Columbia Scholastic Press Association

CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.

Gold Circle Awards

Membership for 2016-2017 publications/media
will open in January 2017 to become eligible for entry
in Critiques, Crowns and Circles.


Deadlines to submit

Spring publications/media: June 12, 2017
Fall yearbooks: October 13, 2017

The Gold Circle Awards are available to members as part of the Regular Membership, Associate Membership or Basic Membership.

Gold Circle Awards are offered to recognize superior work by student journalists usually as individuals but sometimes as an entire staff working with either print or online media. These media are published in schools or colleges throughout the United States and in overseas schools following an American plan of education.

The deadline for Print Newspaper and Magazine is June 10, 2016. Eligibility for these categories is June 11, 2015 through June 10, 2016.

The deadline for Yearbooks and Digital Media is October 11, 2016. Eligibility for these categories is October 11, 2015 through October 11, 2016.

Your publication must have a CSPA membership to enter the Gold Circle Awards. Click here to find out more about the three different types of membership available.

All Print Newspaper and Magazine entries must be POSTMARKED by June 10th.
All Yearbooks and Digital Media entries must be POSTMARKED by October 11th.


Presently, 165 different categories of entry are provided with detailed information given here. Recognition is given by various certificates of award. Secondary schools are judged separately from colleges and universities so that each student’s work is evaluated against others produced in similar circumstances. Judges are experienced journalists and educators familiar with the context surrounding student journalism as produced in schools and colleges. In recent years, more than 15,000 entries have been submitted for this annual competition and about 1,200 awards were given in the various categories.

Gold Circle Awards were first given in 1984, following a long tradition of CSPA awards for individual achievement by student journalists.