Prepare for each stage of the admissions process and present your best self on your corps member application.
Tips For Your Online Application
The online application is your first opportunity to tell us about your accomplishments, experiences, and interest in Teach For America. You will upload your resume and respond to a short-answer question. Read about ways to improve your online application.
Before applying, you’re encouraged to learn about TFA’s mission and what it’s like to lead a classroom.
Many applicants choose to meet with a recruiter so they get more personalized information about what to expect in the application process and as a corps member.
You can also check out our stories, which frequently feature articles about corps members, alumni, students, and others in the TFA community. This will help you get a stronger sense of what it's like to be a corps member and see our work in action.
On your resume, you should highlight your academic and professional achievements and leadership experience.
Academic achievements include participation in an honors program, inclusion on dean’s lists, and notable awards you’ve won.
Leadership can be displayed through extracurricular activities, work experience, volunteer experience, and your experience managing teams.
Examples of Effective Resumes:
On the application, you’ll be asked to write a short-answer response about why you want to join TFA. Make sure you answer the question thoroughly.
Strong short-answer responses will:
- Clearly answer the application question, make a profound point, and stay on topic
- Have a logical and insightful progression of ideas throughout
- Clearly explain key ideas and support them with well-chosen examples or details
- Vary sentence structure effectively
- Choose words carefully and correctly
- Be proofread for errors in word usage, grammar, and mechanics
“I was expecting a panel of intimidating judges with furrowed brows. Instead our two interviewers were welcoming and kind, and the whole experience was very comfortable. I feel confident that I was able to make the best impression possible.”
Recent Applicant to TFA
Tips For Your Pre-Interview Activity
Applicants invited to an interview will need to complete the pre-interview activity before the in-person interview. The pre-interview activity consists of four short-answer questions. Below are some suggestions for submitting the best responses possible.
Tip 1: Schedule Time As Soon As Possible
- You’ll need to complete the activity before signing up for an interview, so we recommend completing them as early as possible.
- Typically, applicants spend about 1-2 hours completing the pre-interview activity.
Tip 2: Elaborate In Your Responses
- There is no suggested length for your responses; use your best judgment and answer each question fully.
- However, you are encouraged to provide specific evidence or elaboration when possible. Please make sure to stay on topic in each response.
Tip 3: Save and Double-Check
- As you work through the activity, be sure to save your work along the way. We recommend hitting “save” at the end of each question.
- Once you submit your activity, you will not be able to make edits to your responses—so be sure to check your work.
Tips For Your Interview
The interview consists of three major components, all of which take place over one day. The components are: a five-minute sample teaching lesson, a problem-solving activity, and a one-on-one interview. Interviewing can be done in person at sites around the country or virtually, via online videoconferencing services.
While we know it can be an intense and tiring day, those who have been through it also say they’re relieved by how encouraging everyone was at their interview and how they were set up for success throughout the day.
Tip 1: Arrive Ready To Go
- Make sure you’re well rested and eat a good breakfast so you can maintain your focus throughout the day.
- Make arrangements to arrive at your interview site on time or log into your virtual interview on time, so there’s no need to rush and your chances of arriving late are minimized.
- Be sure to dress professionally.
Tip 2: Support Other Interview Attendees
- To make the best of the long interview day, you’re encouraged to support your fellow interview attendees throughout the day.
- By having a positive, calm attitude, listening carefully to others’ ideas and questions, and fully participating in others’ sample teaching demonstrations. Your support can go a long way.
- Note: We admit every applicant who meets our bar for our admission, which means applicants are not in competition with each other for a limited number of spots.
Tip 3: Be Yourself
- When you’re relaxed and prepared, you’re most likely to perform at your best.
- You’re encouraged to share as much as about yourself and your experiences as possible during your one-on-one interview, so come in prepared to speak!
- Read more tips from applicants who have been through the process.