Frequently Asked Questions from Students.

Here are the answers to many of the common questions that students ask us about the MLH Fellowship.

Person working on laptop
Why did MLH launch this program now?

Due to COVID-19, 20,000+ students in the MLH community lost their internships and full-time jobs. We know how important hands-on experience is for aspiring software engineers and designed this educational program as an alternative to help some of those impacted.

What is Major League Hacking (MLH)?

Founded in 2013, Major League Hacking (MLH) is the global community for student developers. We support 100,000+ student developers, designers, and engineers each year through thousands of on-campus events like workshops, hackathons, and career fests. MLH has been a community first, mission driven organization from the beginning.

We measure our success by the number of hackers we empower, and we want to keep it that way. That’s why we made it official and became a Certified B Corporation in 2016. B Corps are for-profit enterprises that are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their community, not just their shareholders.

Where does this program take place?

This is a fully-remote program. You can participate from your home or anywhere else you can focus. You will need to have access to a high speed internet connection that supports video chat and your space should be quiet with limited background noise or distractions.

What is the program timeline?

We run three 12-week batches of the MLH Fellowship per year. Each batch has options for full-time and part-time participation. The program pages have specific deadlines and timing for each batch. However, applications are processed on a rolling basis, so it’s important to apply early.

In order to participate in a full-time program, you must be able to commit 30-40 hours per week to the program for the full term. Part-time programs require you to commit 10-20 hours per week to the program for the full term instead.

Do I need to know how to code already? At what level?

We do not have the capacity to teach you how to code, so you will need to be proficient in at least one programming language to participate. You should have some experience working on a variety of projects using that language and feel comfortable using it to solve real-world, practical problems.

Experience levels usually range from intermediate through advanced for each language. Based on your experience level, we will try to match you with an appropriate Open Source project.

If you're looking for ways to build your portfolio and skills, we would recommend attending one of our upcoming hackathons or workshops.

Does this cost money?

In order to ensure we are able to review every application fully and provide that valuable feedback, we charge a small application fee for each program term you apply to. The one-time fee is between $5 USD and $30 USD adjusted based on the country you'd be residing in during the program.

In the event that you cannot afford the application fee, we will waive it with no questions asked. However, if you can afford to pay it, we ask that you please do.

There is no cost to participate in the program itself once you are accepted.

What are the eligibility requirements to participate?

In order to be eligible to participate in this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Over the age of 18; or over the age of 13 with a parent's permission to participate in this program
  • Reside in a country not embargoed by the United States
  • Able to commit the required hours per week to this program
  • Know how to code in at least one language
  • Proficient English speaker
  • Have access to a video call quality Internet connection
Is there a stipend for participation in the program?

Yes, we are pleased to offer need-based stipends up to $5,000 USD to accepted Fellows who require the stipend in order to participate in the fellowship. The amount of your stipend is determined by need and the country you are residing in during the program. As the stipend is need-based, not everyone eligible for it.

Is the program open to High School/Bootcamp/non-traditional students or professionals?

Yes, the MLH Fellowship is open to all students, regardless of where they live and what type of institution they attend. We are also opening slots to a limited number of non-student professionals.

Can I apply to multiple programs?

Due to the overwhelming number of applications we receive, you'll only be able to apply for 1 program per Batch. We recommend spending some time thinking about what you want to get out of the program before applying. Once you've applied, we won't be able to change your application.

What kinds of projects will I be involved with?

Fellows will collaborate on Open Source projects that align their personal interests with the general demands of industry. We select projects based on feedback from the program's various sponsors, ability for Fellows to successfully collaborate on real-world software issues. While projects span a variety of languages and frameworks, the 2-3 projects that each Pod supports will use a related set of technologies and tooling.

How are students matched to projects in the Open Source Fellowship?

Qualified applicants are matched to educational projects based on a variety of factors. These include, but are not limited to: relevant programming language, framework, or tooling experience; timezone; and weekly availability.

What is the expected time commitment for full-time programs?

We estimate that you’ll spend 30-40 hours per week on this program including networking and other fun events. You should expect to spend about 30 hours of your week collaborating on your project and the rest of the time with your mentor or peers to leveling up your skills.

