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Welcome to the 2019-2020 LEDA Scholars Application!

LEDA is searching the nation for the next Cohort of 100 exceptional students to become LEDA Scholars. We’re excited that you have chosen to apply and are here to support you through the application process.

The Application Process

The application process consists of three rounds. The deadline for this round is December 11th at 11:59 PM PST. After each round, an applicant’s submitted material will be evaluated by LEDA staff and a decision will be made as to whether or not the applicant will advance to the next round. Applicants must successfully complete each round (Part I, Part II, and an interview) to be admitted to the LEDA Scholars Program. LEDA’s review process is holistic, which means that all parts of an application will be considered before making a decision.

Who Should Apply:

1. Currently enrolled as a junior (11th grade student) in a public high school

2. U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status

3. Unweighted GPA of at least 3.6 and taking advanced courses available (Honors, AP, IB, Dual Enrollment, etc.)

4. Annual household income of $90,000 or less

5. Involved in the community and/or school

6. Desire to be a leader

LEDA Application Sections


Biographical Information

High School Information

LEDA Survey

Academic Information Request

Teacher Recommendation Request

Extra-Curricular Activities*

Scholarships & Awards

Summer Involvement

Writing Sample Upload

Photo Upload

Family Information*

Academic Release

Essay Questions*

*Time intensive


1. Select the save and return later link (located at the top right and bottom right of the page)

2. Enter your email address and create a password 


    If you do not enter your email address correctly you will not be able to log back into your account. 

3. You will receive an email with a link to resume your application

    If you do not receive the email do not create another application. Contact recruitment@ledascholars.org and we will help you gain access to your account.

4. Follow the link provided in your email and enter the email and password you provided when saving your application.

Application Timeline

September 4th: 2019-20 LEDA Application is open

December 11th: Final deadline at 11:59 PM PST

December-April: Applications are reviewed by the recruitment and admissions team

Early March: All Part I applicants are notified

End of March: All Part II applicants are notified and finalists are invited to participate in a Skype/Google Hangout or phone interview.

Mid April: All remaining applicants are notified and 100 LEDA Scholars are admitted to the program.


1. Once you submit your application you will not be able to edit or access any part of it. Make sure to review all parts of your application before submitting and save any portions you may want access to in the future.

Social Media

1. Follow LEDA on Social Media!

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LEDAScholarsProgram
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/leda_scholars
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leda_scholars/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LEDAScholars

Application Help

For questions about the LEDA Scholars program, application, or application process please contact recruitment@ledascholars.org.

Biographical Information

Mailing Information

Include apartment number if applicable.

You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have DACA status to be eligible for LEDA. Should you be selected to advance to the next round you will be required to submit proof of citizenship, permanent residence, or DACA status.

Check all that apply
Check all that apply
High School Information
Use the link below to look up your high school ID then copy and paste the code into the High School ID section.  This can ONLY be found by using the hyperlink below. You CANNOT use your NCES or CEEB code or any other code found on the internet or provided by a counselor. If you cannot find your high school, please contact recruitment@ledascholars.org. 

Guidance Counselor

Other High Schools Attended

LEDA Survey

Select LEDA representative if a LEDA representative presented at your school.

Select LEDA Scholar if a LEDA Scholar did a presentation at your school or told you about LEDA

Select CBO if anyone associated with a community based organization, college access, college preparedness, or college bound program told you about LEDA. This person may be a counselor or advisor who works in the school but is hired by a CBO outside of the high school e.g., college possible, college crusade, college advising corps.

Select all that apply. To select more than one, hold down CTRL while selecting.

Academic Information Request
Submit the full name and email address of a guidance counselor who can submit a transcript and provide academic information on your behalf. Once you submit their name and email address and save your application, they will receive an email invitation to create an account and provide academic information in support of your application. 

Please check-in with the recipient at least three weeks prior to the application deadline to confirm that the request was received and that they intend to complete it. We will not review applications that do not have complete academic information. You will not be able to see whether or not your academic information is complete so we recommend that you confirm completion with your counselor prior to the deadline.

If your counselor or school administrator does not receive the email invitation, please contact recruitment@ledascholars.org for further assistance.
Letter of Recommendation
Submit the full name and email address of a core subject academic teacher (History, Language, Literature, Science, Math) who will submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. We recommend that you speak to your teacher in person to describe the program, why you are applying, and ask if they are willing to write you a letter of recommendation prior to entering their name here. Once you enter your teacher's name and email address and save your application, an email invitation will be sent to them to create an account and provide a letter of recommendation in support of your application.

Please check-in with the recipient at least three weeks prior to the application deadline to confirm that the request was received and that they intend to complete it. Your application will not be considered complete until this information is submitted.

If the selected teacher does not receive the email invitation, please contact recruitment@ledascholars.org for further assistance.
Extra-Curricular Activities

Please provide information about all of the activities you are involved in. Activities may include arts, athletics, clubs, employment, personal commitments, and community service.  

  • For each activity you will be asked to provide the name, years of involvement, weekly hourly commitment, your role, the length of commitment per year and a brief description of the activity. Please answer all questions for each activity.
  • To add additional activities select the additional activities link on the bottom right hand corner of this box.
  • There should be no limit to the number of activities you enter. If you have any issues email recruitment@ledascholars.org.
  • For the type of activity question select the option that most closely represents the activity you are involved in from the drop-down list. 
  • If you do not see your activity in the drop‐down, you may select one of the “Other” categories at the bottom of the drop‐down. Please provide the name of the activity in the description box.
  • You will have the opportunity to describe each activity, so even if it is not listed in the drop‐down we will be able to learn about your involvement.

