Time to dive into the VFA admissions experience.
So now that you know what we’re looking for– what’s the deal with actually getting in to VFA? We’re looking for talented college seniors and recent grads with a track record of building who meet our basic admissions criteria and are excited to embark on the journey that is the VFA admissions process. We promise you’ve never done anything like it.
To be considered, you should apply by one of four deadlines below. You should know that the earlier you join us, the sooner you’ll start learning and get plugged into the VFA Network. We seriously can’t wait to start working with you.
Wednesday, September 3rd | Monday, October 6th | Monday, January 12th | Monday, March 2nd
And now for the nitty gritty of VFA admissions, application, and selection…
The (almost) non-negotiables
- Are US Citizens or Permanent Residents
- Will have earned their undergraduate degrees by June 2015
- Graduated with their first undergraduate degree after June 2012
- Earned a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
US Citizens or Permanent Residents status
Most of our partner companies don’t have the resources (read: time and money) to go through the process of sponsoring a visa, so we require independent work authorization through August of 2017 for all applicants.
Undergraduate degree conferred by June 2015
By the time our Fellow Training Camp starts in late June, you should be ready to go with diploma in hand. The Fellowship continues immediately after training with a full-time, two-year commitment at your startup. If you still have a few credits to squeeze in after June 2015, please check back next year for the 2016 Fellowship application cycle.
First undergraduate degree conferred in June 2012 or later
When it comes down to it, our Fellowship is designed for recent grads (meaning graduating seniors, those a year or two into their careers, or grad students with a year or two of advanced schooling). Our training, mentorship, and job opportunities are targeted to those fresh out of college, so if you have three or more years of professional experience or advanced schooling, this might not be the best fit.
3.0 minimum GPA
We get it—entrepreneurs can be driven and highly intelligent, but simply have better things to do than go to class. That being said, we have high expectations across the board for our Fellows. We think you can run your empire on the side and still scrape by with a B average.
With all that being said, these are (::air quotes::) “non-negotiable.” If you feel very strongly that VFA is the right next step for you but don’t meet one of these criteria, you can still apply and make a case for why you’d be a great fit.
How we’ll pick you out of the crowd
First of all, we should probably mention this isn’t your typical application process. Like we said, we pride ourselves on really getting to know our applicants– so we designed our selection process to get beneath the surface. While all applicants follow the four steps below, we take every piece of info we collect about you into consideration, with the understanding that certain people might perform better at some stages than others. Our goal is to find the best possible group of Fellows who are going to make us proud and do great things– and we wouldn’t let a formulaic list of criteria or a rubric get in our way.
Rather than asking you to regurgitate your resume, we use our initial app as our first chance to dig deeper, get to know who you are, and why you want to join VFA.
We look at five major categories– in order of importance: experience, skills, academics, mission alignment, and writing. Since we know we’ll need a wide range of superstars to round out our class, depending on your background/profile, we adjust the weight we assign to each category. For example, if you’re an engineer who wants to use your technical abilities at work, we will prioritize skills and experience over writing abilities and academic history.
You’ll also have the option to share a file or link to something you’ve created in the past that demonstrates the kind of kickass stuff you could do/make for a startup. Blog posts, links to your portfolio, business plans, videos of you presenting… choose anything that will help us understand the value you would bring to your company.
Phew… you made it through Round ! In the next step, we’ll have you send us a video to get a glimpse at your personality and real-time critical thinking, creativity, pitching and communication skills. Our hope is to get a sense of who you are through the content and structure of your answers.
Time to chat with a Fellow or member of the VFA Team! At this point, we just want to get to know you better, talk more about what we’ve gleaned to date, and give you the chance to get your answers to any outstanding questions.
Ah yes, our favorite VFA holiday. It’s hard to describe how much we love meeting the amazing aspiring Fellows who have impressed us to date and seeing you in action during group activities and individual interviews. We pay close attention to your critical thinking/problem solving, interpersonal savvy, character, and mission-alignment as you participate in high-pressure, rigorous activities. The day is designed to be strenuous and challenging, but we’re rooting for you! If you ask any Fellow, they’ll tell you this is when they knew VFA was for them.
VFA Opportunity Award for Loan Assistance
In an effort to make the Fellowship an attractive opportunity for candidates from all backgrounds, for the first time this year we’re offering the VFA Opportunity Award for Loan Assistance, made possible by the generosity of the Leon Lowenstein Foundation. Fellows will be selected on the basis of financial need and other criteria provided at the time of application. For more information about the VFA Opportunity Award, you can check out the guidelines here: VFA Opportunity Award Guidelines.