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Welcome to the 2023-2024 LEDA Scholars Application!

LEDA is looking for highly motivated high school juniors with strong academic records and a desire to develop their leadership abilities to join the 20th Cohort of LEDA Scholars. We’re excited that you have chosen to apply and are here to support you through the application process.

Please read ALL of the information below before starting your application.

Who Should Apply:

1. Junior attending public high school in the U.S. graduating in 2025 (There are exceptions for some private schools - email recruitment@ledascholars.org to confirm eligibility)

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

3. Annual household income under $90,000

4. Minimum unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.5 

*JKCF Young Scholars are not eligible for LEDA

Successful Applicants Demonstrate:

1. A desire to be challenged academically

2. A strong commitment to their studies

3. A desire to be a leader in their families, schools, and communities

4. A connection to LEDA's core values of Excellence, Integrity, Compassion, and Community

LEDA’s review process is holistic, which means that all parts of an application will be considered before making a decision.

The Application Process:

The LEDA application process consists of three parts: Part I, Part II and Part III. 

Part I of the application is due December 12, 2023. In Part I applicants are asked to provide demographic information, extracurricular involvement, family information, two short essays, a writing sample, academic information (to be completed by a counselor), and a letter of recommendation (to be completed by a teacher). 

Applicants who are advanced to Part II are asked to provide a record of residency, tax returns for all parents/guardians with whom an applicant has regular contact, and updated academic information.

Applicants who are advanced to Part III are asked to complete a virtual interview with a member of the recruitment and admissions team. 

The LEDA application is modeled after the common application and will help students prepare for the college application process. 

Application Timeline:

September 6th: LEDA Application opens

December 12th: Part I deadline - 11:59 PM PST

Early March: Part I applicants are notified

Mid March: Part II application deadline

End of March/Early April: Part II applicants are notified

April: Finalist interviews are completed

Mid April: All remaining applicants are notified and 100 LEDA Scholars are offered admission to the program

AI Policy

LEDA believes that AI can be a useful tool for writers, but in order to asses your fit for LEDA we need to see the writing that you can produce without this tool. While you may receive input from teachers, counselors, family and peers as you complete your application, it is important that all components of your application be your original work. 

Application Help

For questions about the LEDA Scholars program, application, or application process please use this form to submit a help request: Click here to submit a help request

Social Media

Follow LEDA on Social Media!

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

How to save your LEDA application:

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

2. Enter your email address and create a password. We recommend that you copy, paste and save the email and password exactly how you enter it on your device each time you save. You will have to enter your email and password exactly how you entered it the last time you saved in order to gain access to the most recent version of your application.  

3. You will receive an email with a link to resume your application. Do not create a new application if you do not receive an email. Contact recruitment@ledascholars.org and we will help you gain access to your account.

4. If you do not receive an email you can always access your application by visiting the LEDA website, clicking on the application link, and selecting resume a previously saved form on the top right corner and entering your email and password that you entered when you saved the application. 

5. We highly advise applicants to work on/save their long-form answers and activities on google documents or an alternative platform that saves information as they work on it. We cannot retrieve any information that is not saved on the application in the event it is lost.

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 record of citizenship, permanent residence, or DACA status.

Check all that apply
Check all that apply
Check all that apply
Check all that apply
Check all that apply
Check all that apply
Biographical Information - American Indian or Alaska Native

High School Information
Select the state you attend high school in and then search for your high school in the High School Name search field below. If you cannot find your High school using this search please select the "Cannot find my high school" option and manually enter the school name in the field that appears.








Washington D.C.




















North Carolina

North Dakota


New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico


New York





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota








West Virginia


Home School

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.

What other summer programs are you applying to?
Academic Information Request
Enter the full name and email address of a school 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 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 receive an email confirmation once your academic information has been submitted. 
Please provide the first and last name, as well as email address, for the person who will be providing academic information:

must be an email address

must be an email address
If your counselor or school administrator does not receive the email invitation Click here to submit a help request. 
Letter of Recommendation
Enter 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 to describe the program, why you are applying, and ask if they are willing to write you a letter of recommendation before 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 complete the form.

