The Leading Scholar Award recognizes resident and non-resident high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and scholarly achievements both in and outside the classroom. For fall 2021, test scores are not needed to apply for this scholarship.
View the recorded info session or download the slides for all the details you need about the scholarship!
The resident value: Multiple Michigan resident students will be awarded scholarships equivalent to regular full-time tuition, plus room and board and $1,000 towards fees and other expenses each year. In addition, in-state students selected as finalists will receive scholarships valued at $10,000 per year.
The non-resident value: Multiple out-of-state students will receive a value equivalent to regular full-time nonresident tuition. In addition, out-of-state students selected as finalists will receive scholarships valued at $20,000 per year. Students receiving the Leading Scholar Award or the $20,000 National Scholars Program Award are not eligible to receive the Military Family Education Award or additional National Scholars Program Award funds.
Non-resident Alumni Legacy awardees who are selected as one of the three full-value Leading Scholar Awards will receive a scholarship equivalent to regular full-time resident tuition. Non-resident Alumni Legacy students who are among the other seven awardees will receive a $10,000 (per year) Presidential Leading Scholars Scholarship.
The essay question for first-year students entering in fall 2021: Write a one page essay response (3000 character maximum including spaces) on the following topic: "Leaders have the ability to ask outstanding questions that make people think and inspire action. What question do you feel you should answer for this scholarship application? Tell us your question, and provide your answer--be sure to draw on your leadership experience or include your future leadership goals in your response. There is no wrong answer (or question), so have fun--and don't be afraid to think outside the box."
Who Should Apply
Academically talented high school seniors with leadership experience are encouraged to apply. In general, applicants should meet the following academic guidelines:
- 3.30 or higher cumulative GPA at time of application (on a 4.00 scale)
- ACT composite score of 23 or higher or SAT total of 1140 or higher* For fall 2021, test scores are not needed to apply for this scholarship.
Students applying for the Leading Scholar Award fall 2021 are not required to have SAT or ACT scores on file for consideration of the scholarship. Students must be accepted for admission (scores are not required for admission consideration for students with a 3.00 or higher GPA on a 4.00 scale). Finalists will be selected based on acceptance status, essay, and letter of recommendation.
How to Apply
- Students must apply for admission to Michigan Tech by October 15.
- Complete the Leading Scholar Award application by October 15. Create an account using your personal email address and set your own password. If you have already set up your Application Portal or applied for Michigan Tech scholarships, log in to your current account.
- A recommendation from a teacher or mentor is required and is due by October 16. During the Leading Scholar application process, you will be asked to provide an email address for the one person who can speak the best of your leadership and scholarly accomplishments. Be sure to have their email address when you begin the application process.
- ACT or SAT scores are not required to receive full consideration for this award for 2021.
Application Details and Other Important Dates
Create an account using your personal email address and set your own password. If you have already set up your Application Portal or created an account to apply for Michigan Tech scholarships, log in to your current account.
- October 15: Leading Scholar applications are due by 11:59 p.m. (eastern time). You must also have a completed application for admission on file by this date. Nominators have until October 16 to submit their letter of recommendation.
- November 10: Finalists are selected and notified. Notification will be made on the Leading Scholar application portal. Students not selected as a finalist will be notified on the application portal.
- TBD December: Virtual competition for finalists and family members.
- January 1: Award recipients are notified.
What We Are Looking For
The University Scholarship Committee is interested in getting to know you. Students will be evaluated on not only the leadership experiences highlighted in their essay, but in the way the information is conveyed through writing. The quality and content of the teacher/mentor nomination will also be taken into consideration. We receive over 1,000 applications for this award—with 40 students selected as finalists. The essay and teacher recommendation plays a large role in the selection process.
- Do your best to think of a question and response that will best convey your leadership experiences to us. We want to know who you are, get a glimpse of your personality, and learn about the positive qualities that you will bring to Michigan Tech.
- Don't think about what we want to read--think about what you want to write about.
- We encourage your essay to focus not only on your accomplishments, but on the type of person you have become as a result of those achievements.
- Try to avoid writing a resume and instead focus on how you have used the skills you have gained to positively influence a leadership outcome or experience.
- Your essay response is limited to a maximum of 3000 characters including spaces. You may return to your essay any time before the deadline to make changes to your essay submission.
- With these suggestions in mind, ensure that your essay is well written, free of errors, follows the instructions, and is submitted on time. The application system will close at 11:59 p.m. (eastern time) on October 15--late submissions will not be accepted.
Additional Scholarship Details
See our Financial Aid Leading Scholar page for additional details.