Groups we fund
Campus Progress provides grants to print and online publications, blogs, and broadcast media run by students on college campuses. We support both existing organizations with an established record of quality and startup organizations whose leaders have demonstrated ability and potential.
While we generally prefer that student media groups are officially recognized by their schools, grantees must be independent of academic departments or class projects, and the organization must operate throughout the school year.
What we offer
We aim to provide more than funding to campus journalists. Several staff members have backgrounds in web design and journalism, both in print and online, and are available by phone or email for grantees seeking advice or feedback on their work. Additionally, our bilingual staffers are available to assist Spanish-speaking media. Upon request, we can schedule a site visit and lead an on-campus journalism workshop for your staff, focusing on topics like story idea generation, basic and investigative reporting, news and feature lede writing, common ethical dilemmas, and more.
Journalism network members receive priority consideration for CP’s event and organizing grants as well as for scholarships to the Campus Progress National Conference. Editors are subscribed to a listserv where they can troubleshoot problems, debate journalistic issues and share success stories with their peers on other campuses.
Expectations of grantees
Campus Progress requires its journalism network to maintain high standards of ethics and integrity. We expect editors to establish and implement strategies for disseminating content and growing their organizations. We generally require them to retain a faculty or staff adviser.
Sponsored print publications must regularly maintain an online presence, and we encourage frequent blogging. Each August, sponsored organizations must send at least one representative, ideally the editor in chief, to an annual training event that we organize and hire professional journalism instructors to lead. The event is free, and Campus Progress can provide travel and lodging scholarships on the basis of financial need.
The orientation and content of sponsored organizations vary. Some adopt an explicitly progressive slant; others do not espouse any particular viewpoint, but they advance our mission by exposing injustices, speaking truth to power, or expanding the diversity of voices on a campus.
Campus Progress does not necessarily agree with views expressed by its sponsored organizations, nor do we expect those organizations to agree with views we express. We do not require students to advance specific views, nor do we censor or exercise prior review over sponsored organizations.
Grant sizes and expenses covered
Grant sizes vary; this semester’s grants range from $150 to $2,500. We encourage applicants to request the amount they feel would be most beneficial to their organization. If we are unable to meet your full request, we will still consider you for a smaller-sized grant.
Campus Progress funding may be spent on actual, out-of-pocket expenses, including printing, supplies, technology, web development, distribution, promotion, and staff development. Grants cannot be used to cover advocacy campaigns or lobbying, nor can they go toward event planning or promotion. (Campus Progress has separate applications for event grants and organizing grants.)
Campus Progress, the youth division of the Center for American Progress, is a national progressive organization working to empower young people to make their voices heard. Our program offers funding and training to a growing network of student journalism outlets that utilize a variety of media, including the web, print, and broadcast.
With decades of aggressive, well-funded organizing, conservative groups have devoted large-scale resources to right-wing campus publications. A dozen top conservative institutions spend nearly $40 million each year on campus outreach efforts. At least $1 million per year is devoted to more than 120 right-wing student newspapers, some of which wield influence beyond their campuses.
Students want new and stronger alternatives to mainstream student newspapers and right-wing campus journalism, and Campus Progress is here to help. We seek to enable student creativity, energy, and ideas. We believe that the quality of democracy and the quality of journalism rise and fall together; we want to boost both.