Transfer Leadership Scholarship

Learn more about our Transfer Leadership Scholarhip (formerly the Presidential Scholarship) here!

In an effort to increase accessibility for all students, the Transfer Leadership Scholarship (formerly the Presidential Scholarship) has expanded beyond select partner schools to include all post-secondary institutions. We want to recognize students who are exemplary leaders at their school and in their community, regardless of where they are from.

Transfer Leadership Scholarship recipients will be expected to lead and mentor students at Chicago area high schools and community colleges. Scholars will encourage and empower others to take on leadership roles and achieve educational success in the fields of science, engineering, architecture, technology, business, and human science.

Scholarship Benefits

Recipients of the Transfer Leadership Scholarship receive:

  • $30,000 annual tuition scholarship award
  • $5,000 one time Elevate award to be used for study abroad and/or experiential learning opportunities through the Elevate program.
  • Leadership training/mentorship each year
  • Scholars who have completed 1 semester of volunteer work with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are eligible to apply for a paid student ambassador position within the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and would be paid for all work and volunteering within the office going forward.

Transfer Leadership Scholars are asked to maintain a commitment to community outreach each academic year that engages and bridges their home and sending communities with the communities at the university, in the Bronzeville neighborhood, and the city of Chicago. Additionally, recipients of the Transfer Leadership Scholarship must make satisfactory academic progress towards completing their degree.

Application Deadline

Students applying for the Transfer Leadership Scholarship must submit their general application and their supporting Transfer Leadership Scholarship Application documents at the same time. Applicants are awarded the Transfer Leadership Scholarship at the time of admission. To be considered, students must submit application and all necessary documents by:

  • May 15 for fall applicants
  • November 15 for spring applicants

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants are eligible to be considered for the Transfer Leadership Scholarship if they:

  1. Are a new, incoming transfer student
  2. Submit the Transfer Leadership Application and Agreement form
  3. Have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.5/ 4.0 scale, and are in good academic standing at their college at time of application.
  4. Submit a leadership essay answering the question, “How would you be a catalyst for change at Illinois Tech and throughout your post-graduate career?*
  5. Submit a leadership resume*
  6. Submit a letter of recommendation*
  7. Awards will be determined based on academic achievement, essay strength, leadership resume strength, and letter of recommendation.

*Please refer to the Application Guidelines below for instructions and expectations for the leadership essay, leadership resume, and letter of recommendation.

Ongoing Scholarship Requirements

The Transfer Leadership Scholarship focuses on developing young leaders throughout their academic careers at Illinois Tech. As such, selected scholars are expected to participate in the program's activities and maintain good academic and personal standing at the university.

  • Scholars must participate in designated programming and other leadership opportunities on campus, and have a good record of university citizenship.
    • As part of the designated programming, scholars will complete approximately 15 hours of volunteer work each semester with the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
    • Programming includes leadership training as well as on and off campus outreach and mentorship to Chicago area students.

How to Apply

In addition to meeting all stated deadlines and eligibility requirements above, students interested in applying for the Transfer Leadership Scholarship must:

1. Complete and submit an application for regular admission through our Transfer Application.

2. Download and complete the Transfer Leadership Application and Agreement form

3. Submit above form along with your leadership essay, leadership resume, and letter of recommendation here.

Application Guidelines:

  • Leadership Essay: Your essay should be between 500 and 2000 words in length and it should answer the question, “How would you be a catalyst for change at Illinois Tech and throughout your post-graduate career?” Be sure that your essay addresses the following points:
  1. What does leadership mean to you?
  2. How have you been involved both on and off campus to bring people together, build community, and work for change? What specifically have you done in terms of planning, organizing, and engaging your peers/community?
  3. How do you plan to engage your peers at Illinois Tech to have a positive impact on the school community, surrounding neighborhood, and on your academic field?
  4. What broader impact on the world and/or your field of study do you hope to have after graduating?
  • Leadership Resume: Your leadership resume should demonstrate your involvement in both on and off campus extracurricular groups or community service. It should give concrete examples of how you took on the administrative side and the community building/engagement side of leadership in your extracurricular endeavors (Note: you do not have to hold office in an organization to be a leader.)
  • Letter of Recommendation: The letter of recommendation may come from anyone who has had the chance to observe, work alongside, and/or benefit from your leadership skills (i.e. club/organization advisor,  peer mentor/mentee,  professor, etc.) The letter of recommendation should address the applicant’s leadership ability and potential. (Suggestion for recommenders: Please include concrete examples of how this student took on a leadership/mentorship role and discuss the applicant’s ability to build community and increase engagement.)

PLEASE NOTE: The Transfer Leadership Scholarship cannot be combined with other Illinois Tech merit scholarships such as Chicago STAR, Chicago Police and Fire, PTK, 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.