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 first-year students 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, fall and winter, undergraduate degree only).

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.

Hear from our own LEAD Scholars and their parents about the impact of the program on their experience at Michigan.

Applying to the LEAD Scholars Program

We appreciate your interest in the LEAD Scholars program!

  • The LEAD Scholarship application is now available for first-year admitted students planning to enroll at U-M for fall 2023.
  • You must first be admitted to U-M (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, or Flint) before applying for the LEAD Scholarship.
  • Apply by February 27 at 11:59 p.m. ET (Deadline Extended) for first-round consideration and March 27 at 11:59 p.m. ET for second-round consideration. Applications submitted after March 27 will be reviewed on a rolling basis; scholarship offers will conclude by April 28.
  • For those that applied for first round consideration, scholarship offers will be emailed in late-March. For those that applied by or after March 27, scholarship offers will be made on a rolling basis throughout the month of April, scholarship offers will conclude by April 28. If you applied for the first round and do not receive an offer, you will continue to be considered throughout the process, no need to reapply.
  • It is a competitive selection process. Last year, we received nearly 1,100 applications for limited spots in the fall 2022 LEAD cohort of 72 scholars.
  • As you consider attending U-M, we invite you to Mpression: The Black Michigan Experience on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. ETThis special webinar, in partnership with The Raise: Generations of Black Excellence—a group of alumni and friends advancing Black philanthropy at Michigan—will host a panel of current students and alumni who will share meaningful insight about the Michigan experience and how to make the most of your Michigan journey.

For questions about the LEAD Scholarship and/or the selection process, please contact [email protected]

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 first-years student 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 Scholars and their Parents in their Own Words

LEAD Seniors Reflect on Their LEAD Experience

LEAD Application FAQ