Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the LEDA application process

In this FAQ:



Who can complete my recommendation and when is it due?
We ask that a core subject high school teacher (English, Math, Science, or History) complete 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 14th. The recommendation and academic information must be complete in order for your application to be reviewed.

How do I request a teacher recommendation?
Enter the name and email address of a core subject teacher in the Letter of Recommendation section of the application. Once you save your application, your teacher will receive an email invitation to complete the recommendation. Confirm with your teacher that they have received the email invitation.

How do I complete the academic information section?
Enter the name and email address of a school counselor who has access to your academic records and transcript in the Academic Information Section of the application. Once you save your application, your school counselor will receive an email invitation to complete the recommendation. Confirm with your counselor that they have received the email invitation.

How will I know if the recommendation and academic information section are complete?
You will receive an email confirmation once the academic information section and the recommendation section have been submitted.

Can I submit more than one recommendation?
No, you can only submit one recommendation.



What is the income cut-off?
LEDA will review every application that is submitted; however, if the annual family income is over $90,000 a year, admission to the program is very unlikely. LEDA will take into account 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 family 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, including magnet and charter schools.

If I am not a U.S. citizen, can I still apply?
Unfortunately we only accept students who are U.S. citizens, are 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 2023, you are welcome to complete the application. We will need your documentation before you are offered admission to the program.


Application Requirements

Are standardized test scores required?
Standardized test scores are not required for Part I of the application. If you advance to Part II, we ask that you provide test scores if you have them. 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. You can still be admitted if your scores are lower than the national average. Do not let this stop you from applying.

If my GPA is lower than 3.5, can I still apply to LEDA?
LEDA will review every submitted application. When reviewing your academic profile we look at what courses you are enrolled in, your grades, grade trends, your school profile, and any test scores that are provided. Your academic profile is considered with the rest of your application so while most Scholars do have above a 3.5 unweighted GPA we have admitted Scholars who have below a 3.5 unweighted GPA.

What essay should I submit?
Submit the piece of writing that you feel best represents your writing ability. This should be an analytical essay that you have written and submitted for a high school class. If you have never written an essay for school, email for more information.


Family Information Questions

What should I put for 2022 income given that the year is not over yet? What should I put for total household income?
Your parents/guardians should provide an estimate of what their total income for 2022 will be. For total household income, you should add the sum of all parental gross income, including step-parents. Even if your parents/guardians are not married, we ask that you provide the incomes of any parents/guardians you have regular contact with.

What should I do if I have little or no contact with my non-custodial parent?
If you have not had contact with your non-custodial parent for over a year or if it would be harmful to you to contact your non-custodial parent you do not need to provide their income information. Use the space provided in the marital status section to explain your current family circumstances.

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

What do I put for approximate value of real estate other than home?
If your parents own property (either in or outside of the United States) that is not the home you live in, 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 LEDA’s College Guidance page to learn more:

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.


Application Status

How will I be notified if I have been advanced to the next round?
All applicants will be notified of their status by email. Check the application timeline on our website to find decision release dates.

Will I be notified if I do not advance to the next round?
Yes, all applicants will be notified by email.

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