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 CLOSED
  • As of April 28, all scholarship offers have been made, and students offered a scholarship have been notified via an email from the Alumni Association. We do not anticipate making any additional offers.
  • This year we received over 1,200 applications for approx. 80 spots in the 2023 LEAD cohort.
  • A final status email will be sent on May 11 to all applicants who were not offered a LEAD Scholarship to officially conclude the process.
  • Thank you again for your interest. Visit the Alumni Center this fall for services that benefit all U-M students.

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

Yes, you can. You do not need to have already paid your enrollment deposit to apply for the LEAD Scholarship. You just have to be admitted to U-M (postponed students must wait to apply for LEAD until they have been officially admitted to U-M).

The LEAD selection cycle for first-year students enrolling in fall 2023 will open starting in late January 2023. Please complete the LEAD Scholarship Application for consideration.

You can find your U-M ID number in the application verification email sent to you by the U-M Admissions Office.

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you have questions about the LEAD Scholars program and/or the selection process, please contact Phyllis Taylor, Manager of Alumni Student Recruitment & LEAD Scholars, at [email protected] or 734.764.2316.

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