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Finalists selected for Leading Scholar Award

On Monday, Oct. 30, the Leading Scholar Selection Committee convened to select the finalists for this year’s Leading Scholar Award. According to Michigan Tech Admissions, the Leading Scholar Award “recognizes resident and non-resident high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and scholarly achievements both in and outside the classroom.”

This monetary award is among the most prestigious scholarships offered by Michigan Tech. Each year, over 1,000 students apply for the award, but only 40-45 students are selected.

An approximate total of 30 in-state students and ten non-resident students will receive the Leading Scholar Award. Three in-state students will receive scholarships equivalent to the sum of the cost of full-time tuition, room and board, and a $1,000 stipend for books and fees. The remaining 27 in-state students will receive scholarships valued at $8,000 per year. As for non-resident recipients, three will be awarded the value of full-time non-resident tuition, while seven will be given scholarships with an approximate value of $17,000 per year. In total, $500,000 will be awarded to this year’s winners alone. About $1.3 million is distributed yearly among all current Leading Scholars.

Like many other institutional scholarships and grants, the Leading Scholar Award is financed through Michigan Tech’s general fund. Finalists are selected on the basis of personal essays, mentor recommendations, and academic performance, but the competition doesn’t end there. The finalists won’t know the value of their scholarships until after the annual Leading Scholar event held each December.

This year, the event will be on Sunday, Dec. 3 and Monday, Dec. 4. On Sunday, the students will attend a dinner and stay overnight in the dorms with a Husky Host, who is either a previous

recipient of the award or an RA. The students will spend Monday engaged in team tasks meant to demonstrate their creativity, interpersonal skills and leadership ability. Their performance will be assessed by staff members from various campus departments.

“It is honestly eye-opening seeing the accomplishments high school students have along with their ambition and determination,” said Alyssa Fredin, a Financial Aid Manager at Michigan Tech who has been a member of the selection committee since 2014. “I love reading the essays, but meeting the students during the On-Campus Event is my favorite part of the process. You get to put a face to the essay.”

Although there are no GPA or ACT score cutoffs for the Leading Scholar Award, high school seniors who are considering applying are advised to have a GPA of at least 3.3, an ACT score of at least 23 and significant leadership experience. High school seniors can submit their essays for review as part of Michigan Tech’s free application process.

For more information on the Leading Scholar Award, please visit


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