Apply ACES Writing Scholarships for Students

ACES Scholarships

Since 1999, the ACES Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and its predecessor have awarded more than 100 scholarships to deserving students who have a passion for editing. The Fund is run entirely by these volunteers. 


Five ACES scholarships are awarded to students who excel in critical thinking about written materials in any field and aspire to a career involving editing. Four of these winners each receive $1,500, and $2,500 will go to the student chosen as the Aubespin scholar. All five winners also are eligible for aid to attend the ACES conference. The generosity of donors enables all of these awards. Application materials for each year’s scholarships open in late summer.

Scholarship Details

Applicants for all ACES scholarships must be seeking degrees as enrolled college/university juniors, seniors, or graduate students at the time of the deadline (Nov. 15) They must also demonstrate an interest in editing as a career. Scholarships are awarded without regard to the student’s nationality, residence or field of academic concentration. Previous scholarship winners are not eligible.

A student may simultaneously seek both the Walsh award and one of the other five scholarships, but may win only one.

The deadline for ACES scholarship applications each year is Nov. 15. Applications open in late summer.

The Aubespin scholarship honors Merv Aubespin, a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists who, as the chairman of the Human Resources Committee of the American Society of News Editors in the mid-1990s, greatly helped inspire the creation of ACES.

The scholarship program is administered (but not judged) by members of the ACES Education Fund Board. Judging of the applications is done by two separate panels of five people each. The selection of winners is a two-step process. In December, the judges choose the finalists, who then take a timed editing test in early January. Test results are then added to the applicants’ portfolios, and a second round of judging decides the winners.

Requirements for ACE Scholarship:

The specifics for all six scholarships are below. Applications must be emailed by the end of Nov. 15. All entry materials must be in English.

The Bill Walsh scholarship will go to an applicant who aspires to edit news and who demonstrates the talent and passion for language that Bill devoted his life to. Applicants for the other five scholarships should have a commitment to a career in the editing of written materials and demonstrate effectiveness in doing so.

By submitting a separate application for each, an entrant can seek both the Walsh and one of the other scholarships, but can win only one.

The four steps to apply for an ACES Education Fund scholarship


1. Provide your résumé, with evidence of academic achievement and exemplary work in editing. Please include information on other substantial achievements/activities/interests.

2. References: Provide the names and titles or job descriptions of a total of three instructors and/or work supervisors, and their contact information.

3. Please explain, in no more than 500 words, what your “dream job” is and what specific steps you have taken to gain knowledge and skills in pursuit of that job. (Don’t worry, this isn’t carved in stone – you can change your mind later!)

4. Address the following three scenarios:

Scenario 1: You work in a university teaching resource center and want to share this article with your audience of academics across disciplines: Campus sexual assault prevention programs could do more to prevent violence, even after a decade-long federal mandate ( 

Write an Instagram caption that encompasses the main takeaway of the article for your followers. Limit the caption to 200 words.

Scenario 2:
 You work in the communication department of a hospice center and sharing a blog about managing grief from the American Psychological Association. Write a title/headline of no more than 10 words for the following short article:

Mourning the loss of a close friend or relative takes time, but research tells us that it can also be the catalyst for a renewed sense of meaning that offers purpose and direction to life.

Grieving individuals may find it helpful to use some of the following strategies to help them process and come to terms with loss:

  • Talk about the death of your loved one with friends or colleagues in order to help you understand what happened and remember your friend or family member. Avoidance can lead to isolation and will disrupt the healing process with your support systems.
  • Accept your feelings. You may experience a wide range of emotions from sadness, anger or even exhaustion. All of these feelings are normal and it’s important to recognize when you are feeling this way. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by these emotions, it may be helpful to talk with a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional who can help you cope with your feelings and find ways to get back on track.
  • Take care of yourself and your family. Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting plenty of sleep can help your physical and emotional health. The grieving process can take a toll on one’s body.  Make sure you check in with your loved ones and that they are taking the necessary healthy steps to maintain their health.
  • Reach out and help others dealing with the loss. Spending time with loved ones of the deceased can help everyone cope. Whether it’s sharing stories or listening to your loved one’s favorite music, these small efforts can make a big difference to some. Helping others has the added benefit of making you feel better as well.
  • Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. Anniversaries of a lost loved one can be a difficult time for friends and family, but it can also be a time for remembrance and honoring them. It may be that you decide to collect donations to a favorite charity of the deceased, passing on a family name to a baby or planting a garden in memory. What you choose is up to you, as long as it allows you to honor that unique relationship in a way that feels right to you.

Scenario 3:
 You are editing a news story for a campus publication. Based on this excerpt, what questions do you have for the reporter?

The university has decided not to offer a mental health day this semester. During the previous academic year, two mental health days were offered.

Dean of Students Mark Weber said now that WSU has moved away from the virtual learning format, students can seek assistance on campus.

“We’re back in person, offices are open, people are here, resources are available, activities are taking place … so we are in a place where we’re here to support students,” he said. “Mental health is definitely an issue, definitely a concern, but we’re also open and here to help.”

Some faculty, like Classical Ballet II and III instructor Jane Adams, decided to give their students a mental health day despite the lack of an official designation.

“(A)s a teacher, I was like ‘you know what, I’m just going to make sure that we have that this year, that we keep that going’ because I feel like we forget that we’re still in so many ways still in a pandemic or coming out of a pandemic,” she said.

Thomas said she saw an obvious change in students’ mental health before the COVID-19 pandemic compared to now.

“I found myself using a lot of my mental health resources to help students more now than I ever had to before the pandemic, which is why I think that it’s also important for professors and educators to also have at least resources or training in mental health awareness and mental health aid,” Thomas said.

Strauss said rather than having a single day dedicated to mental health, students can reach out to instructors with any difficulties they may have throughout the semester.

“(M)y belief, is that one day will not change an issue. One day will not change a problem,” he said. “What we need to do, and what we are doing, is that everything we do is focused on student wellness, and we’re all here to help.”

Cydney Collins, a sophomore biomedical engineering major, said she hasn’t seen that focus.

“I don’t think they’ve really done anything,” she said. “We’ve just been having our classes.”

Collins said a day off from classes would help her mental health.

“(The lack of a mental health day is) terrible because it’s been so stressful,” she said. “I’ve been having a lot of work back-to-back. I just need a break, honestly.”

Collins had an instructor declare their own mental health day, she said.

Thomas said she admired the university for recognizing the collective strain on the campus community and providing a day off last year. However, being back in-person does not negate the need for a mental health day this semester.

“I think we forgoed that because we’re like, ‘okay, we’re coming out of the pandemic, and we need to get back to this normal,’ but it’s never going to be normal,” Thomas said. “I don’t want to go back to what was normal. What was normal was two cups of coffee and running yourself into the ground, and I don’t think that’s the best version of you that you can give to people.”

Note: We realize that you may decide to use AI tools such as ChatGPT. It is our belief that the technology is not to the point where it might actually help you — that in fact it might provide worse answers than your own. We already know what kind of responses AI produces in regard to these exercises. What matters in this scholarship competition is what you think.

Email your complete application as an attachment – ONE single PDF file – with “ACES scholarship” in the message field – to Begin the file name of your attachment with your last name.

Contact ACES Education Fund Vice President Maisha Maurant at, for more information.

Apply to the Bill Walsh Scholarship

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