Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship

The Philadelphia chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is pleased to announce the Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship, which will award $500 to a student who intends to pursue a journalism career and who is of modest financial means.

Requirements are as follows:
1) Applicants must be a college freshman, sophomore, or junior in the 2014-15 school year.
2) Applicants must provide a copy of his/her most recently submitted Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before receiving the scholarship money to show proof of financial need.
3) The winner needs to volunteer some time in 2014 or 2015 to helping the Philadelphia chapter by recruiting other student journalists to the chapter or by assisting in organizing an event.

To apply, send:
1) A one-page essay describing your background, what you have done in journalism so far and what you plan to do in journalism as a career. Include your name, phone number, e-mail and address.
2) Names of two references, with phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
3) A transcript of your grades for college courses taken, or high-school grades if you are a freshman.

Questions may be sent to

E-mail your materials to or mail them postmarked by Oct. 17, 2014, to:
c/o Julie Shaw
Daily News
801 Market Street, Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Please note: Special consideration for this scholarship will be given to a student who is the first person in his or her family to go to college. The scholarship is to be used for college fees or books.
AAJA membership is not required to apply for the scholarship.

Selection process:
The AAJA-Philadelphia chapter board, former president Murali Balaji, and one non-AAJA individual who is a leader in the Asian American community will make up the selection committee.
Applicants will be asked to attend an in-person interview with the selection committee.
The winner will be announced by Dec. 8, 2014, and a check for $500 will be mailed by Dec. 31, 2014.

The scholarship is in honor of Mrs. Vijaya L. Balaji, the late mother of former AAJA-Philadelphia president Murali Balaji. Mrs. Balaji was a committed supporter to the chapter, who believed in the education of minority journalists.

AAJA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and helping them enter and succeed in the news industry.