Tips for Applying

The Online Application

  • Your Application
  • Resume
  • Short-Answer Questions

Your Application

This is your first opportunity to tell us about your accomplishments and experiences, and to talk 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. You can also check out our Top Stories section featuring articles from corps members, alumni, students, and others in our community. 

To learn more about the admissions process, read these blog posts with insider tips from the admissions team!


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
  • Other notable awards.

Leadership can be displayed through a variety of experiences including:

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Work experience
  • Managing teams

Examples of Effective Resumes:

Short-Answer Questions

On the application you'll be asked to complete two short-answer questions about why you want to join Teach For America and other topics. Make sure you answer the questions thoroughly. Review our writing proficiency standards and proofread accordingly. We will purposefully evaluate your writing ability because corps members in every subject must teach literacy and pass district certification exams in reading and writing skills.

For exemplary short-answer responses, make sure you: 

  • Clearly answer application questions, make a profound point, stay on topic.
  • Have a logical and insightful progression of ideas throughout the letter of intent.
  • Clearly explain key ideas, supporting them with well-chosen reasons, examples, or details.
  • Vary sentence structure effectively.
  • Choose words carefully and correctly.
  • Proofread for errors in word usage, grammar, and mechanics.

The Pre-Interview Activity


The Interview


The interview is a distinctive part of the Teach For America application process. Our interviews are only held on weekdays and take place during an entire day (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM). 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 brief presentation about Teach For America.

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

Full-Day Interview Tips

  • Make sure you’re well-rested and eat a good breakfast so you can better maintain your focus.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Make arrangements to arrive at your interview site on time or log into your virtual interview on time.
  • Be yourself! When you’re relaxed and prepared, you’re most likely to perform at your best.
  • Find more final interview tips.

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 interviewers and to gather additional information if necessary.