Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarships recognize some of the top high school journalists in the country. The contest begins at the state level. Winning portfolios from state Journalist of the Year competitions are sent to the national level, with winners announced at the Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. JEA sends scholarship funds — $3,000 for the top winner, and $1,000 each for up to four runners-up — to the winner's college or university account.
Applicants must be a graduating high school senior; have participated in high school journalism for at least two years; submit a digital portfolio; be a state Journalist of the Year winner and a student of a JEA member adviser. Pursuing a degree in journalism is not required. Apart from the work examples, applicants must also submit recommendation letters from those who know them best and can speak to the significance of their journalism experience. While the overall deadline is in March, applications that are first sent to their state directors are much earlier, usually in January or February.