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NPR’s Podcast Challenge Now Open to College Students

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Harvard chapter.

Have an interesting podcast idea? Want to share that idea and be featured on NPR? Now you can by submitting to NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge!


The NPR Student Podcast Challenge, an opportunity for student podcasts to be featured on NPR, is open to college students for the first time in the challenge’s 3rd year run. While the challenge was only open to students in grades 5-12 in previous years, the NPR team saw the potential in college student stories and opened up their college division on December 1st. Read the details below to find out the steps to apply!

Read the Rules and Come Up with an Idea

To apply in the college student division, you must be in pursuit of an associate or bachelor’s degree. The podcast can be about anything and everything as long as it’s 3-8 minutes long and specifically created for the challenge. More rules specific to the college student division submissions, including prompts and FAQs can be found on NPR’s website here. Past winners covered issues such as the pink tax, environmental issues, and racial disparities.

Record Your Podcast

After you’ve come up with a story or topic you’re passionate about for your podcast, it’s time to bring it to life. Whether this is your first time creating a podcast, or if you just want to fine-tune your skills, the NPR team has created a student guide for podcasts. The guide includes podcast examples, production tips, help to organize your podcast, and so much more! You can find the guide here

Submit Your Podcast!

Once you’ve recorded your podcast and become a pro at audio recording and editing, upload your podcast to Soundcloud and submit your entry through NPR’s website here. It’s as simple as that!

Now that you know how to submit to the Podcast Challenge, it’s time to make your voice heard! Winners of the previous two challenges have gone on to be featured on various media outlets such as Teen Vogue and The Today Show among others. 


The deadline to submit is February 15, 2021. Have fun and good luck!

Harvard Senior studying Romance Languages & Literatures and Art, Film, and Visual Studies with a secondary in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights.