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

Online sign-up for CSPA Membership for
2019-2020 is CLOSED!

Membership is how student publications
become eligible for entry
Critiques, Crowns and Circles.



Deadlines to submit

Spring publications/media: June 10, 2019
extended to June 14, 2019

Fall yearbooks: October 1, 2019





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, access to Special Edition Crown Awards slideshow presentations. [Digital $269, Print $269, Hybrid $309]
  • Associate Membership: includes Crown judging, 30 free Gold Circle entries, access to Special Edition Crown Awards slideshow presentations. NO critique included. [$229]
  • Basic Membership: includes 30 free Gold Circle entries, access to Special Edition Crown Awards slideshow presentations. NO critique, NO Crown Awards entry included. [$209]

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 a total of 60 Gold Circle entries.)

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.

Please note: posting a PDF version of a publication designed for print DOES NOT qualify as a hybrid publication.

How to join

  1. Click the "Join CSPA" button above to access our online membership system. This is where you will choose your membership level and manage your online profile.
    • Each membership profile will require a unique e-mail address for use as a username in the system.
    • If you are submitting multiple publications for membership, be prepared to use a separate e-mail address for each publication to use for access the membership system.
  2. Complete the membership profile for each of your publications.
    • ​​Once you've submitted your membership information, you will receive a link via e-mail, taking you to the membership profile survey.
    • Completion of this survey is REQUIRED of all Associate and Regular members, as it provides supplemental information to our Crown and critique judges.
    • Crown and/or critique judging CANNOT BE COMPLETED without the completion of this profile.
  3. ​Send your payment (via check or money order) as soon as possible.
    • Full payment of your membership fee is required before judging will take place.​
    • Our address can be found below, in the "Where to Send Your Materials" section of this page.
    • CSPA does NOT accept credit cards at this time.
    • ABOUT PURCHASE ORDERS: Please remember that a purchase order is a "promise to pay" NOT payment.
  4. Send your materials for judging to CSPA.
    • For detailed information on what to send and where, consult the "What to Send" and "Where to Send Materials" sections on this page.

PLEASE NOTE: 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.

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 issues for college print newspapers; or
    • - any 6 issues for middle/high school print newspapers; or
    • - one (1) copy of their magazine; or
    • - one (1) copy of the 2019 yearbook; or
    • - a working URL/web address (digital members); or
    • - the appropriate number of print media (see above for quantities) PLUS a working URL/web address (hybrid members).


June 10, 2019 EXTENDED to June 14, 2019
Regular and Associate Memberships for all news, magazine, digital and Spring delivery yearbooks; Basic Memberships for all news, digital and magazines.

October 1, 2019
Regular, Associate and Basic Memberships for all Summer/Fall delivery yearbooks.

Where to Send Materials

Please send all payments/materials to:

Columbia Scholastic Press Association
90 Morningside Drive, Suite B01
New York, NY 10027

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.