Scholarships & Awards
List any honors related to your academic achievement that you have received since ninth grade. Include any scholarships/awards that you have received or scholarship programs of which you are a member. Include the date you received the honor/scholarship/award and/or how long you have been a member of the scholarship program. If the honor/scholarship/award included a prize, please describe.
What other summer programs are you applying to?
Summer Activities
Describe how you have spent the past two summers. List academic, community service, and/or
athletic activities, as well as any other activities you participated in during the summer. Explain
the length of commitment and amount of time spent participating in each activity.
Writing Sample
Scan and upload one analytical essay written during your sophomore or junior year of high school. Submit the essay that you feel best represents your writing ability. Do not submit poetry or science/math reports/projects. 

The writing sample must be uploaded as a word document or a PDF. You will only be able to upload one file. If you scan multiple pages of an essay you must condense it into one file in order to upload. You can do this by copying and pasting each image into one word document or by any other method you are comfortable with.

Photo copies are acceptable, but must be legible and in one file.

Email recruitment@ledascholars.org if you have trouble submitting a writing sample.

Upload Recent Photo of Yourself

Family Information
To be completed by a parent/guardian. If you have a question about who should fill out this section on your behalf, please call 646-787-0632.

If you are the legally adoptive parent(s) of the applicant, complete the following forms as they apply to you. If you do not have information for one of the parents/guardians enter 0 in that category.

Mother/Parent 1

Check all that apply
Check all that apply

Father/Parent 2

Check all that apply
Check all that apply

Parent Education Information

Custody Information
We understand that the following questions are personal and may be difficult to answer. We appreciate your honesty. This information is required to apply for financial aid at most colleges. Answering the questions honestly will better allow us to advise Scholars on how to complete their financial aid forms as well as what colleges to consider for best financial fit.

Enter the first and last name of the custodial parent. In the case of joint custody, list parent with whom the applicant has most often resided within the last 12 months.

Grandparent Details

Sibling Education
Enter information about all of the applicants siblings below. To add an additional sibling select the Additional Siblings link located at the bottom left hand corner of this box.

First Generation College Student

A first generation college student is defined as being the first in one's immediate family to attend a four-year college or university. If the applicant has a sibling who attends or has attended college, the applicant is still considered to be a first generation college student. If either parent attended a four-year college, but did not graduate, the student is considered to be a first generation college student.
With whom does the applicant live?
List all members currently residing in the household and their relationship to the applicant. To add a resident click the Add resident link at the bottom right hand corner of this box.

Please calculate the total number of household members listed above including the applicant.
Income Information
LEDA follows certain income eligibility guidelines, however each candidate is considered on a case by case basis. Income information will remain strictly confidential. In order for a candidate to be considered, the information requested below MUST be completed by a parent or guardian.

Please be aware that if the applicant is asked to continue to the next round all parents and step-parents (with whom the applicant has contact) will need to provide a copy of their most recent federal tax return. Write 0 if a question does not apply to you.

During the senior year of high school LEDA works with our Scholars and their families to complete financial aid and scholarship applications for college. In order to consider applications for financial aid, most highly selective colleges require financial documentation from both parents including the non-custodial parent and/or step-parents or other guardians (when applicable). We therefore ask that you complete this section thoroughly so that we may best gauge the applicant’s financial need as will be evaluated during the college application process.

2018 2019
Mother/Parent 1 annual income
Stepparent 1 annual income (if applicable)
Father/Parent 2 annual income
Stepparent 2 annual income (if applicable)
Child support received by custodial parent per month (if applicable)
Alimony received (if applicable)
Annual social security benefit amount (estimated, if applicable)
Annual public assistance amount (estimated, if applicable)

If married, include both parents' combined annual income. If remarried, include the parent and the step-parent's combined annual income.

Enter the total amount of money in each of these accounts. (Do not enter the account #'s).
Amount in Checking Accounts Amount in Savings Accounts
Custodial parent(s)

House Value Information

Approximate value of real estate other than home:
I certify that ALL the information provided above is true to the best of my knowledge. IF the applicant is advanced to Part II I will submit proof of this information by providing a copy of my most recent tax return or proof of benefits. I understand that if the income information requested is not provided, the applicant will not be eligible for the LEDA Scholars Program.

Academic Records Release Form (completed by parent/guardian)*

Important Information

Please note that this section MUST be filled out by the parent/guardian.
Applicant Information

Essay Instructions

Take your time answering each essay prompt. We recommend that you complete each essay in a word document before copying and pasting them here. 

Each essay should be a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 500 words.

Essay #1
LEDA seeks to bring together a community of scholars whose diverse life experiences have shaped their perspectives and goals. Tell us your story. How has your life experience shaped the person you are today?

Essay # 2
Describe a problem that you want to help solve-it can be local (in your school, community, or town) or (state, country, globe). Why does this problem matter to you?

Save your application before you submit. If there is an error and you are unable to submit you will lose any information that has not been saved. If you are unable to submit, scroll through your application and resolve any red error messages. If you are unable to resolve the error save the application and email recruitment@ledascholars.org.

Once you press submit you will be given a final opportunity to review, make edits, and print your application. Once you confirm submission you will no longer be able to edit. You will receive a confirmation email if your submission is successful.