Calling for Application Fee Donations

This year we are creating a pool for application fees for the Six-Week Workshop, and if you are someone who usually donates application fees, we’re counting on you for support!

We’ve seen a significant increase in applicants who cannot afford to pay for the application even at the early bird rate of $35. Last year alone, our amazing community supported 21 applications to the Six-Week Workshop. And two of those applicants were selected for the workshop — indicating that we benefit from opening our doors to everyone who wants to apply! (Another way in which we do this is by securing as many scholarships as possible for our students. Read more about scholarships for the workshop here.)

One of the students who received a donated application fee in 2023 was Tania Chen. Tania’s journey with Clarion West started several years ago when they took an online class from Mexico City. Last year, they applied to the Six-Week Workshop and got in! 

“I didn’t get here on my own, far from it. My application fee was generously donated by Clarion alum Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas (CW ’19), who stood by me even though I considered not applying due to monetary concerns; my nerves and application concerns were patiently soothed by A. T. Greenblatt’s (CW ’17) unyielding kindness. My tuition was covered by the Flores Scholarship, generously donated by Isabel Cañas (CW ’18). Throughout the six weeks, the incredible Monte Lin (CW ’19), Lynne M. Thomas, and Michael Damian Thomas from Uncanny had my back. (Love you, Uncanny Fam!).” 

Tania Chen (CW ’23)

Another perennial issue we face is the cost of the application cycle. It costs the organization approximately $15,000 annually to manage the technology, staff time, and reader honorariums to process applications for the Six-Week Workshop. The discounted fee of $35 has increasingly been falling short of covering our full costs for managing applications each year!

We are committed to equity and inclusion, and in times when we struggle to meet our financial bottom line, we know we can rely on our thriving and supportive community. So, we’re taking a chance this year and making changes to our application fee structure to make it more accessible — because we know that we can rely on you, our community, to help support us in the process! Instead of offering an early application discount at $35 and reverting the fee to $60 near the end of the application cycle, we will be offering sliding scale rates that follow our financial aid policy and allow applicants to choose the rate that best meets their needs for the duration of the application cycle:

  • $15 Helping Hands discount
  • $35 Supporting rate
  • $60 Sustaining rate

(Supporting rates don’t fully cover the costs of application processing, but they do go a long way toward supporting the process. Sustaining rates support the full cost of application processing for every individual.)

If the $15 fee remains a financial burden, applicants will also have the option to reach out to Clarion West staff for a fee waiver.

This is where you come in! In previous years, we encouraged applicants to connect with supporters on social media to pay their application fees. However, that put the burden of finding a donor on the applicant. We’d like to make the process as accessible as possible: If you are someone who usually donates application fees, or if you’d like to do so, we will be managing a pool for those applicants who can’t afford to pay, or to cover the balance for Helping Hands applicants.

If you have questions, please reach out to workshop staff at

Thank you so much for supporting future Clarion West students!

Similar Posts