What is the Leadership Academy Scholarship?

Named for University Regent Al Self and his wife, Lila, the Leadership Academy Scholarship is a distinguished and prestigious award given to top Illinois Institute of Technology undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential. The Selfs provided the founding gift to the Leadership Academy in 2000, and it allows the Leadership Academy to provide a limited number of full-tuition scholarships to its select individuals: Leadership Academy Scholars.

The Leadership Academy is comprised of 30 undergraduates and is led by Executive Director George M. Langlois and Program Manager Jack Kwatinetz. In addition to funding 30 undergraduates, its other main goal is to develop and evolve the leadership potential of its scholars through its variety of leadership programs and experiences. Some of these leadership programs and experiences are attended by current Illinois Tech undergraduate and graduate students, and as a result, Leadership Academy scholars will have the opportunity to lead their peers through these initiatives.

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 cohesion with fellow Leadership Academy scholars. Scholars will also receive a certificate in leadership studies upon successful completion of the academy’s programs and activities.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Leadership Academy Scholarship endowment, please visit our Contribute page for more information.

Who is Eligible?

All full-time undergraduates who have completed at least one semester of coursework at Illinois Tech and who have a minimum of four undergraduate semesters remaining at Illinois Tech (not counting this current spring semester) are encouraged to apply for this multi-year, near full-tuition scholarship-based leadership program. 

Co-terminal semesters do not count toward the minimum undergraduate semester requirement, and they are not covered by this scholarship. Thus, eligible first- and second-year students, or third-year architecture students, are encouraged to apply. 

Recipients of other scholarships are eligible for this scholarship program as well. You must have at least a 3.0 cumulative Illinois Tech grade-point average in order to be eligible. Additionally, you must have a completed Illinois Tech faculty/staff nomination form submitted in order for your application to be reviewed.

Scholarship Details

  • Near-full-tuition scholarship covering four years of the recipient’s undergraduate education. Scholarship extends to a fifth-year for architecture students but does not cover co-terminal programs
  • 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 on a committee of their choosing to support the development of the Leadership Academy programs
  • Scholars are required to contribute 10 hours of service per semester 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

Through a formal application and screening process, the Leadership Academy will identify undergraduate students who possess exceptional leadership potential. To help scholars realize their leadership potential, the academy will offer scholarships and opportunities to participate in special training and development experiences.

Current Illinois Tech students are eligible to apply using the instructions below. If you are a prospective first-year student, please visit the Undergraduate Admissions website to apply for the Leadership Academy scholarship.

This year the application will open on January 8th, 2024. 

Please follow the steps outlined below to apply for the Leadership Academy scholarship:

  1. Complete and submit the scholarship application no later than February 12, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. CT
  2. Ask the faculty/staff member of your choice to submit a nomination form by February 21, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. CT, making sure to provide the faculty member with a copy of your completed application
  3. Leadership Academy staff will contact you to schedule your Leadership Experience for Assessment and Development (LEAD) appointment
  4. Center for Research and Service staff will conduct LEAD sessions and notify participants of scholarship awards
  5. Center for Research and Service staff will provide all participants with feedback from their LEAD session

Scholarship awards will be announced during the month of April. Also, during April, all finalists who participated in the LEAD process will be offered feedback regarding their performances through written reports and group feedback sessions. The focus of this feedback will be on professional growth and career development.

Finally, prior to the summer break, Leadership Academy scholars will be invited to attend an orientation session and leadership development workshop to kick off their formal involvement in the Leadership Academy. Feedback regarding scholars’ performance in the LEAD process will also be incorporated into this development experience.

Scholarship Application Form

Faculty and Staff Nomination Form