Prospective LEAD Students

LEAD Scholars talking on the steps of Angell Hall at the University of Michigan

The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan is an independent, nonprofit organization that supports the University. We offer merit-based scholarships for accepted, underrepresented incoming freshmen 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, UM-Dearborn, or UM-Flint students. The scholarship is renewable for a total of four years (eight semesters).

In addition to the scholarship award, 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 540 students at the three U-M campuses. We seek to attract and retain students who are Black, Latinx, and Native American, supporting the University-wide mission of creating an educational environment that is rooted in equality and inclusion — for the best Michigan.

Applying to the LEAD Scholars Program

We appreciate your interest in the LEAD Scholars program! Students MUST be admitted to the University of Michigan before applying for the LEAD Scholarship.

  • The application for the LEAD selection process is now available. Online submission is preferred. You will be able to save, edit, and review the application before you submit.
  • The application deadline for first round consideration will be 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 3rd.
  • We’ll be using a rolling review and making rolling offers after the first round deadline; students are encouraged to apply as soon as they are admitted.
  • The final application deadline for the LEAD scholarship will be April 26th, prior to the May 1st enrollment deadline. We will not be making any scholarship offers after May 1st.
  • For the 2020-21 application cycle, students who are unable to provide standardized test scores are encouraged to apply and will not be disadvantaged in the selection process. Applications will be reviewed with the information a student is able to provide.
  • For those students without access to the internet or to a computer, to complete the LEAD Scholarship Application download a PDF copy of the application. See details on how to submit within the document.

For questions about the LEAD Scholarship and/or the selection process, please contact Phyllis Taylor, Lead Assistant Director of Alumni Student Recruitment & LEAD Scholars, at or 734.764.2316.

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.

LEAD Scholars Requirements

To be considered for the LEAD Scholars program, admitted students must:

  • Be an incoming freshman at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, or Flint campus)
  • Authorize consideration for scholarships on U-M application
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have undergraduate status
  • Earn a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Have an SAT score (R&W + M) of 1220 or higher or an ACT score of 27 or higher. Students will be considered regardless of their ability to test or provide test scores.
  • Enhance diversity at U-M as a Black, Latinx, 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.

Check Out the LEAD Community in Action

Play Video
Photos and events took place prior to March 2020.

LEAD Seniors Reflect on Their LEAD Experience

LEAD Application FAQ