William B. Ruggles Journalism Scholarship

The William B. Ruggles Journalism Scholarship honors the esteemed Texas journalist who coined the phrase “Right to Work”  and contributed greatly to the movement’s advancement. A $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually to the student who exemplifies the dedication to principle and high journalistic standards of the late  Mr. Ruggles.

Our Journalism Scholarship Application Process:

  1. Student writes essay.
  2. Student completes application.
  3. Student submits application.
  4. Institute staff choose top essays and forward them to the Selection Review Committee members.
  5. Selection Review Committee members review blind essays re: If any personally identifying information is included in the essay, it will be redacted before submitting it to the Selection Review Committee.
  6. Institute Board receives the nominees as chosen by Selection Review Committee.
  7. Institute Board votes to either approve, make different selections, or not to award any scholarship
  8. Winner announced and notified by Institute.


Applicants are limited to students attending (or accepted for Fall enrollment) undergraduate or graduate institutions of higher learning throughout the United States.  

(Officers, directors, and employees of the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, the National Right to Work Committee, Members of the Selection Review Committee, and their families are not eligible.)


The scholarship is awarded based on scholastic ability and a demonstrated interest in the National Institute of Labor Relations Research Institute’s work.

Applicants must: 

  1. Demonstrate potential for the successful completion of the educational requirements in an accredited college journalism program by submitting a transcript or copy of acceptance letter from the school you are or will attend; and, or demonstrate journalistic skills by actual journalistic works including social media;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of voluntary unionism and the economic and social problems of compulsory unionism by submitting an essay of approximately 500 words.


After an initial review of the applications by Institute staff, a Selection Review Committee of three or more independent educators and representatives of the Institute will review the essays, then submit a ranked recommendation of no more than three essays to the Institute’s Board of Directors.

At the National Institute for Labor Relations Research’s annual meeting (typically held in April), the Board will consider the recommendations of the Selection Review Committee and Institute staff before making its final decision. 

However, should the Board conclude that no applicant meets all the criteria, then no recipient will be selected and no scholarship will be awarded.

The awarded scholarship will be paid directly to the institution of higher learning at which the award recipient attends.  The recipient must provide a copy of their transcript from that institution at the end of the academic year.


The application consists of three parts:

Part 1.  Create a wonderfully inspired typewritten essay of 500-700 words clearly demonstrating an interest in, and knowledge of, the Right to Work principle as it applies to educators

Part 2. Obtain a copy of your transcript for submission to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research or have your school send it to the Institute on your behalf.

Part 3. Complete the formal online application below and attach your essay (and transcript if available) with your online submission. 

However, if for some reason you are unable to complete the online application and attach your essay and transcript; you may print the online application and mail it along with your essay to the address below.

All Applications must be submitted by January 31, 2023

Enter your full name
Date of Birth: (Month/Day/Year) ##/##/####
Enter your preferred e-mail address
Reference #1 – Name, Address, Phone, and E-mail
Reference #2 – Name, Address, Phone, and E-mail
If you have explanatory notes that you would like to provide regarding any of your responses, please provide them here.
Maximum upload size: 104.86MB
Attach your essay either as an Adobe .pdf or a Word .doc or .docx file
(Enter Full Name) I certify that the information provided on this application and all supplemental forms is complete and correct to the best of my knowledge. I further certify that if I am chosen as a scholarship recipient, I will use those funds only for expenses related to my education in an institution of higher learning in the United States, and I will provide a transcript at the end of the school year for which the scholarship will apply.

Below is the submission schedule:

  • Online applications must be received from September 1st through January 31st.
  • If mailed, all application submissions must be postmarked from September 1st through January 31st and received no later than February 10th.  (For example, received in NILRR mailroom between September 1st, 2022 and February 10th, 2023.)

We prefer that you use the William B. Ruggles Journalism Scholarship ONLINE APPLICATION below.  It is your responsibility to confirm that we received your entire application regardless of your application transmission method of choice.  The online application generates and sends an email notice of submission receipt.


William B. Ruggles Journalism Scholarship
National Institute for Labor Relations Research
5211 Port Royal Road, Suite 510 Springfield, VA 22151

Questions? Call: (703) 321-9606 and ask for help with the William B. Ruggles Journalism Scholarship application.