Open Campus is again accepting pitches for one-time, ambitious higher education stories that center local communities.

This is the second round of our local story partnerships, an initiative meant to encourage in-depth reporting focused on higher education.

Newsrooms we select will receive $10,000 from Open Campus. Our editors collaborate with the teams behind the chosen projects, offering higher education expertise, data analysis, and editing support. These projects build on the existing Open Campus Local Network, which already supports dedicated reporters on the higher-ed beat in 14 markets.

This pitch call is more focused than before. We will consider pitches that fall into one of these buckets:

  • The role of college in rural America
  • Workforce training and pathways after high school 
  • Shifting perceptions of college and the value of a degree
    • Many Americans distrust higher ed, which has ramifications for public policies, funding, and college-going rates. We’re interested in stories about how this impacts the health of communities and the trajectories of individual lives. Mistrust also plays into the politicization of higher ed, and we’d welcome ideas that position this issue around the upcoming election. 

The most successful story pitches will be specific and focused on one aspect of one of these topic areas, rather than a survey of an entire issue. And, higher education stories don’t need to take place within the walls of a university, nor do they solely need to center student perspectives. Instead, we are interested in pitches that explore the role that universities play in their communities as employers, cultural hubs, and workforce engines. 

Please submit pitches by Aug. 1 using this short application. We will consider applications on a rolling basis. Questions? Read these FAQs before applying, or email us:

Our story partnerships are already having an impact.

We worked with The Assembly to detail the struggles of an online-education initiative in North Carolina. Shortly after that story, the initiative’s CEO stepped down.

We also partnered with The Montana Free Press on a story that explored how universities can play a role in fixing the state’s childcare crisis. The 19th republished that piece, a first for us.

And, we are currently working on stories with Arizona Luminaria and The Salt Lake Tribune. 

These projects are made possible through support from Ascendium Education Group. 

About Open Campus

Founded in 2019, Open Campus is the only nonprofit news organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to higher education. It’s built on an innovative collaborative model, combining a national newsroom that knows higher ed deeply with local newsrooms that know their communities deeply. Open Campus has put local reporters on the higher-ed beat in partnerships with 14 newsrooms around the country. Learn more about our model