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 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 a transitional funding package. The package is designed to assist with transitional costs including, but not limited to:

  • Testing and certification fees
  • Travel to training and the region where you will teach
  • Relocation expenses

Packages are based on an applicant's demonstrated need, cost of moving, and cost of living expenses in your assigned region before receiving your first paycheck.

In 2013, 60% 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 training.


Teach For America covers the following costs during training to allow you to focus on your development as a teacher:

  • Room and board during the five-seven week training
  • Transportation to and from your school site during training
  • Room and board during regional induction, if applicable, which usually occurs prior to the start of training in the placement region


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. 

Teaching-Specific Expenses

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. 

Living Expenses

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

Expense Average
Up to two months of rent and utilities after training $400-1,100
Apartment deposit, equivalent up to first and last month of rent $800-2,200
Travel to training $300-500
Shipping and storage $150
Furniture $350
Professional clothing $215
School supplies $250

Summer Expenses NOT Considered in the Transitional Funding Package

Expense Average
General living costs, such as rent and food, before training and/or regional induction $400-2,000
Cable and internet activation and bills $50-200
Cell phone activation and bills $50-200
Additional travel (e.g., vacation, between region and institute) $100-1,000
Car purchase or lease down payment +$200/month



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 trainings 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.

Check out Visa’s resources »

Regional Cost Calculator

Use the cost calculator on each of our regional pages to see how your income and expenses could vary by region.

Go to our regions »

Regional Comparison Spreadsheet

Compare costs across our 48 regions. 

Download the spreadsheet »