a degree in communication, journalism, or related program.
  • Applicant must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Applicant must not have received this scholarship previously.

Five semi-finalists will be selected based on the quality of their written essays. The semi-finalists will then compete in a speech contest to be held the Saturday of the Annual Convention. Submission of the nomination material indicates the willingness of the applicant to attend and participate in the Legacy Scholarship speech competition, where the applicant will deliver a 5-7 minute informative or persuasive speech.

The first-place winner of the speech competition will receive a personalized, engraved plaque mailed after the convention. The first-place winner will also receive a $1,000 monetary scholarship award supported by NCA until 2026 and then the NCA Legacy Scholarship Fund starting in 2027. The runner-up will receive a $250 monetary award.  All participants in the speech contest portion will receive $50 for travel expenses to the convention.

Each semi-finalist will receive a free convention registration.

Submission Information

Nominations must be submitted online through the NCA website.

Nomination materials are due Monday, November 6, 2023, and must include the following:

  • A cover letter from the nominee stating your interest in applying for the scholarship.
  • A letter of recommendation.
  • A short essay (maximum 750 words) on the topic specified below.
  • A resume or CV indicating any work, community service, and extracurricular leadership experiences.

Submission of materials indicates willingness for the applicant to attend and participate in the Legacy Scholarship speech competition held during the Annual Convention.

All nominees must write a short 750-word essay that addresses the following topic:

“What can communication scholars and student contribute to determining if we ourselves are free and/or to our personal and collective journeys to become and/or remain free?”

The five semi-finalists are expected to expand on the same topic for the speech competition at the Annual Convention.

Selection Committee

  • James Cherney, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Dorothy Alston Calley, Biola University
  • Jeanetta Sims, University of Central Oklahoma and NCA Second Vice-President

Nominate Now!