Is TFA Right For My Loved One?
Instead of sitting behind a desk, your loved one will be at the head of a classroom, making a profound and immediate impact on the lives of students. Corps members tackle real-world challenges and grow every day as problem solvers and leaders. The insight and conviction gained during the corps experience shapes values and beliefs, fuels careers, and leaves a lasting impression. The experience prepares people to be leaders in any field and to be advocates in the fight for equity and opportunity. Teach For America alumni are part of a diverse network of 56,000 successful individuals driving important change in this country. Learn more.
Teaching in a low-income community is a very challenging and extremely rewarding experience. While there is no one specific profile for the ideal candidate, Teach For America’s research shows that teachers who have helped their students achieve the most dramatic growth often possess these characteristics.
Teach For America is currently a member of AmeriCorps, the national service network. Through this relationship, our corps members are AmeriCorps members and are eligible to receive loan forbearance and interest payments on qualified student loans during their two years of service.
Additionally, those who have not previously received AmeriCorps awards may receive an education award of around $5,815 at the end of each year of service. This may be used toward future educational expenses, such as a certification or master’s degree courses, or to repay qualified student loans. Please note that this award is not guaranteed.
All corps members take part in training designed to ensure they understand the emergency policies and procedures in place at their schools and university sites. Regions may deliver additional training tailored to the specifics of their communities.
Corps Member Salary & Benefits
Many graduate schools and employers actively recruit and offer special benefits to TFA corps members and alumni because they recognize that participating in the corps is a challenging experience that builds incredible skills and a commitment to social justice.
TFA does not directly provide these benefits, but we are happy to make them accessible to our network. Learn more about graduate school and employer benefits offered to TFA alumni.
There are different ways to pay for the coursework required to teach in a specific region. In many cases, our regional offices have established relationships with local universities that offer reduced tuition for corps members. In some regions, you can qualify for tuition exemption based on the fact that you’re a teacher. In other regions, you must pay for classes up front.
Explore our regions for more information.
To help ease the transition from college or another job into the corps, TFA offers need-based transitional funding packages to eligible corps members. Packages are designed to assist with costs including travel to training and to the community where you'll teach, relocation expenses, and testing and initial certification fees.
Housing is provided for the summer training that all incoming corps members attend. During summer training, corps members have the opportunity to utilize helpful resources and leverage regional team members to locate their own housing in the community where they will teach in the fall.
Preparing to Teach
Your loved one will have the opportunity to research their regional choices after attending their interview. During their research, they'll be asked to reflect on the factors most important to them in a region, compare regional factors (like cost of living and master's degree options), and eventually build a strong list of regions that are a great fit for them. They will then submit their regional and subject preferences. Depending on their admissions timeline, they will receive regional and subject assignment about two weeks after submitting their preferences. At this time, they will be able to confirm the offer.
The stakes for our students are incredibly high, and so we take corps member training and development very seriously. We help corps members become strong classroom and community leaders through a rigorous summer training program and extensive coaching, professional development, and other resources throughout the corps experience. Learn more about training and support.
After the Corps
After completing their commitment, corps members are considered alumni of Teach For America. They are part of a diverse network of incredible change agents—career educators, civil rights attorneys, ed-tech entrepreneurs, socially conscious CEOs, and many more—who are working to end educational inequity and create opportunity nationwide. Meet alumni leaders in various fields and learn about how their corps experience shaped their careers.