Interest-Free Transitional Loans and Grants
As is the case with any job transition, corps members should be prepared for transitional costs before receiving their first paycheck from their school district. We recognize that covering these costs can be difficult. That's why we offer up to $6,000 in funding packages of no-interest loans and grants to help with some of these expenses.
If you are invited to a final interview, you will be eligible to apply for the transitional funding package. The package is designed to assist with transitional costs including, but not limited to:
- Testing and certification fees
- Travel to the summer institute and the region where you will teach
- Relocation expenses
Packages are based on an applicant's demonstrated need, the cost of moving, and the cost of living in the assigned region.
In 2012, 59% of our corps members applied for and received transitional funding.
Corps members learn about their award amount when they are accepted to the corps. Grants and loans are awarded at the beginning of the summer institute.
Costs Covered During Summer Training
Teach For America covers the following costs during summer training to allow you to focus on your development as a teacher:
- Room and board during the five week summer training institute
- Transportation to and from your school site during the summer training institute
- Room and board during regional induction, which occurs prior to the start of the school year
Expenses to Expect Before Your First Paycheck
It can take from three to six weeks after the beginning of the school year to receive your first paycheck from the school district. Some expenses could potentially be covered by your transitional funding package, while other expenses will not be covered and should be a part of a planned budget.
Corps members should plan for teaching-specific expenses, including testing, certification, fingerprinting, and background checks. In some regions, corps members must pay for these expenses out-of-pocket, while in other regions, testing and certification expenses are covered by the transitional funding package and/or AmeriCorps award. You can learn more about costs and payment options by visiting our regional pages, and you'll receive more specifics upon acceptance to a region. Use our regional comparison spreadsheet to explore how expenses can differ from region to region.
We consider many of these general living expenses in the transitional funding package. Sample summer expenses include:
Summer Expenses Considered in the Transitional Funding Package
|Up to two months of rent and utilities after the summer institute||$400-1,100|
|Apartment deposit, equivalent up to first and last month of rent||$800-2,200|
|Travel to institute||$300-500|
|Shipping and storage||$150|
Summer Expenses NOT Considered in the Transitional Funding Package
|General living costs, such as rent and food, before summer induction||$400-2,000|
|Cable and internet activation and bills||$50-200|
|Cell phone activation and bills||$50-200|
|Additional travel (i.e. vacation, between region and institute)||$100-1,000|
|Car purchase or lease down payment||+ $200/month|
Connecting with Other Corps Members and Alumni to Find Housing
We offer a page called TFANet which allows corps members and alumni to connect with each other to find roommates, locate apartments for rent, or post listings. You can also use TFANet to ask questions, post comments, and share recommendations about neighborhoods and housing options. Additionally, the summer training institute and regional orientations serve as great opportunities to talk with other corps members about finding housing together.
Practical Money Skills
Visit Practical Money Skills by Visa for resources on managing loans, budgeting, and planning finances.
Regional Cost Calculator
Regional Comparison Spreadsheet
Compare costs across our 46 regions.