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.

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!

  • Our selection process is now complete. All offers for fall 2021 have been made. No additional offers will be extended.
  • This year we received nearly 700 applications for limited spots in the incoming fall 2021 LEAD cohort.
  • A Final Status email was sent on May 14 to all applicants not offered a LEAD award.
  • We hope you plan on attending the University of Michigan and encourage you to check out the other scholarships available.

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 phtaylor@umich.edu 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 Scholars and their Parents in their Own Words

LEAD Seniors Reflect on Their LEAD Experience

LEAD Application FAQ