FAQ

Do you have a specific question about the 2022 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, do they have to be journalism pieces?
  • Will you accept applications after the May 15 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?
  • Is travel included in the cost of the workshop?
  • Do you accept letters of recommendation or other outside materials beyond the required sample?
  • How are sleeping rooms assigned?
  • Is financial assistance of any kind available?
  • How much are workshop instructors paid?
  • What are the COVID-19 protocols during the workshop?
  • 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, do they 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, scripts for video or podcast projects — anything. It also does not need to be published.

Will you accept applications after the May 15 deadline?
Students will be selected on a rolling basis, starting on Monday, April 18. Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed after the May 15 deadline as long as seats remain available. Due to the high volume of applicants, some may be added to a waitlist.

Is this a residential workshop?
The workshop is residential and students are required to live on campus for the duration of the workshop. They are not permitted to leave unless on a workshop-approved field trip or activity and under the supervision of CSPA faculty and counselors. Guests, including parents, are not permitted. Students are also not permitted to bring their own cars. Non-residential or virtual options are not available.

My student has a schedule conflict (either in-person or virtual) 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 arrive and leave on the same days and participate fully in the workshop, which means attending all live classes and activities in person. Students who cannot fully participate are encouraged to wait and apply in a future summer.

Do you accept applications from out-of-state students? What about international students?
Out-of-state students are encouraged to apply and pay the same as in-state students for the workshop. Unfortunately, for the 2022 workshop, international students will not be accepted due to COVID-19 protocols. 

What is the minimum age for a workshop student?
A student must be 15 years old at the start of the workshop to apply. However, simply being old enough to attend high school or reading and/or writing at a high school level is not the most important consideration. Parents/guardians must realize this is an experience as close to college as many high schoolers will experience. Students must be comfortable living, eating and sleeping away from home for the entire duration of the workshop. They must be comfortable sharing a room with 1-2 other students, and a bathroom with as many as 8. They also must be prepared to attend classes that can start as early as 8 a.m. and run as late as 11 p.m. These are just a few of the reasons why preference is given to current high school seniors and juniors.

Is travel included in the cost of the workshop?
No. All students must coordinate and cover the cost of their own travel. Students are not permitted to bring their own cars, so many students are dropped off by parents/guardians. Others travel by bus, train or plane and are picked up at the station or airport by faculty or counselors.

Do you accept letters of recommendation or other outside materials beyond the required sample?
Students are welcome to submit additional materials by email, but typically they are not considered.

How are sleeping rooms assigned?
The residence halls provide triple-occupancy accommodations with community-style bath facilities. Floors or wings (varies by building), which include all bedrooms and bathrooms, are separated by gender with a minimum of two counselors staying on the same floor.

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.

What are the COVID-19 protocols during the workshop?
We continue to monitor COVID-19 rates in San Luis Obispo County and across the state. We will meet or exceed all campus, county, state and federal guidelines for the duration of the workshop. All faculty, counselors and students will be required to be vaccinated (with booster) and proof will be required in advance. Students will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.  Students will be monitored closely and those who show signs of COVID-19 will be tested. If a student becomes COVID-19 positive during the workshop, they will be required to isolate and parent/guardians will need to pick them up within 24 hours of being notified. 

If I am accepted, when is payment due?
Accepted students will be offered the opportunity to confirm their spot and pay their deposit of $400 within 7 days of acceptance. The remaining balance ($850) is due on or before Wednesday, June 1. Payments can be made using a credit card (note that all processing fees will be the responsibility of the payer). Checks can also be accepted.

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 16, 2022): 100% refund credited to the card used to make the payment, minus a $25 processing fee
  • Less than 30 (June 17) but at least 14 days (July 2): 50% refund, minus a $25 processing fee
  • Within 14 days of the beginning of the workshop (July 3-July 16) – or after the workshop has started – no refund will be given.