Please check-in with the recipient at least three weeks before 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. We will reach out to you if we don't receive your recommendation near/after the deadline.

Please provide the first and last name, as well as email address, for the person who will be providing the letter of recommendation:

must be an email address

must be an email address
If your teacher did not receive the email invitation Click here to submit a help request.

LEDA would like to learn more about your life and how you spend your time. 

Activities may include arts, clubs, community and family responsibilities, hobbies, music, sports, work, volunteering, other experiences that are meaningful to you, or that take up a lot of your time. 

  • Please answer all questions for each activity.
  • To add activities select the additional activities link on the bottom right hand corner of this box.
  • If you have held different positions within an activity, do not list the same activity multiple times. Enter your most recent position, and list the other positions you have held within the activity description field.

Writing Sample
Scan and upload one essay written during your sophomore or junior year of high school that you feel represents your academic 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 or have follow-up questions.

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, please email recruitment@ledascholars.org.

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. 

During 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, private colleges and universities 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.

2023 2024
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)

Home Value Information

Approximate value of real estate other than home:
Please enter only a number here, with no decimals. If this question is not applicable, just enter 0.
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.

Applicants who are advanced to Part II of the application will be asked to provide tax documents for all parents/guardians with whom they have regular contact. If LEDA has questions about the information provided, or about missing financial information we will contact the applicant. If you prefer that LEDA not contact the applicant, please provide the information of the person you would like us to contact below.

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

Spanish Language Family Section
Información Familiar
Debe ser completado por un padre/tutor. Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre quién debe completar esta sección, envíe un correo electrónico a recruitment@ledascholars.org.
Si usted es el(los) padre(s) legalmente adoptivo(s) del solicitante, complete los siguientes formularios según correspondan a usted. Si no tiene información de uno de los padres/guardianes, ingrese 0 en esa categoría.


Madre/Padre 1

Marque todo lo que corresponda
Marque todo lo que corresponda

Father/Parent 2

Marque todo lo que corresponda
Marque todo lo que corresponda

Parent Education Information

Información de custodia
Entendemos que las siguientes preguntas son personales y pueden ser difíciles de responder. Apreciamos su honestidad. Esta información es necesaria para solicitar ayuda financiera en la mayoría de las universidades. Responder las preguntas con honestidad nos permitirá asesorar mejor a los Alumnos sobre cómo completar sus formularios de ayuda financiera, así como qué universidades considerar para la mejor situación financiera.

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.

Detalles de los abuelos

Educación de Hermanos
Ingrese información sobre todos los hermanos de los solicitantes a continuación. Para agregar un hermano adicional, seleccione el enlace "Additional Siblings" ubicado en la esquina inferior izquierda de este cuadro.

Estudiante universitario de primera generación

Un estudiante universitario de primera generación se define como el primero en la familia inmediata en asistir a un colegio o universidad de cuatro años. Si el solicitante tiene un hermano/a que asiste o ha asistido a la universidad, todavía se considera que el solicitante es un estudiante universitario de primera generación. Si alguno de los padres asistió a una universidad de cuatro años, pero no se graduó, se considera que el estudiante es un estudiante universitario de primera generación.
¿Con quién vive el/la aplicante?

Indique todos los miembros que residen actualmente en el hogar y su relación con el solicitante. Para agregar un residente, haga clic en el enlace Agregar residente en la esquina inferior derecha de este cuadro.

Calcule el número total de miembros del hogar enumerados anteriormente incluyendo el/la solicitante
Información de ingresos
LEDA sigue ciertas pautas de elegibilidad de ingresos, sin embargo, cada candidato se considera caso por caso. La información de ingresos permanecerá estrictamente confidencial. Para que un candidato sea considerado, la información solicitada a continuación DEBE ser completada por un padre o tutor.

