M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy Scholarship

Named for University Regent Al Self and his wife, Lila, the M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy Scholarship is a distinguished and prestigious award given to the top applicants to the university that demonstrate exceptional leadership potential. The Selfs provided the founding gift to the Leadership Academy in 2000, and it allows the Leadership Academy to provide up to four incoming first-year students with scholarships.

The Leadership Academy is composed of 25 undergraduates and is led by Executive Director George M. Langlois and Program Manager Meghan Pickett. The academy is an educational initiative aimed at developing the leadership potential of all Illinois Tech students. 

Additional benefits to Leadership Academy Scholarship recipients include exclusive leadership opportunities on campus and in the Chicago area, networking luncheons and dinners, experiential leadership development and training, and social bonding with fellow Leadership Academy Scholars. Leadership Academy Scholars will also receive a certificate in leadership studies upon successful completion of the academy's programs and activities.

Meet the current scholars

Scholarship Details

  • Full-tuition scholarship in the initial year of admittance to the academy. For each year following the first, students are only required to cover any annual increase to tuition. Students are eligible for up to four years of undergraduate tuition; five years if the student is in the architecture program.
  • Applies only to full-time undergraduate students at Illinois Tech
  • Satisfactory academic progress (defined in the Illinois Tech Student Handbook as a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in each semester) is required
  • Annual renewal of the scholarship is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress and attendance at all Leadership Academy-sponsored programs, including but not limited to Saturday leadership seminars, regular scholar meetings, and sophomore leadership retreats
  • Scholars are required to actively participate in a committee of their choosing to support development of the Leadership Academy program
  • Scholars are required to contribute 10 hours of service to community service projects that are officially sponsored by the Leadership Academy
  • All scholars must also adhere to university-wide codes of conduct; students who are accused and found guilty of conduct not in keeping with the code of conduct are subject to dismissal from the academy

How to Apply

Leadership Academy scholarship candidates must apply to Illinois Tech and must submit the following to the Office of Undergraduate Admission no later than November 15:

  • Complete and submit an application for regular admission through the Common Application
  • Complete and submit the Leadership Academy Scholarship Application

The fall 2020 scholarship deadline has passed. Our fall 2021 scholarship application will open in August.

Interview Itinerary

Students will be selected by Leadership Academy staff to interview on campus on Saturday, February 8, 2020. Students also interviewing for Camras, Duchossois, and/or Crown scholarships will be required to be on campus February 6–8.

Your interview is an experiential one: Leadership Academy staff will contact you to schedule your Leadership Experience for Assessment and Development (LEAD) appointment, which is a four-hour assessment center simulation that takes place on the Illinois Tech Mies Campus.

  • Center for Research and Service staff will provide all participants with an individual feedback report from their LEAD session
  • Students chosen as finalists from the assessment center will then interview via phone/Skype with the Leadership Academy staff during the week of February 10, 2020

Scholarship awards will be announced during the week of February 24, 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: The Leadership Academy Scholarship cannot be combined with other Illinois Tech merit scholarships such as Elevate, Heald, FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics, Duchossois, Camras, Crown, Chicago Police and Fire, Collens, and more. If a student earns multiple Illinois Tech merit scholarships throughout the admission process, the university will award the highest merit award for which the student is qualified but will not combine multiple awards.