FAQ

Do you have a specific question about the 2021 virtual CSPA Workshop? Find answers to the most common workshop-related questions below. If you have a question not listed here, please email support@cspaworkshop.org.

  • Can you attend the workshop after you graduate from high school?
  • For the required writing sample, does it have to be journalism pieces?
  • Will you accept applications after the priority deadline?
  • Is this a residential workshop?
  • My student has a schedule conflict that would require them to miss days (or portions of one or more days) of the workshop. Should they still apply?
  • Do you accept applications from out-of-state students? What about international students?
  • What is the minimum age for a workshop student?
  • Do you accept letters of recommendation or other outside materials beyond the required sample?
  • Is financial assistance of any kind available?
  • How much are workshop instructors paid?
  • If I am accepted, when is payment due?
  • What is the refund policy?

Can you attend the workshop after you graduate from high school?
Yes. Students are eligible to apply during their final year of high school and attend the summer immediately following their high school graduation. Preference is given to students who apply in their senior and junior years.

For the required writing sample, does it have to be journalism pieces?
Absolutely not! You are welcome to submit any samples of work that you feel best represents your abilities. That can include articles, essays, short stories, persuasive pieces — anything. It also does not need to be published.

Will you accept applications after the priority deadline?
Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed after the June 27 deadline as long as seats remain available. Note that an additional fee of $15 will be assessed starting July 1. Students who apply before the original priority deadline (March 28) can expect to be notified of a decision within four weeks of submission — in most cases, well before the priority deadline. Due to the high volume of applicants, some may be added to a waitlist.

Is this a residential workshop?
This year, the workshop will be virtual. The decision to return to an in-person residential workshop will be made in consultation with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in late 2021.

My student has a schedule conflict that would require them to miss days (or portions of one or more days) of the workshop. Should they still apply?
All students are expected to participate fully in the workshop, which means attending all live classes in person during the posted schedule — 9-2 p.m. PT (including breaks), with one additional required hours TBD on Tuesday-Thursday. If a student is unable to attend a portion of the workshop, please note that on the application. Consideration for schedule accommodations will be given on a case-by-case basis.

Do you accept applications from out-of-state students? What about international students?
Yes and yes! Out-of-state students are encouraged to apply and pay the same as in-state students for the workshop as long as they agree to fully participate in the workshop and attend all live in person classes (which will be during the hours of 9-2 PT, with one additional TBD hour required on Tuesday-Thursday). International students are also encouraged to apply and pay the same as in-state students for the workshop as long as they agree to fully participate in the workshop and attend all live in person classes (which will be during the hours of 9-2 PT, with one additional TBD hour required on Tuesday-Thursday).

What is the minimum age for a workshop student?
A student must be 15 years old at the start of the workshop to apply. It is open to rising high school students (grades 10-12) and graduating seniors, or the equivalent for international students.

Do you accept letters of recommendation or other outside materials beyond the required sample?
Additional application materials are not required and will not be considered.

Is financial assistance of any kind available?
Need-based financial support may be available. Students should note their need on the application, and a board member will connect directly with the applicant once they are accepted. Note that an application must be submitted and the student accepted first before consideration will be made.

How much are workshop instructors paid?
All instructors volunteer their time. They volunteer because they have a sincere desire to help the next generation of journalists. Most of our faculty attended this same journalism workshop when they were in high school and they know the value of our curriculum.

If I am accepted, when is payment due?
Accepted students will register on the virtual workshop platform starting Monday, May 24. At that point, payment will be collected. Students accepted after that date will have 7 days to register and submit payment.

Is there a refund policy?
Students who have paid tuition but are unable to attend must notify CSPA by email as soon as possible.

  • At least 30 days before the start of the workshop (on or before June 12, 2021): 100% refund credited to the card used to make the payment, minus a $10 processing fee
  • Less than 30 (June 13) but at least 14 days (June 28): 50% refund
  • Within 14 days of the beginning of the workshop (June 29-July 11) – or after the workshop has started – no refund will be given.