The University of Illinois placed sixth overall in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program intercollegiate writing competition.

More than 100 accredited undergraduate schools of journalism in the United States are eligible to participate in the program, which awards up to $500,000 in scholarships and grants annually. 

Senior Jordan Wilson placed seventh in breaking news writing and ninth in personality/profile writing, earning him a spot as one of eight finalists in the 56th annual National Writing Championship held in San Francisco on May 30 through June 2.

“Being a finalist at the Hearst championships is a testament to the incredible education I received from both the Illinois journalism department and the College of Media as a whole,” Wilson said. “And yet, I can't help but think about the numerous stories I've read, watched and listened to this year alone from fellow students that would have made excellent submissions that simply weren't entered.

“Still, no matter where I go, both professionally and personally, I'll always say I'm proud to be an Illini.”

Wilson received $1,500 scholarship.

Earlier in the year, Stephanie Kim, who graduated in May 2015, placed sixth in feature writing and junior Peter Bailey-Wells tied for 11th in sports writing.

The Hearst program has 14 monthly competitions, including five in writing, two in photojournalism, one in radio, two in TV and four in multimedia, with championship finals in all divisions.