NSPA has three divisions. Memberships for middle school, junior high school and high school student media are organized under the National Scholastic Press Association division of NSPA. Memberships for college, university and professional and technical school student media are organized under the Associated Collegiate Press division of NSPA. Middle school, junior high school and high school student media in Minnesota are organized under the Minnesota High School Press Association division of NSPA. Memberships are open to all student media at public and private schools at an annual membership fee.
Each division of NSPA provides journalism education training programs, publishes journalism education materials, provides media critique and recognition programs for members, provides information on developments in journalism and student media and provides a forum for members to communicate with others and share their work. Through these activities, NSPA and its divisions promote the standards and ethics of good journalism as accepted and practiced by print, broadcast and electronic media in the United States. NSPA and its divisions also endorse and advocate free expression rights for student media.