Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the LEDA application process

In this FAQ:



Can I submit more than one recommendation?
You can only request one recommendation through the online portal. If you want to submit an additional recommendation, it can be emailed to, but we recommend that you submit only one recommendation.

Who can complete my recommendation and when is it due?
We ask that a core subject teacher (English, Math, Science, or History) who has taught you in high school submit your recommendation. If you do not have a core subject teacher who you feel knows you well enough to complete the recommendation, you may ask a counselor or educator affiliated with your school. The recommendation is due December 14. The recommendation and academic information must be complete in order for your application to be reviewed.

How will I know if the recommendation and academic information section are complete?
You should check in with your counselor to confirm that they have received the email invitation and are aware of the December 14th deadline. Once you submit your application, LEDA will be able to confirm whether your teacher recommendation and academic information sections are complete.



What is the income cut-off?
 LEDA will review every application that is submitted; however, if your family makes over $90,000 a year, your admission to the program is very unlikely. LEDA will take into account your family size, cost of living, and all other application factors when making a final decision. 90% of LEDA Scholars’ families make less than $64,000 a year and the average income of LEDA Scholars is $34,800 per year.

If I attend a private school but receive financial aid, am I eligible to apply?
We do not accept applications from students who are currently enrolled in a private school. Applicants must currently be enrolled in a public high school; this includes magnet and charter schools. There are restrictions for some testing or screening high schools. If you attend a high school that requires testing or other screening for admission, please email to confirm that you are eligible.

If I am not a US citizen, can I still apply?
Unfortunately we only accept students who are US citizens, Permanent Residents, or hold DACA status. If you are in the process of receiving citizenship, Permanent Resident status, or DACA, and may receive it before April 2021, you are welcome to complete the application. We will need your documentation before you are offered admission.


Application Requirements

Are standardized test scores required?
Standardized test scores are not required for Part I of the application. If you are advanced to Part II, we do require test scores. Acceptable scores are official PSAT, PLAN, SAT, or ACT scores.

If my scores are lower than the national average, can I still be admitted to the program?
LEDA practices a holistic review process, which means that we consider all parts of your application before making a decision. Do not let this stop you from applying.

If my GPA is lower than a 3.6 GPA, can I still apply to LEDA?
LEDA will review every application that is submitted, but if your unweighted GPA is below 3.5, your admission to the program is less likely. We will take into account an upward trend in grades or a compelling circumstance if you provide an explanation.

What if I do not have a writing sample? What if my writing sample does not have the grade or teacher feedback on it?
It’s okay if your writing sample does not have written feedback on it. The writing sample can be any essay you have written for school during high school. We prefer an analytical essay that has been written for an English class. This can be a take-home essay or an in-class essay. If you have never written an essay for school, email for more information.


Family Information Questions

What should I put for 2020 income given that the year is not over yet? What should I put for total household income?
Your parents should estimate what their total income for 2020 will be. For total household income, you should add the sum of all parental income, including step-parents. Even if your parents are not married, we ask that you add their incomes to complete the total household income.

What should I do if I have little or no contact with my non-custodial parent?
If you do not have contact with your non-custodial parent, we do not need their income information. You DO NOT need to contact a parent that you have a strained relationship with for income information. Just provide information about your family situation in the space provided.

How do I calculate household size?
Household size should account for everyone living in the home claimed as a dependent.

What do I put for approximate value of real estate other than home?
We are asking if your parents own property that is not the home you live in. If so, please list the value of that property.


Questions about LEDA

Does LEDA provide any financial support for college?
LEDA is not a scholarship-granting program, and we do not provide any funds for college tuition. However, we do pay for all fees related to the college application process. Please visit the College Guidance page of the website to review all services that we provide:

What is the cost of the program?
The LEDA Scholars Program is completely free. LEDA pays for all travel and living costs during the summer. Scholars are welcome to bring spending money for souvenirs or eating off-campus, but all basic needs will be covered.

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