In order for your to be able to collaborate with your pod, every Pod will have a set of program hours based on the timezones of the members. You should assume that you’ll need to be online Monday through Friday from around 10am until 6pm in your local time. You are welcome to contribute additional hours to the program; however, it is not a requirement.

What is the expected time commitment for part-time programs?

We estimate that you’ll spend 10-20 hours per week on this program including networking and other fun events. You should expect to spend about 12 hours of your week collaborating on your project and the rest of the time with your mentor or peers to leveling up your skills.

In order for your to be able to collaborate with your pod, every Pod will have a set of program hours based on the timezones of the members. You should assume that you’ll need to be online two days per week Monday through Friday from around 10am until 1pm or 6pm until 9pm in your local time. You are welcome to contribute additional hours to the program; however, it is not a requirement.

What is the interview process like?

Applicants start by completing a written application, which covers their eligibility, developer experience, and reason for wanting to participate in the program. Applicants who pass the written application are invited to participate in a brief video interview, like you'd have with a college admissions office, which focuses on getting to know them better. Finally, applicants who pass the initial interview are invited to participate in a more detailed technical interview focused on evaluating a piece of code they wrote in the past.

We want to provide applicants with as much notice as possible, so applications are reviewed & invitations to become a fellow are extended on a rolling basis.

I forgot what I wrote on my application, can you send me a copy?

Once you've submitted your application, we won't be able to send you a copy of your application. We recommend that you make a copy of your essay questions and the code sample you submitted so you can refer to them if you're invited to an interview.

Advice for writing my Essay Questions?

We receive an overwhelming demand from students so it's important to spend time writing your essay responses. Since everybody applying for the role “needs a job,” you should focus on what’s unique about your circumstances that makes you interesting or noteworthy. You don't need to hit the word limit, but adding more clarity will strengthen your application.

The most powerful essays tell a personal story that’s unique and relevant to the opportunity. For us, these typically tell the tale of how someone fell in love with coding, hackathons, or the CS community.

I finished the technical interview, does that mean I'm guaranteed a position?

Nope. Once an applicant has finished their technical interview they are moved to Final Review. This is where we review all the evaluations made by the team to decide if we want to move the applicant forward. These candidates are matched to pods based on their availability before being enrolled.

It can take a week or so for us to fill all of our pods once offers are sent, as a number of applicants defer to later batches. If this happens, we look at more applications in Final Review to move forwards.

When am I likely to hear back?

Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis. However, we focus on the next batch of applications first to ensure we can get through everyone before the program begins. If you apply for a later batch, it may take a few months before we get to your application but you'll be notified when we begin reviewing it.

It can take up to 30 business days for applications to begin review so you may not hear from us initially. As we move your application through different stages, we will send you emails to keep you in the loop. It's worth noting that each stage may take 30 business days before your application receives an update.

Once an applicant finishes the technical interview, they are moved into Final Review. Applicants in Final Review may not hear back until closer to the start of the batch when we are beginning to allocate our pods.

I was rejected, can I be reconsidered or apply again?

Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming demand from students, we cannot reconsider applications after they have been rejected. We understand that this can be frustrating, especially if you believe the decision was made based on a mistake or a one-time issue on your end. However, we plan to run the MLH Fellowship regularly and welcome anyone who meets the program criteria to reapply for a future batch.

To help you understand our decision and to improve your chances of getting accepted in a future program, we’re doing our best to provide clear feedback to everyone we reject from the program.

I made a mistake on my application, can I correct it?

Unfortunately due to the overwhelming volume of applications we received and the short timeline to process all of them, we cannot accommodate changes to applications. We understand that this situation is frustrating, especially if you were rejected due to a mistake, and apologize for the situation.

While you are welcome to reapply, it is unlikely that we will make it to your application. However, we plan to run the MLH Fellowship regularly and hope to see you reapply in the future!

I sent an email to [email protected], when am I likely to hear back?

We try and respond to emails as quickly as possible, but it may take us up to 30 business days to get back to you.

Have another question?

We'll do our best to help you answer it.