These preparation tips are intended to help you put your best foot forward during Teach For America’s application and admissions process. 

Application, Resume, and Short Answer

This is your first opportunity to tell us about your accomplishments, experiences, and interests, and to tell us more about your interest in Teach For America.

Before applying, we encourage you to learn about who we are and what we do. Our website, particularly the Our Mission section, is a great resource for learning more about Teach For America. Stories from corps members and alumni located throughout the site can also help build your understanding of the corps experience.

  • Have your transcript(s) on hand to enter your cumulative and yearly GPAs from your undergraduate work. The application contains a GPA calculator you can use to determine your yearly GPAs.
  • On your resume, you should highlight your academic and professional achievements and leadership experience. Academic achievement includes your cumulative GPA, participation in honors programs, inclusion in dean’s lists, or other notable awards. Leadership can be displayed through a variety of experiences including extracurricular activities, work experience, managing teams, and more.  
  • See an example of an effective resume for college seniors.
  • See an example of an effective resume for grad students and working professionals.

 

On the application you'll be asked to complete three short-answer questions about why you want to join Teach For America and other topics. Make sure you answer the questions thoroughly. 

  • You can check out ETS Proofwriter or similar programs to receive instant feedback on certain aspects of your writing, including grammar, mechanics, style, and word usage.
  • Revisit our writing proficiency standards and proofread accordingly. We will purposefully evaluate your writing ability because many corps members teach students to write and are required to pass district certification exams in reading and writing skills.
     
Not Acceptable Exemplary

Responses are characterized by any of the following:

  • Does not answer the question or significantly veers from initial point
  • No clear thesis or point
  • Paragraphs include unconnected ideas
  • No logical transitions
  • Short undeveloped paragraphs
  • Inadequate reasons, examples or details to explain ideas
  • Contains multiple errors in word usage, grammar, and mechanics

Responses are characterized by all of the following:

  • Clearly answers application questions, makes a profound point, stays on topic
  • Has a logical and insightful progression of ideas throughout the letter of intent
  • Clearly explains key ideas, supporting them with well-chosen reasons, examples, or details
  • Varies sentence structure effectively
  • Chooses words carefully and correctly
  • Contains no errors in word usage, grammar, or mechanics


The Phone Interview 

 The phone interview is an opportunity for you to speak with someone from Teach For America about your experiences and about our mission.

  • It’s common to be nervous before an interview, but reducing distractions can make you feel more comfortable and confident. Find a quiet space to conduct the interview and be sure your phone is charged and that you are in an area with good service.
  • Print your resume and keep it in front of you during the phone interview, so you can refer to it if needed. Review the experiences you highlighted on your resume so that you can talk about them comfortably when asked.  You can also review your application by visiting the Applicant Center.

 

The Online Activity

Applicants invited to a final interview will first need to complete the Online Activity.

  • The Online Activity consists of multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Make sure that you mark the deadline to complete this required activity.
  • Find a private space without any interruptions or distractions to ensure confidentiality while you complete the activity, and check that you have Internet access and audio capability before you start.

 

The Full-day Interview

The final interview is a distinctive part of the Teach For America application process. Our interviews are only held on weekdays and you should block an entire day (9-5) for the interview. Virtual interviews are also held on weekdays, but may begin later in the day.  Again, it’s common to be nervous before an interview, but many applicants come away from the interview day having had a great experience.

The first half of the day will be spent with Teach For America interviewers and other candidates as a group. Each candidate will teach a sample lesson while the rest of the group participates as “students.” Next, the entire group will work together on a problem solving activity. After a short break, the interviewers will give a short presentation about Teach For America.

The second half of the day will include a one-on-one interview with a Teach For America interviewer. 

  • Make sure you are well-rested and eat a good breakfast, so you can be at your best throughout the day.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Make arrangements to arrive at your interview site on time.
  • Be yourself!  When you’re relaxed and prepared, you’re most likely to put your best foot forward.
     

Occasionally, a Teach For America staff member may contact you for a short follow-up phone interview. Being asked to complete a follow-up interview is not an indication of your admissions status. We do this as part of ongoing training for our own staff interviewers and to gather additional information if necessary.

Admissions Blog

Hear from our Admissions team on what makes for a successful application to Teach For America.

Check out the Admissions Blog»

Admissions Overview

Check out our online learning module for an overview of our admissions process.

Go to learning module »