Application Advice from TFAS Staff

We asked our Collegiate Programs and Admissions Teams for their best application advice. Keep these tips in mind as you work on your TFAS application!

Timely Transcripts

Request your transcript early! Every school sends transcripts differently and sometimes a late transcript request can delay your application being completed. You don’t want to submit for the deadline only to miss it because your school was slow to send your transcript! Many schools have electronic delivery via email – this is the best (and fastest) option!
>> Learn more about submitting your transcript

Dana Faught, Director, Student Recruitment + Alumni Engagement

Be Real!

Be authentic in your application materials! Make sure, to be honest in your resume and don’t embellish your experience. The Admissions Committee and hiring managers want to get to know the real you and what makes you unique as an applicant!

Abby McGovern, Program Coordinator, Leadership + the American Presidency

Do Your Homework

For your Personal Statement, make sure that you have a good understanding of the program to which you are applying. Providing specific information and examples of what you are hoping to gain from participating. This will let the Admissions Committee know that you have done your research. And, as an added benefit, you’ll have a clearer vision of your professional and educational goals!

Mary Stankus, Senior Director, Recruitment, Admissions + Operations

Keep Your Resume Clear and Concise

Proofread your resume and make sure it fits on one page! Hiring managers don’t have a lot of time, so a digestible, clearly formatted resume is a must.

Lainey Carlton, Program Director, Business + Government Relations

Be Thoughtful

Give careful and thoughtful attention to your writing sample. Select a topic you’re passionate about and aligns with an issue you might want to work on in your internship. For example, if you want to work on Middle East Policy, your writing sample should reflect familiarity with current events or key policy issues in that region.

Colin Parks, Program Director, International Affairs

Proofread Everything!

The proofreading process is an essential part of your application and one that you should take seriously. Your application should be well-written and grammatically correct. This shows the Admissions Committee that you pay attention to detail—a skill that will help you succeed in college and beyond. 

Melissa Grannetino, Director, Program Operations + Outreach Design

Always Have a Backup

Save your application often! Don’t let a technology glitch or session timeout delete your hard work! Unfortunately, information that isn’t saved cannot be recovered.

Write out your topical essays in Word or Google Docs. Copy and paste the essays into the correct fields. You’ll have a copy of the essay in case there is a glitch and you can utilize spelling and grammar checks.

Elisabeth Merrifield, Coordinator, Recruitment Partnerships + Admissions

Save Space on Your Resume

Keep your resume to one page. To save space, omit the “objective paragraph” that some people put at the top of their resumes.

Joe Starrs, Senior Director, Journalism + Communications and D.C. Programs

Don’t Overlook Partial Scholarships

Applying for a full scholarship? Since full scholarships are competitive please consider applying for a partial scholarship as well. We award many generous partial scholarships! Be straightforward and honest in your scholarship applications. We are reviewing for both merit and need.

Laura Cusack, Program Director, Public Policy + Economics

Polished Communication is Key

Upload a writing sample that isn’t too long, is well-written, and demonstrates your ability to make an argument. TFAS and future employers want to see that you can communicate clearly and concisely!

Emily Schroen, Program Coordinator, International Affairs