Summer Scholarship and Assistantship
Application Form PDF
Details about special work-study scholarships
Details about full scholarships
Scholarship applications are due at Penland by 5:00 PM on February 15.
Each year, more than 40 percent of Penland’s students receive financial assistance. Penland offers financial assistance in five categories:
General work-study scholarship students do work for the school before, during, and after their session. They receive meals, dormitory housing, and pay a discounted tuition. There are more than 200 of these scholarships.
Special work-study scholarship students do work for the school before, during, and after their session. They receive meals, dorm housing, and pay no tuition. There are 58 of these scholarships available with varying qualifications.
Partial scholarship students receive a $1,000 scholarship for a two- or two-and-a-half-week class with no work requirement. There are 25 of these scholarships.
Full scholarship students receive meals, dorm housing, and tuition with no work requirement. There are 28 of these scholarships available with varying qualifications.
Studio assistants work in the studio before, during, and after their session, preparing for the class and assisting the instructor and their fellow students. They receive meals, dorm housing, and pay no tuition.
Studio Assistant Information
Although scholarship selection is made after the lottery, some spaces are reserved in each class for scholarship students. Scholarships are intended for students who would have difficulty attending Penland without financial assistance. You may not apply as a full-paying student if you are applying for a scholarship. If you are not selected, you may reapply as a full-paying student if space is available (you will not have to pay another application fee.
Applications for scholarships and studio assistantships (including letters of reference) must be received by February 15; applicants will be notified by April 1. Scholarship applications are accepted by mail only.
Work-study students are an integral part of life at Penland. This program is supported by annual fund gifts, foundations, end-of-session auctions, endowments, and Penland’s general operating budget. The work-study program is designed to make Penland’s classes available to the widest variety of students. Work-study students accept the challenge of balancing studio time with work for the school.
International students note: because the U.S. government considers our work-study scholarship program to be work-for-hire, students who are not U.S. citizens may not receive work-study scholarships unless they have a work permit. International students may apply for the full scholarships that have no work requirement.
Work-study students work 18 hours per week on a variety of service tasks, usually cleaning, food service support, and dishwashing. All work-study students are given a schedule on the first day and generally work part of each day during the session as well as a full day before and after the session. The work is manual labor and the schedule, while reasonable, requires work-study students to carefully balance their time and energy between the studio and their work obligations.
Work-study students receive dormitory housing. Dormitories are common living areas accommodating up to 15 students.
If you have physical limitations, please send a separate note explaining what kinds of work you are able to do. This will not factor into selection, but will help us with work assignments if you are selected.
Work-study students are required to work from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on the day before and the day after their session in addition to the work they do during the session. You are responsible for making travel arrangements which will allow you to meet this requirement. If you cannot meet this requirement, please do not apply.
Your letter of application should be no longer than two pages and should address the following areas:
Financial need: why attending Penland would be a financial hardship for you.
Seriousness of intent: your background and experience in craft, if any (prior experience in craft is not a requirement). The individual artistic goals you hope to pursue in each of the classes you are applying for.
Work ethic: work-study students have an experience which is different from, yet equally valuable to that of regular students. Do you feel you are capable of balancing studio work with physical labor for the school?
Along with your application form and fee, you will also need to supply a résumé and two letters of reference which address your work ethic and your commitment to learning.
Applications must be received no later than February 15, and must include your letters of reference. After this deadline, applicants will be considered only in the event of cancellations. Work-study students will be notified by April 1 and once accepted will be asked to submit full payment.
Special Work-Study There are 45 special work-study scholarships available. These scholarships carry the same work requirement as regular work-study, however they cover all room, board, and tuition. They target students with exceptional talent and financial need, and some have no other requirement.
To apply for special work-study, check the special work-study box on the application form and send all the materials required for general work study plus five printed images (maximum size 8-1/2 x 11, no slides or CDs) of your work even if it is not in the same media as the class you are applying to take. Some of these scholarships have particular qualifications in addition to exceptional talent and financial need. If you meet any of the following qualifications, please include this information in your letter.
Female, pursuing printmaking, photo, books, or drawing
Living east of Raleigh in North Carolina
Living in Rockingham County, NC
A student from the Memphis College of Art
A graduating senior from Mitchell High School, Mitchell County, NC
Person of color
Person with disability
60 years old or older
Using Penland to explore a life or career transition
Applying for a painting, drawing, printmaking, clay, metals, wood, or glass class
School teacher--no images required
If you apply for special work-study, you are encouraged to also apply for general work-study.
Descriptions of all special work-study scholarships with information about the funder and the qualifications.
We are excited to announce new partial scholarships. Twenty-five scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded for two- or two-and-a-half-week classes, with no work requirement. These target students with exceptional talent and financial need. To apply for a partial scholarship, check the partial scholarship box on the application form and include a letter explaining your financial need and your interest in the class(es) you are applying for, a résume, two letters of recommendation, and five printed images (maximum size 8-1/2; x 11, no CDs) of your work even if it is not in the same media as the class you are applying to take.
If you apply for partial scholarship you are encouraged to also apply for work-study.
There are 28 full scholarships available. These scholarships cover room, board, and tuition with no work requirement. These target students with exceptional talent and financial need, and a number of them have no other requirement.
To apply for a full scholarship, check the full scholarship box on the application form, and include a letter explaining your financial need and your interest in the class(es) you are applying for, a résumé, two letters of recommendation and five printed images (maximum size 8-1/2 x 11, no slides or CDs) of your work even if it is not in the same media as the class you are applying to take.
Some of these scholarships have particular qualifications in addition to exceptional talent and financial need. If you meet any of the following qualifications, include this information in your letter.
Female, 40 years or older
50 years or older
Person of color
Student at the University of Arizona-Tucson
Living in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho
Applying for a books, clay, drawing, painting, glass, jewelry/metals, paper, letterpress, or wood class
If you apply for full scholarship you are encouraged to also apply for work-study.
Descriptions of all special full scholarships with information about the funder and the qualifications.
Teacher Training Scholarship
There is one full scholarship for a teacher taking a teacher training class. It is only available to teachers applying for the fourth session class in the clay studio titled Low-Fire Adventure. To apply, check the teacher training scholarship box on the application form and include a letter explaining your financial need and your interest in the class, a résumé, and two letters of recommendation.
Studio Assistantship Information