Michelle informs me that Bausch said something to the effect that the Workshop is considering changing financial aid, which sounds like a great idea to me.
Why doesn't the Workshop ditch TWFs and what not, and just give everyone the exact same amount of aid? Then, those who want to teach can (possibly based on the same kind of three top choices sheets we fill out for Workshops), and those who do not don't have to. Otherwise, I think people get into weird situations which are ultimately bad for their careers (weeks playing nothing but XBox because of the enormous amount of freetime they have) or for their undergraduate students (see Marco).
Frankly, I don't see much point in the current incarnation of financial aid as some kind of competition (except for the fact it gets people to read the red folders by telling them it's actually some sort of honor). I don't think anyone ever wrote any better or worse because of the aid competition, and as the faculty said over and over again, a TWF is no indication of future success. All the current finanical aid set up seems to do is cause hard feelings (see Chris Offutt's comments regarding Elizabeth or Workshop Class of 2002 for examples).
Plus, I think the red folders would be read regardless -- some of us are extremely interested in the machinations of the Workshop, and I actually think these people would volunteer for the job (see Dunkeys or Kclou -- I could be wrong, but within 5 minutes of entering Iowa City, Connie was telling me Dunkeys was the guy who knew everything that was going on -- and he is still the one that keeps us all on Workshop-related topics, while I want to make jokes about Biblical Archaeological Review).
One of the best things a writing prof ever told me was that "There is room at the top for all of us." Don't you think the elimination of the aid competition would allow Iowa Workshoppers to become more of a United Front in the lonely business we've chosen for ourselves?