FAQ

Do you have a specific question about the 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 three required writing samples, do they have to be journalism pieces?
Will you accept applications after the priority deadline?
Is this a residential workshop? Is a non-residential option available?
My student has a schedule conflict that would require them to miss 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 three required samples and optional video?
Is travel included in the cost of the workshop?
Can I visit my student during the workshop or take my student home on the weekend?
How are sleeping rooms assigned?
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?
What is the response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

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

Will you accept applications after the priority deadline?
Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed after the March 29 priority deadline as long as seats remain available. But please note, students who apply before the priority deadline can expect to be notified of a decision within four weeks of submission — in most cases, well before the March 29 deadline. Due to the high volume of applicants, some may be added to a waitlist.

Is this a residential workshop? Is a non-residential option available?
Yes, the CSPA Workshop is a residential workshop. A non-residential option is not available.

My student has a schedule conflict that would require them to miss days of the workshop. Should they still apply?
All students are expected to arrive and leave on the same day. If a student is unable to attend a portion of the workshop, they should wait to apply in a future year.

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. International students are also encouraged to apply and pay the same as in-state students for the workshop. The applicant and their parents/guardians are responsible for securing all required visas for international students.

What is the minimum age for a workshop student?
A student must be 14 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 instructors or counselors.

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

Can I visit my student during the workshop or take my student home on the weekend?
No. This is a fully-programmed workshop. All classes and recreational activities are mandatory. Students are prohibited from leaving campus without an instructor or counselor at any time during the workshop. Students are also not permitted to bring their own cars.

How are sleeping rooms assigned?
The residence halls provide triple-occupancy accommodations with community-style bath facilities. Floors, 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. After an application is submitted and a student is accepted, please email support@cspaworkshop.org for more information. Note that an application must be submitted and the student accepted first.

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. Not only do they volunteer their time, but most pay their own expenses.

If I am accepted, when is payment due?
Within four weeks of submission of your application, you will be notified if you have been accepted to the workshop or waitlisted. Those accepted must commit within seven days by submitting a non-refundable deposit of $400. The remaining payment will be due within 30 days of acceptance notification.

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 45 days before the start of the workshop: 100% refund credited to the card used to make the payment, minus the $400 deposit due within 7 days of acceptance
  • Less than 45 but at least 21 days: 50% refund, minus the $400 deposit due within 7 days of acceptance

Within 21 days of the beginning of the workshop – or after the workshop has started – no refund will be given.

What is the response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Board of Directors continues to cautiously plan the 2020 CSPA Workshop. For the latest information, click here.