The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan is an independent, non-profit organization which supports the University. We offer merit-based scholarships for accepted, underrepresented incoming freshman who embody Leadership, Excellence, Achievement and Diversity (LEAD).
The LEAD Scholars program awards a minimum of $5,000 per year for U-M Ann Arbor, U-M Dearborn, or U-M Flint students. The scholarship is renewable for a total of four years (eight semesters).
In addition to the scholarship award, the LEAD Scholars become part of a greater community with opportunities for networking with alumni, career guidance, and study groups that promote the connection and success of LEAD Scholars.
Since it began in 2008, LEAD has supported nearly 300 students at the three U-M campuses. We seek to attract and retain students who are African American, Latino and Native American–supporting the University-wide mission of creating an educational environment that is rooted in equality and inclusion, For the Best Michigan.
Looking for additional scholarship opportunities? Many of our alumni clubs and alumni affiliate groups also offer scholarships to incoming and continuing U-M students from their regions. Our alumni affiliate groups include educational, professional, and special interest groups.
LEAD Scholars Requirements
The LEAD Scholars program application is currently open for incoming freshmen. Students MUST be admitted to the University of Michigan before applying for the LEAD Scholars program.
The LEAD application deadline for first round consideration has now passed. Notification will be made beginning in March to those offered a first round award. All applicants not offered a first round award will receive a status email by mid-March. These individuals will automatically be considered for the second round; there is no need to reapply.
The deadline to submit a LEAD application for second round consideration is Monday, March 20, 11:59 p.m. ET.
To be considered for the LEAD Scholars program, admitted students must:
- Be an incoming freshman at the U-M (Ann Arbor, Dearborn or Flint campus)
- Authorize consideration for scholarships on their U-M application
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Enroll full time
- Have undergraduate status
- Earn a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher
- Have an SAT score (CR + M) of 1220 or higher or an ACT score of 27 or higher
- Enhance diversity at U-M as an African American, Latino or Native American student
Please note: Students who do not meet the GPA and/or test score thresholds may still be considered for the scholarship.
To continue receiving the LEAD scholarship in their second through fourth years of study, students must maintain good academic standing defined as a U-M GPA of 2.0 or higher. In addition, scholars are required to participate in the LEAD community by attending two LEAD events per semester.
LEAD Application Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
Complete the online application form. You can stop in the middle and save your work then return to the application later.
What is my U-M ID number?
You can find your U-M ID number in the application verification email sent to you by the U-M Admissions Office.
May I submit an essay I used elsewhere?
The LEAD selection committee does not receive any essays that you may have written for your U-M Common Application. You can submit them with your LEAD application if they are relevant to our essay prompts.
Is this scholarship based on financial need?
The LEAD Scholarship is merit-based and students of all financial backgrounds are eligible. You do not have to fill out the FAFSA or CSS Profile to be considered for LEAD. However, if you do have any special financial circumstances, please be sure to mention that in your essay.
If I have applied to a Preferred Admission program and have not heard back, do I list it in the LEAD application?
Ann Arbor campus students: If you have also applied to a Preferred Admission (PA) program and are still awaiting a decision, for purpose of the LEAD application please choose the school/college you are currently admitted to. If that changes during the LEAD selection process, just let us know.
When will I hear whether I was accepted into the LEAD Scholars program?
Offer letters will be mailed beginning in March, and continue through April. These letters will include the amount of the scholarship award and an official acceptance form for students to sign and return.
Students who were not offered a scholarship will be notified via email by May 1.
Who do I contact with additional questions?