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 into VFA? We’re looking for talented college juniors, seniors, and recent grads with a track record of building, who meet our baseline 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 our deadlines below. You should know that the earlier you join us, the sooner you’ll start learning and get plugged into the VFA Network.
*Candidates who excel in their written application and video interviews are invited to attend a final, in-person interview: Selection Day. We will collect RSVPs just over 2 weeks in advance; in the case that there are two options for date, finalists can choose the date that works best for them.
Early Admissions for Juniors: Monday, April 11th
VFA’s Revamped Application
And now for the nitty gritty of VFA admissions, application, and selection…
The (almost) non-negotiables
- You’re a US Citizen or Permanent Resident
- You’ll have earned your undergraduate degree by June 2016
- You graduated with your first undergraduate degree in May 2013 or later
- You earned a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
US Citizens or Permanent Residents status
Most of our Company Partners 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 2018 for all applicants.
Undergraduate degree conferred by June 2016
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 2016, please check back next year for the 2017 Fellowship application cycle.
First undergraduate degree conferred in June 2013 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 apply their hustle and energy to projects outside of the classroom. 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.
A rebel once said, “rules are made to be broken.” If you feel very strongly that VFA is the right next step for you but don’t meet one of the above 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 three 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 – our dynamic, multifaceted admissions process allows us to do just that!
Step 1: Online application
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 – experience, skills, academics, mission alignment, and communication. 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 next-level stuff you could do/make for a startup. Blog posts, links to your portfolio, something you built, business plans, videos of you presenting… choose anything that will help us understand the value you would bring to your company.
Step 2: Video Interview
Time to chat with a Fellow or member of the VFA Team! At this point, we want to get to know you better, and more authentically. We’ll go over what we’ve gleaned to date, try to get a sense of your character and what makes you tick, and give you the chance to get your answers to any outstanding questions — all with the goal of assessing whether you’re right for VFA and whether VFA is right for you.
Step 3: Selection Day
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. You’ll participate in a battery of group activities and individual interviews. We pay close attention to your critical thinking/problem solving, character, interpersonal savvy, and mission-alignment as you engage in high-pressure, rigorous activities. The day is designed to be strenuous and challenging, but we’re rooting for you! If you ask most Fellows, they’ll tell you this is when they knew that 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, we offer 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.
Note: The application to the VFA Opportunity Award becomes available during the third round of the Selection Process (i.e. Selection Day).