You can serve as a VISTA for up to five years. However, you can only earn up to the value of two education awards. If you earn full-value of two education awards and serve additional years, you must choose the cash stipend.
The timeline depends on several factors. First, VISTA applications are reviewed by each project that you apply to. If the project and you both agree that the VISTA position is a good match for you, then the State Office will review your application. Once everyone agrees, you will then be officially accepted and will receive information about your pre-service orientation (PSO).