Tenga en cuenta que si se le pide al solicitante que continúe con la siguiente ronda, todos los padres y padrastros (con quienes se haya comunicado el solicitante) deberán proporcionar una copia de su declaración de impuestos federales más reciente. Escriba 0 si una pregunta no se aplica a usted.
Durante el último año de la escuela secundaria, LEDA trabaja con nuestros becarios y sus familias para completar las solicitudes de ayuda financiera y becas para la universidad. Para considerar las solicitudes de ayuda financiera, las universidades privadas requieren documentación financiera de ambos padres, incluido el padre sin custodia y/o los padrastros u otros tutores (cuando corresponda). Por lo tanto, le pedimos que complete esta sección atentamente para que podamos evaluar la necesidad financiera del solicitante, tal como se evaluará durante el proceso de solicitud de ingreso a la universidad.

2023 2024
Ingreso anual de madre/padre 1
Ingreso anual del padrastro/a 1 (si corresponde)
Ingreso Anual padre/padre 2
Ingreso anual del padrastro/a 2 (si corresponde)
Manutención infantil recibida por el padre con custodia por mes (si corresponde)
Pensión alimenticia recibida (si corresponde)
Monto anual del beneficio de seguridad social (estimado, si corresponde)
Cantidad anual de asistencia pública (estimada, si corresponde)

Si está casado/a, incluya el ingreso anual combinado de ambos padres. Si se volvió a casar, incluya el ingreso anual combinado del padre/madre y del padrastro/a.

Los Bienes
Ingrese la cantidad total de dinero en cada una de estas cuentas. (No ingrese los números de cuenta).
Monto en Cuentas Corrientes
Monto en Cuentas de Ahorro
Padre (s) con custodia


Valor de la casa

Valor aproximado de bienes inmuebles que no sean casa:
Ingrese solo un número aquí, sin decimales. Si esta pregunta no es aplicable, simplemente ingrese 0.
Certifico que TODA la información provista arriba es verdadera a mi saber y entender. Si el solicitante avanza a la Parte II, presentaré prueba de esta información proporcionando una copia de mi declaración de impuestos más reciente o prueba de beneficios. Entiendo que si no se proporciona la información de ingresos solicitada, el solicitante no será elegible para el Programa de Becarios LEDA.

A los solicitantes que avancen a la Parte II de la solicitud se les pedirá que proporcionen documentos fiscales de todos los padres/tutores con quienes tienen contacto regular. Si LEDA tiene preguntas sobre la información proporcionada o sobre información financiera faltante, nos comunicaremos con el solicitante. Si prefiere que la LEDA no se comunique con el solicitante, proporcione la información de la persona a la que desea que nos comuniquemos a continuación.

Formulario de divulgación de registros académicos (completado por el/la padre/madre/tutor)*

Información Importante

Tenga en cuenta que esta sección DEBE ser completada por el/la padre/madre/tutor.
Información del Solicitante

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 global(state, country, globe). Why does this problem matter to you?

COVID - Optional
We understand that this has been an incredibly difficult time and want to provide space for you to describe how the COVID pandemic has impacted you both academically and personally. If you would like to, please share more information about your experience below. 

Supplemental Application Section - Optional
If you would like to submit creative materials to demonstrate your diverse interests and personality please do so here. If you feel you were able to express yourself through the rest of the application, do not feel obligated to upload anything here. Examples can include art work, videos, or any other materials.

Your file cannot be larger than 25MB.
Final Confirmation 
 I attest that this application was written by me. While I may have received feedback and suggestions from others, no part of my essays or short answers was written or rewritten by another person or tool.

Please enter your full name
Please save your application before submitting to avoid losing unsaved information. If you encounter errors preventing submission, scroll through the application and resolve red error messages. If unable to resolve, save the application and contact recruitment@ledascholars.org.

After submission, you cannot edit or access the application. Review and save any portions for future reference on your computer. You will not receive a copy of the application from LEDA.

*Please After clicking "Submit," wait for page load, as load times may vary due to internet connection or high traffic. If you are not redirected to a confirmation page, save your app, and send a help request. You will also receive a confirmation email once your application is successfully submitted.*