How to Apply
There are three steps to the application process, and we'll be here to answer questions at every point along the way.
The written application is comprised of a few essays and short answers, and shouldn’t take more than a few hours to complete. We assess candidates on three major categories: potential to contribute at a startup, character, and mission alignment.
If we think you might be a good fit, you’ll be invited to a Skype interview with a VFA team member. We’ll talk about your experience, your goals, and what motivates you, all with the goal of assessing together whether you’re right for VFA and whether VFA is right for you.
Selection Day is a day of interviews and challenges, and a chance to meet the VFA team and other candidates in person. During rigorous group activities and individual interviews, we pay close attention to your critical thinking, problem solving, character, interpersonal savvy, and mission alignment.
We have three separate, but identical, application deadlines: September 26, 2016, November 28, 2016, and February 6, 2017. Our criteria remain the same for every deadline, but we recommend applying as early as possible so you can get a head start joining the VFA community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible to apply?
To be eligible, you must meet the following guidelines:
Be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident. Most of our Company Partners don’t have the resources to go through the process of sponsoring a visa, so we require independent work authorization through August of 2019 for all applicants.
You’ll have earned your undergraduate degree by June 2017. By the time 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 to work at a VFA Company Partner. If you still have a few credits to squeeze in after June 2017, please check back next year for the 2018 Fellowship application cycle.
You graduated with your first undergraduate degree in June 2014 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.
You earned a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Entrepreneurs can be driven and highly intelligent without excelling in the classroom, but we have high expectations across the board for our Fellows.
All that said—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.
Can international students apply?
Unfortunately, due to the hiring restrictions of many of our Company Partners, Venture for America may only accept U.S. citizens, nationals, or legal permanent residents for admission into the Fellowship.
How many Fellows do you plan to accept?
There is no quota for the number of Fellows we accept. With hundreds of our partner companies eager to hire Fellows, the number of offers we extend is only limited by the quantity and caliber of applications we receive.
Who reviews my application? How long does the process take?
Each online application receives two independent evaluations by VFA team members. As select candidates move forward in the process to the Skype Interview stage and Selection Day, we collectively weigh in on each decision so that your candidacy may be considered from as many angles as possible. The entire process from pressing submit to landing your offer can take up to eight weeks, as we appreciate the time and effort candidates devote to the process and hope to return the favor with careful consideration.
Is there an advantage to applying early? Why are there multiple rounds?
Our criteria remain the same for every deadline, but we suggest applying to the earliest deadline that suits your schedule; those Fellows who join early on will get the chance to begin interacting with other Fellows and the VFA Team right away. The different deadlines exist because people find out about the program and are ready to apply at different times; we want to accommodate the early birds and the late comers! The admissions process is identical for each cycle, and you should only apply to one deadline.
If I’m accepted, can I get an extension or deferral?
Due to the competitive nature of the fellowship, we typically don’t offer extensions or deferrals.