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TFA Application Dos and Don’ts

Ready to apply to Teach For America? Prepare with some of our top application tips.

Teach For America Application Do's and Don'ts

By The TFA Editorial Team

January 30, 2024

Check out our application dos and don’ts to prepare yourself for your TFA application! Be sure to read more about our application and admissions process.

1. DO Review Each Application Timeline

Did you know that when you submit an application you can choose a timeline that works best for your schedule? We have five deadlines to choose from. 

  • The first three are our main deadlines
  • The fourth is limited and is used to address our most critical needs
  • The fifth is for early admissions which is open to college juniors only

On the final part of your application, you can review each timeline and its required steps. By selecting the best timeline for your schedule you can be sure you’ll have the time required for each step of the admissions process.

2. DON’T Forget to Proofread!

You’ll be asked to complete one short answer response on the application, which should be about 300 words. While that’s not exactly a dissertation, be sure to answer the question fully and proofread your work to ensure you’re demonstrating your strongest writing skills!

3. DO Submit Your Strongest Resume

Your resume is the main way we’ll learn about your experiences, employment history, volunteer involvement, and more, so be sure you’re submitting your strongest resume! On the application, we have tips for what information to include, sample resumes, and what we’re looking for in a resume. Be sure to review these tips!

4. DON’T Skip the Opportunity to Review Before You Submit

You won’t be able to make edits after you’ve clicked the submit button on the application, so we strongly encourage you to really go through each section again and make sure you feel great about it. Ask yourself:

  • Did I upload the right resume?
  • Did I enter my GPA accurately?
  • Did I spell check my short answer?

Important Note: Once you upload your resume, we cannot accept updated versions of your resume after the application has been submitted. If you're invited to an interview, you can share your updated resume with your interviewer before you meet. 

Once you’ve given it a good review, then feel free to press that button!

5. DO Show Your Best Self

While our application gathers background information from you (hometown, GPA, resume) we also want to get to know you and understand you as an individual. While that can be tough to do through an online application, we do provide spaces within the application for you to provide more context.

You should feel free to tell us why your third year GPA wasn’t as high as you’d like, or what family responsibilities you had during college—we want to hear everything! Although these are optional, don’t hesitate to use these spaces so we can understand the full picture of your candidacy.


Still have questions? Check out our FAQs or the Help Tool on the Applicant Center.


This article was originally published in 2018. The publish date reflects the most recent update.