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 is MLH launching this program now?

Due to COVID-19, thousands of students in the MLH community will miss out on internships this summer. We know how important this 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?

Students can apply to become an MLH fellow until May 23rd, 2020. However, applications are processed on a rolling basis, so it’s important to apply early.

The program officially spans the 12 weeks between June 1st, 2020 and August 23rd, 2020. In order to participate, you must be able to commit 40 hours per week to the program for the full term.

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 aan 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?

This program is being offered without charge to students. In fact, you’ll actually be paid a small educational stipend.

However, this program does require a significant time commitment. We estimate that you’ll need to spend 40 hours per week on this program between contributing to Open Source and participating in educational and fun events.

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
  • Currently enrolled in a degree or diploma granting course of study; or have graduated from one within the previous 6 months.
  • Reside in a country not embargoed by the United States
  • Able to commit 40 hours per week to this program
  • Have a bank account in a country that is supported by the GitHub sponsors program
  • Know how to code in at least one language
  • Understand the basics of Open Source
  • 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 accepted Fellows an educational stipend. The stipend is to be used for qualified educational expenses, which are described below.

We use Purchasing Power Parity to calculate the stipend amount for each country. We start with a total base of $3,900 USD and adjust it using each country’s relative purchasing power. These numbers are rounded slightly for ease of payment and understanding. The total stipend is paid in three chunks, processed via the GitHub Sponsors payment platform at the end of every 4 weeks.

This educational stipend may only be used for qualified educational expenses, such as: tuition; required enrollment or attendance fees; books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or coursework. This does not include any supplies used primarily for personal, recreational, or other non-educational reasons; however, you may use qualified educational supplies or equipment for non-educational reasons as long as such use is not the primary reason for its purchase. In the Fellowship Agreement you will be asked to sign, you will certify that you will only use the educational stipend for qualified educational expenses and will do so in the next 18 months, unless you are given an extension of time by Major League Hacking (MLH).

My country is not on the approved list, can I still participate?

We can accept participants who reside in any country that is not currently embargoed or restricted by the United States. However, we are only able to support fellows who have their own valid bank account in one of the 30+ countries supported by the GitHub Sponsors program and India. Their team is working hard to add support for additional countries, but unfortunately we do not have any information about when they will become available.

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

In order to participate in this program, you must be currently enrolled in a degree or diploma granting course of study such as a high school, secondary school, college, university, homeschool, trade school, or similar educational institution; or have graduated from one within the previous 6 months. Certificate granting programs like most bootcamps are not included.

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?

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?

We estimate that you’ll spend 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.

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 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 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 program.

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!

Have another question?

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