How to Apply

Everything you need to know to apply to the Class of 2020. Applications open August 1!

Step 01

Online Application

In this 2-page application, you'll submit your demographic and academic information. We'll get to know you through some of your professional, extracurricular, and/or creative experiences, and you'll have a chance to tell us about the skills you acquired during these experiences.

We don't begin reviewing applications until after the deadline, and it takes us about 5 days.
Step 02

Online Essay

In this round, you'll have four days to complete a few short answer questions about why you want to be a VFA Fellow, and share which of your skills you feel ready to apply to a startup job. You'll also upload your resume.

We'll review your essays and skills in 7-10 days.
Step 03

Skype Interview

If we think you might be a good fit, you’ll be invited to a Skype interview with a VFA team member, Fellow, or alumnus. 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.

Skype interviews take place over a two-week period.
Step 04

Selection Day

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.

You'll hear back on our final decision the week after Selection Day.

Application Deadlines

We have four separate, but identical, application deadlines. Our criteria remain the same for every deadline, but we recommend applying as early as possible; the final deadline is more competitive. You may not apply more than once during the same season. Check back in a few months for 2020 deadlines.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

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Application Toolkit

Download our step-by-step guide on the application

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Eligibility Guidelines:


  • Be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or DACA Recipient. 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 2021 for all applicants.
  • You’ll have earned your undergraduate degree by June 2020. 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 2019, please check back next year for the 2020 Fellowship application cycle.
  • You graduated with your first undergraduate degree in 2017 or later. 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.
  • We don’t have a GPA cutoff, but we do have high expectations across the board for our Fellows. If your classroom performance isn’t an accurate reflection of what you bring to the table or your ability to perform in a high-pressure environment, make sure to let us know why in your application.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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. DACA recipients are eligible for 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 written essay, the Skype Interview, 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.

Why are there multiple application rounds?

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.

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. Fellows who join early on will get the chance to begin interacting with other Fellows right away. They’re also able to immediately start connecting with our Team and start preparing for the Match process where they’ll find their jobs. 

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.

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