2021 Finalists for the EGF Accelerator’s Eddie Prize

See all finalists below

Eric Hoover
The Chronicle of Higher Education

What the System Requires

Comments from the Judges:

“The education system is rife with problems that journalists report on every day. Eric Hoover makes us care about policy through his narrative writing skills, which is a unique combination to achieve. He clearly learned a lot about his subjects, but his storytelling craft really drove home with riveting urgency the problems with getting financial aid, especially by those who need it the most.”

“These stories are lyrically told and take readers deep into the lives of students navigating the complex systems and bureaucracies that add barrier after barrier to college paths. But not only that, Eric’s coverage broadens and deepens our understanding of what those barriers even are by spotlighting rarely examined — and also central — challenges. “

Casey Parks
The New York Times Magazine

The Tragedy of America’s Rural Schools

Comments from the Judges:

“Gorgeous narrative that had me reading all the way through, and very clear explanations of a topic that could be easy to get lost in”

“The story was written with devastating detail, deep analysis, and sharp synthesis. Casey’s characters are complex and compelling — and make readers care about the condition of rural schools like those in Holmes. It brings new attention to the critical challenges facing rural communities and the educational aspirations of its residents.”

Megan Pauly, Sara McCloskey, David Streever, Elliott Robinson, Connor Scribner, Crixell Matthews, Travis Pope & Benjamin Dolle
Virginia Public Media

Dreams Deferred

Comments from the Judges:

“This is a very smart series of stories. VPM did fine investigative work and brought to light a problem that was more common and more harmful to students than their audience knew. I’ve never seen a systematic examination of the effects of the very common policy of withholding transcripts as a collection strategy.”

“Vicious cycle of transcript fees — the system creates the outcomes it wants. By charging lower income students and students of color, the schools are sending a message on their values. VPM did an excellent job demonstrating the negative and the positive.”