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.

Becoming a member

Membership for 2016-2017 publications/media
will open in April 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

What can CSPA do for you?

Only CSPA members can participate in our contests. Membership is per publication, not by school.

High school, middle school and collegiate publications can now choose one of three (3) different types of CSPA membership levels:

  • Regular Membership: includes detailed critique, Crown judging, 30 free Gold Circle entries, Special Edition Crown Awards DVD. [Digital $235, Print $235, Hybrid $275]
  • Associate Membership: includes Crown judging, 30 free Gold Circle entries, Special Edition Crown Awards DVD. NO critique included. [$195]
  • Basic Membership: includes 30 free Gold Circle entries, Special Edition Crown Awards DVD. NO critique, NO Crown Awards entry included. [$175]

HYBRID – print publication that provides live coverage via website between print editions. Can include expanded content for stories already covered in print. Could also include updates or completely new coverage via website. (Hybrid members receive 60 Gold Circle entries: 30 print and 30 digital.)

DIGITAL – Online news reporting only; no print component.  If a print edition co-exists with the digital news site, then it’s a hybrid publication.

PRINT - News reporting in print only; no digital (online) component.  If a digital edition co-exists with the print component, then it’s a hybrid publication.

What to send

Regular Members send two sets of their publications. One set for critique and one set for Crown consideration.

Associate Members send one set of their publication for Crown consideration.

A set of publications is any 10 for college print newspapers or any 6 for middle/high school print newspapers; one copy of their magazine; or one copy of their 2015 yearbook. Digital members must submit a working URL address. Hybrids must submit both print papers and a working URL address.

Who's eligible?

One membership per print publication or digital media. (College newspapers, fall and spring semester are now considered ONE membership.)

Memberships for student media are offered for print publications or digital media.

CSPA accepts newspapers, yearbooks, magazines and digital media edited and produced by students in middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities for membership.

Schools and colleges may be public, private or church-affiliated institutions located in the United States, Canada, or overseas schools following an American plan of education.

All CSPA memberships run from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Memberships are for one year only and must be renewed.

A note about digital (online) sites: To be critiqued/evaluated as an digital publication and/or site, your website must include material adding web features. Sites offering only PDFs of the existing print publications do not qualify for digital or hybrid news site critique consideration.

How to join

Click the "Join CSPA" button above to visit our new online membership system. You'll be able to apply for membership and manage your online profile by using this system, powered by Cvent, a leading online event management company.

Each profile will require a unique e-mail address for use as a username in the system. If you are submitting multiple publications for membership, please have a separate e-mail address assigned to each of them for use as a username.

Using the new system, you'll now be able to complete the membership application on your screen. Once you've completed the online application, a confirmation will be sent. We suggest you print two copies of your confirmation: one for your records and one to send with your physical entries and/or payment.

PLEASE NOTE: With the launch of our new online membership site, we have retired the use of hard copy and PDF membership forms. No hard copy or PDF forms will be available for download or submission.


June 12, 2017
Regular and Associate Memberships for all news, magazine, digital and Spring delivery yearbooks; Basic Memberships for all news, digital and magazines.

October 13, 2017
Regular, Associate and Basic Memberships for all Summer/Fall delivery yearbooks.