Summer Registration FAQ–OLD

Summer Registration—Frequently Asked Questions

When can I register for a workshop?
Summer registration begins on January 13 at noon Eastern time. 


When does summer registration begin and when is the deadline to apply?
If applying as a full-pay student, registration begins on January 13 at noon Eastern time. Once registration is open, you may apply by filling out an online application. We enroll students on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the fall, spring, and summer. Check our website for lists of open workshops.

If you are applying as a scholarship applicant, the scholarship application will be available in Slideroom on January 1. Applications for scholarships (including studio assistants) must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern time on February 17.

You may not apply simultaneously for both a scholarship and as a full-paying student.


How hard is it to get into a Penland workshop?
Our workshops fill at vastly different rates depending on subject matter, instructor, class size, and other factors. Every year, there are a few workshops that fill on the day registration opens, but most have empty spaces for weeks or even months after that. To have the best shot at getting a space in your first choice workshop, pay attention to when registration opens and submit your materials as early as possible. If the workshop you were eyeing is already full, you may enroll in a different workshop and/or add your name to the waitlist for your first choice workshop. If space opens up in that studio, we will contact you to update your workshop enrollment.


How do I get on the waitlist for a fully enrolled workshop?
Please contact Penland at 828-765-2359 or email with your name, phone number, and the name of the workshop you want to enroll in.


I’m applying for a scholarship and there is only one workshop I really want to take. Do I have to put a second choice on my application?
We encourage applicants to list more than one workshop choice to increase their chances of getting into a workshop. But don’t list a workshop as a second or third choice unless you’d really like to take it.


How do I know if I have enough skill to take a workshop at Penland?
Most of our workshops are open to students of all skill levels, including beginners. If a workshop says “all levels” at the end of the course description, this means that the instructor is willing to work with students regardless of their prior experience. Bear in mind, however, that Penland workshops can be very intense and you will be expected to work hard and to push yourself, whether you are a beginning or an experienced student. We often have workshops where beginners work side by side with people who have years of experience or may even be making their living from their craft. In most cases, everyone benefits from this contact. An experienced student might be able to help a beginner; less experienced students often bring great energy to a workshop and may have fewer preconceptions about what they are doing. 

Some of our workshops require or recommend some prior experience. This information is stated at the end of the course description. Very few workshops ask you to send a letter of intent or images of your work so the instructor can select the students.


If I am enrolled in one of my alternate choices of workshop, will I remain on the waiting list for my first choice?
Yes, if you are enrolled in one of your other workshop choices we will keep you on the waiting list for your first choice. If a space opens, and you are next on the waiting list, we will be sure and call you. We always try to give people their first choice.


If a class is full do I have to pay the $50 nonrefundable processing fee to be on a waiting list?
If the workshop is full, no processing fee will be collected unless we are able to enroll you into a workshop.


I want to attend Penland with my spouse/partner/friend. Can you guarantee that we both get into a workshop during the same session?
We do not give couples/partners priority. Being flexible is good, as is registering as early as possible. If you are both interested in workshops offered in first and second sessions, for example, and you are not both enrolled, you can choose to switch to a session that has workshop spaces for both of you, or one person can remain on the waiting list, with fingers crossed.


When will I be notified whether I got into a workshop?
You will receive a notification of enrollment email once you have submitted your $50 application fee and $250 deposit.


Is there a fee for canceling if I drop my workshop after I am enrolled?
Yes. This is our cancellation and refund policy for summer workshops: if you cancel any time up to 45 days before the beginning of the workshop, you will receive a full refund minus $100 cancellation fee and the $50 nonrefundable processing fee. If you cancel later than 45 days before the beginning of the workshop, there is no refund. 


How many workshops can I take at the same time?
One. To take a workshop at Penland is to immerse oneself in one studio and one workshop. Each workshop is structured by the instructor, but most workshops are a mix of demonstrations, lectures, individual studio work, and field trips. Most workshops start around 10 AM and go into the evening. You are welcome, of course, to visit other studios and observe the work being done there.


Can I bring my pet?
No. Students are not permitted to have pets with them at Penland; this includes emotional support animals. If you work with an ADA compliant service animal, please contact the registrar.


What is the housing like on campus?
Penland housing is quite simple. Buildings are not air-conditioned—the climate is moderate and it is often cooler at night. Furnishing is basic: a bed and a place to put your clothes. “Hostel” housing is housing units with between four and 13 beds per room (no bunks). We do our best to match students with the type of housing they request and with students of similar age, but this is not always possible. Housing assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. We cannot guarantee requests for specific rooms or buildings.


If I have a friend or spouse come with me, but they do not take a workshop, can they stay on campus with me?
No. Penland has limited housing, so we can only house students enrolled in workshops.


How do I apply if I want to take more than one workshop in a summer?
When completing your online application, please add each desired workshop to your shopping cart.


May I attend several classes in the same summer with a scholarship?
No. Our goal is for our scholarships to benefit as many people as possible, and we get many more scholarship applications than we can accommodate. For this reason, we can only award one scholarship per student per summer. However, you are welcome to apply for up to five workshops, which may be in different sessions. The more choices you give us, the greater the likelihood that we will be able to award you a scholarship.

Occasionally, scholarship students cancel during the summer and their spaces are filled by scholarship students who are already here and are willing to stay for another session, but this happens only after we have tried to award that scholarship to all available alternate candidates from the scholarship selection process.


If I want to apply for a work-study scholarship, who should my two references come from?
We suggest you get references from either teachers or employers, or one from each. We look at your interest in the workshop you are applying for and your commitment to the work you will do in the studio (i.e., are you a good student?), and we want to know that you will work hard for the school as part of your scholarship (i.e., will you show up on time and wash pots and pans on your work-study shift?). Your references should be from people who best speak to these qualities.


If I apply for a scholarship and do not receive one, may I then apply as a full-paying student?
Yes. If you are not awarded a scholarship you may then apply as a full paying student (bearing in mind that the workshop you are interested in may be full by then). You cannot, however, apply simultaneously for both a scholarship and as a full-paying student. You can only apply as a full paying student once you are notified that you did not receive a scholarship. We generally get about 350 more scholarship applications than the number of scholarships available, so it is important that people applying for these scholarships really need them.


Who should I address my scholarship application letter to?
The “scholarship selection committee” is fine.


Can I take just one week of a two-week workshop?
While we can’t stop anyone from leaving early, our instructors carefully plan their workshop based on their allotted duration. We don’t offer the option of enrolling in only a portion of a workshop.